Tosefta I know what you are getting at, but as usual you are missing the obvious. I do not know if cruelty is genetic or not, it would be politically incorrect to say that it was. I happen to see the problem as built in and social. the Iraqis today are not the ancient Babylonians nor the Summerians nor Assyrians. Since 639 AD what was always called Babel and now called Iraq, underwent a massive load of Arabization. they gained a new religion, a new leadership. Now I would suspect that the clan mentality was well in place, and exists to this day. It is this tie to the family which extends to honor and humiliation. Much of the violence in the middle east is tied to power plays of major clans. Saddam was a Takriti, and his power base is still to be found there. In the name of honor he attacked both Iran and Kuwait. Honor led him to urge the Yanks to war. Honor is what is keeping the country violent and stupid.
Saudi police officer shot dead in the east of the kingdom (AP)
from the article: History and Hussein's hanging