Commentary: Iraqs Silent Majority Intimidated!

Rev. Ken Joseph Jr.

April 13, 2005 - It was days after the Liberation of Baghdad! Hope was in the air! Everybody that could manage it were holding demonstrations in front of the then headquarters of the US in Iraq - the Palestine Hotel.

 It made me angry! Having been in Iraq during the time of Saddam and seeing how desperate the people were to have it out and then how happy to have him gone here were a weird, fringe group of people demonstrating against the US.

 As always made up of the people Iraqis always refer to a the "crazies" from the south and always connected to next door "crazy" Iran the whole world was taking their demonstrations as the "will of the people."

 I knew from talking to so many how different the average people thought. They were delighted to be liberated - desperate that the Americans stay, and yet the only ones demonstrating were the "weird" ones.

 I returned home and asked a group of our people - we are Assyrian Christians - "lets do our own demonstration! The "bad guys" are all doing demonstrations and the world world think they speak for all Iraqis."

 Isnt everybody delighted to have Saddam gone and to be liberated? "Of coure" everybody responded.

 "Then let go!"

 That was when thing got strange.

 "Its too dangerous!" was the reaction of the young people.

 "Of course all Iraqis are delighted at the liberation. Of course, those demonstrating are the "weird" ones from the south influenced by Iran,.

If we demonstrate now, though they will remember who we are. We love the Americans, but the Americans are impatient.

 They will be in Iraq for a year, maybe two but then they will begin to leave and we will be left to deal with the "weird" ones."

 Suddenly I got the picture!

 The "silent majority" of Iraqis are all the same. Talk to them as I have all over Iraq.

 "We are not religious - we do not want to become like Iraq! We just want to be normal, to live regular lives."

 Testimony to the "silent majority" is the explosion in Baghdad of all that is "normal"!

 internet Cafes, every sort of electronic equipment, cars etc etc.

 Imagine for the first time in your life being able to use a cellphone, surf the internet, watch non-Saddam TV, talk on the telephone without fear. - why would one not be delighted!

 We were in the middle of a meeting with the Coalition Forces when a British former anti-war activist turned NGO worker began a long diatribe against the liberation.

 "The eeltricity doesn't work, the water doesn�t work, the telephone don�t work . . . " on and on she want blaming the American for all that was wrong with Iraq even though they had only been in the country for days.

 After she finished there was a long silence. Suddenly one of the Iraqis stood up and said "Maam, with all due respect, all the thing you just said . . . none of them worked under Saddam either . . .

 As I looked over the crowd of wild eyed "weird" ones screaming out


Ken Joseph Jr.


Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is an Assyrian and has been in Iraq since March, directs and is writing a book about his experience in Iraq entitled `I Was Wrong!`

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