Saturday, July 29, 2006

Reading: Saddam's Secrets

I just recently finished reading a book that provides a first-hand account of what it was like to live in Iraq under Saddam, and to be, at times, in his inner circle.

Iraqi General Georges Sada, a truth-speaking, unflinching Christian, served in Saddam's Air Force, off and on, from the 1960's until the 2003 invasion by American and coalition forces. In Saddam's Secrets, Sada explains his tenuous relationship as an advisor to Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator of Iraq.

Sada explains that Saddam's advisors were so terrified of him that if Saddam declared that two plus two equalled nine, all would nod their head in agreement. All that is except Sada, who, though continually in fear for his life, somehow managed to give Saddam the straight answers, even if they contradicted what everyone else was saying.

This unique ability to speak the truth in the face of so much fear and deception, gradually won Sada the difficult role of becoming one of Saddam's top advisors. Forced into early retirement twice because he refused to join the Baath party, Sada was recalled into service twice when Saddam was facing his most difficult challenges.

Sada also exposes the fraud of the U.N.'s "Oil for Food" program in which billions of dollars meant to supply food to the Iraqi people instead ended up lining Saddam's pockets, enabling him to build over 60 personal palaces throughout the country. And he explains how Saddam spirited many of his Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) out of the country and into Syria via hollowed out commercial jet liners retrofitted to handle his precious cargo. Saddam's Secrets also delves into the brutality of Saddam's regime—the torture rooms and the mass executions of hundreds of thousands of his enemies.

Those who have banked their political and professional careers on the idea that that Bush lied about the WMDs to get us into this war, and that the Iraqi invasion was planned before 9/11, will not like this book. Sada's friendly, conversational writing style makes his book an easy read, and every American should take the time to read it.


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