The British government in 1975, thirty years ago, considered treating Saddam Hussein for his bad back.
This was a ploy to improve relations with him.
Classified documents released to the National Archive show that the government considered taking Saddam to Britain for the treatment, even though he was not the Iraqi leader in 1975.
Officials considered the prospect that Saddam could be successfully treated in Britain as "most encouraging," the report said.
In 1975, Saddam was seen as a figure worth courting in the Arab world.
The documents do not show what became of the plan.
Yesterday's star becomes today's pariah.