I can only take that to mean Assyrians will be restored as a people, whereas now they are an oppressed, subject people under the Sunni Moslems of Iraq and have been subject of Moslem rulers for hundreds of years.
The Assyrians were once black-hearted pagans, but they were worse, they savagely attacked all their neighbors, subjugated them in the most brutal fashion, then boasted to the world about how they had put hooks in people's noses and piled up heads in pyramids at the city gates of conquered cities.
Yes, they were once the most cruel and arrogant people on record (though Soviet leaders such as Lenin and Stalin and Mao of China and their Communist Party supporters might well have to share that distinction with the ancient Assyrians), but now they are Christians refined in the fires of persecutions extending back many hundreds of years.
Strange to say, with all the judgment and oppression laid upon them, as a people they haven't disappeared from the earth, though their nationhood expired two and 1/2 thousand years ago when Nineveh and its whole imperial system that had terrorized the Middle East for centuries was utterly destroyed in a lightning raid in 612 B.C. by the Babylonians and their allies.
Iraqi Air Force General (Retired) Georges Sada speaks for the Assyrian people in his wonderful book.
Do yourself a great favor as a Christian. Get his book! You need the experience of it, and the understanding it will give you, just as much as every other disciple of Christ. I am certain you will have no regrets if you do. We must not remain so ignorant of these precious brethren.
We have been ignorant far too long, and there is no longer any excuse. Google his name, and you will find out that he is no unknown in the culture at large, though ignored by the mainstream liberal media. People all over the nation are aware of him, despite their media blackout on him on CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, Associated Press, the New York Times, and the other liberal media. We can understand their antipathy for him and his message, since he is a Christian, a Middle Easterner who is not an Arab and Moslem, telling them the truth they don't want to hear about the Middle East and its conflicts. They defend their ignorance and promote their liberal and secular values, not listen to the voice of truth that Georges Sada is.
With that in mind, let us not remain ignorant, and give him our individed attention.--Ed.
by Georges Sada
Throughout this book I have tried to put a human face on the tragedy of Iraq under Saddam and to show how the corruption in my country affected not only the Middle East but the whole world. But the story of what has happened in Iraq is not just my story. It's the story of all of us, because we've all paid a terrible price. The Middle East has suffered, the West has suffered, the United Nations has suffered, and the world has suffered. The world Saddam created, in which he held all the power and received all the glory, was a pitiful excuse for a nation. At the heart of it was only terror and evil. But thank God, Saddam is gone now and it's time for the people of Iraq to find our way back to reality.
The biggest problem we had in my country was not poverty or hunger or homelessness. It was that Saddam Hussein, supported by some people in the Baath Party and his corrupt bureaucracy, was able to create a regime based on lies, deception, and their own wicked ambition [something the liberals will not recognize even today!--Ed]. When Saddam said that two plus two is nine, there was no one who would dare to tell him otherwise. If Saddam said black was white, they would have agreed immediately. And everything worked this way for forty years.
If Saddam wanted the air force to attack the people of Tehran with mustard gas, the people surrounding him would trip over each other trying to be the first to tell him what a great idea he had. When he decided to attack Israel with chemical weapons, the same people were there, applauding and telling him he was a hero and a military genius. Some of them would say that Allah must have spoken those very words into his ear. To kill and destroy for Saddam was, in their eyes, to do the work of Allah.
It was a sick and dangerous system, and I'm grateful now to know that when Saddam called me for advice it was never because I agree with him or gave him the answers he wanted to hear; it was because he knew I would speak the truth, even at the risk of my own life. He knew I would not lie to him, even when he disagreed with me. Somewhere deep inside of him, I think he knew that truth does matter. And he also knew I would always speak truth, to the best of my ability. When I refused to excute the pilots [during the Gulf War, Western fliers were caught and Saddam Hussein gave Sada charge over them, their interrogation and sentencing], I could easily have been killed. Refusing to do what Saddam or his evil sons ordered had already cost many of my countrymen their heads. Yet, when I refused to obey, I wasn't killed. I was simply discharged, retired, and sent away.
In some cases, my promotions were delayed because I wasn't a very good yes man, and I had refused to join the Baath Party. But when Saddam called for me and brough me back as an adviser, he did it because he realized I had been right about the captured pilots. He realized it was the right thing to do, and I had been right about many other things as well. On one occasion I will never forget, I was called to the palace and when I arrived was told that Saddam wanted me to have dinner with him. Suddenly, I was terrified, because this often happened when Saddam wanted to poison an enemy. Eating with Saddam wasn't something I wanted to do.
Nevertheless, I went in and met the president. We exchanged pleasantries and spoke for a short time, and then he called for the meal to be served. During the whole time, I kept wondering if the next bite would be the one that killed me. Then, at one point, Saddam said words that sent chills down my spine. He said, "Georges, you know you have not always been very agreeable with me. Seventeen times you have disagreed with me--I counted them..." On hearing that, I could hardly breathe. Disagreeing with Saddam was almost always a death sentence, and his words seemed to confirm my worst fears. But then he added, "and seventeen times you've been right." Despite all the evil he had done, Saddam still recognized that honesty could be a good thing,a nd that it wasn't always necessary to shoot the messenger.
The problem, however, was that the corruption within Saddam's regime reached from the top to the bottom of the system. It was in the government, the military, the hospitals, the universities, the private companies, and even the families of many of the most prominent people [sounds like liberalism today!--Ed.]. We were not free to think for ourselves, and no one dared to do whatever they wished, because they knew that only Saddam's wishes would be followed. That's why I was forced out of the military in 1986, even tough I was a young forty-six-year-old major general who had earned his commission the hard way. At that time I was rated the best fighter pilot in the air force, but I had a bad habit of saying that two plus two is four [isn't this 'political correctness' promoted by the liberals in our own country? And any conservative or traditionalist who dissents, well he or she or their group will be attacked in the press and even from the White House, instanced in the many times President Obama has spoken against conservatives by name and also in his excoriations of the Fox TV Network which is not part of the state media.--Ed.] So I had to go.
Saddam is also the man who has killed more military personnel and civilians of his own country than any other person, eventually totaling more than a million men, women, and children. All this he did for the sake of expanding his own power and control over the nation. In his time, the nation of Iraq and its vital infrastructure was destroyed more than at any other time in history. At his command, hundreds of thousands of Arabs were killed in the south, especially in Kuwait. And at his command, hundreds of thousands of Arabs were killed in the south, especially in Kuwait. And at his command, hundreds of thousands of Kurds were killed and maimed in the north.
At Saddam's command, more than four thousand villages in the north were completely destroyed, and more than 132 of our ancient churches were wiped from the face of the earth. Because of his own fear and hatred, Saddam attempted to destroy the entire way of life of the Arabs in the marshlands of the south. The rivers were diverted, the wildlife was decimated, the people were driven out and killed, and villages and important waterways were ruined forever. At Saddam's command, our wealthy Arab neighbor, Kuwait, was attacked and pillaged, and all for his own glory and greed.
Under Saddam, the great wealth of my country was squandered on wars, weapons, and wasteful spending. On top of that, he paid millions of dollars to bribe and blackmail journalists and broadcasters, to buy off the authors of books and journals, and to publish lies and propaganda in the Arab world and fare beyond. He bribed ambassadors, foreign dignitaries, and heads of state [including our own Washington state representatives in Congress, Rep. McDermott (Democrat) being one of them, who used Saddam's money to fund a trip to Iraq and on which he criticized President Bush for how he was treating Saddam Hussein, speaking in defense our our own nation's enemy!--Ed.]. The amount of money Saddam spent on his wars and other corrupt schemes was greater than all the wealth we accumulated in that nation through the sale of oil from the day the first wells were drilled in 1927 to the present. I've done the calculations and I know this is true.
When I consider all the terrible things that Saddam did to my country during his thirty-year reign of terror, I have to ask myself, How could anyone weep because this man is gone? Saddam Hussein destroyed our country. He destroyed our people, their pride, their hope, and for some, even their futures. The best name for such a man is not Saddam, "The Crasher," but rather the Arabic word Haddam, which means, "The Destroyer."
Saddam was the only leader in the world to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people. Even as he was building sixty-eight luxurious palaces and increasing his personal wealth to more than $30 billion, he was destroying evrything he touched. The educational system, health care system, and financial infrastructure of the naiton were ruined by Saddam. The middle class, which is the foundation of every stable society, was attacked, and anyone who dared to speak freely was destroyd by Saddam. The army, air force, and coastal forces were utterly destryed, first in 1991 and again in 2003, and yet this villain still believes that he would be free to return as the president and national hero of Iraq.
RESTORING OUR DIGNITY
It makes me sad to realize that there are still countries in our region who are taking the same path Saddam had taken. They're using the same strategies and many of the same tactics, and if nothing changes, they're headed for the same dead end [Hamastan-Gaza, and Fatahstan-Left Bank, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, even Turkey, need to take heed to this wise, cautioning word of General Sada's, who is speaking from many years of trying experience with Saddam Hussein!--Ed.]. If there's one lesson worth learning in the tragic saga of Saddam Hussein, it's that there must be a major change in the policies and strategies of our neighbors in the Middle East if there's to be any hope of bringing peace and reconciliation to our people. This, I believe, is our last, best hope, and I pray that the leaders of the Arab world will be willing to embrace the needed changes.
But even as I say this, I realize that this will not be an easy concept for many people in my part of the world to accept or understand. It will require wisdom, knowledge, and courage to change directions in this eway, but I believe it can and must be done. For one thing, I believe in the resourcefulness of our people. We have many well educated leaders in government, business, science, and the law, and we're not lacking for good ideas. So I'm sure these kinds of changes are possible--if we have enough faith and courage to take the first steps. If the nations of the Middle East will come together in a spirit of cooperation to rebuild the region, they won't just be helping themselves: they will be restoring the promise of peace for the whole world.