Commentary: Saddam's Human Rights?
UPI / Washington Times

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - It was with incredulity and then anger that I happened to see the news of Saddam Hussein`s lawyer preparing to sue the US Government over the violation of Saddam Hussein's human rights over pictures of his imprisonment.

Frankly, it takes a lot of nerve!

I am an Assyrian Christian. The Assyrians are the original people of Iraq. I was in Iraq during the time of Saddam Hussein. In all the confusion that has developed since that time it seems that people have forgotten how bad it was.

I will give you a couple simple examples just from my family.

My cousin was working for the Iraqi government. As a Christian she refused to sleep with her supervisor. She was imprisoned for seven years.

Another relative served three years in Abu Ghraib for simply using our language - the real Abu Ghraib. Beatings were two times a day - after lunch and after dinner and hangings were every Wednesday and Thursday.  His body is covered to this day with scars literally everywhere.

Two of my cousins are permanently disabled as were many in Iraq at that time. They are so mentally affected that they just sit and cry out all day.  For many it was the only way to handle Saddams hell - to lose ones mind.

Visiting other relatives and finding almost always the telltale black and white pictures on the wall of family members killed in one of Saddams as they called it `stupid wars` - nearly a million, wonderful young men lost their lives.

A telephone call, an unexpected visitor - anything out of the unusual the whole family stiffened in fear.

The constant, palpable and never ending terror of in some even minor way falling afoul of Saddam dominated everyone's lives and with good reason.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a terror state - a constant, never ending state of terror for the people who never knew when they would be dragged out of bed or from work or school or anywhere else and hauled away never to return.

As one of my relatives put it `We all should collectively be in a mental hospital so great is the psychological damage to us all because of that crazy Saddam . . `

The story told among our families was that every day after work Saddam would meet with his two sons and they would call up the Prison and ask for an interesting prisoner who they would have brought over and the entertainment for the day was to torture this prisoner together.

As followed the fall of communism there is the tendency to look back on the `good old days`, because we all tend to forget and citizen the current situation, but ask any Iraqi.

One day during the daily meeting we had with the administrators in Baghdad a British Woman who had previously been a anti-war activist started to rant on and on about the terrible things the United States was doing to Iraq.

`The electricity doesn�ft work, the water doesn�ft work, the transportation system doesn�ft work . . ` and on and on she went.

We all listened quietly to her.

After she finished there was a pause and one of the Iraqis stood up `Madam` he said `With all due respect all of the things you have mentioned . . . none of them worked under Saddam either.`

Saddam Hussein? You have a lot of nerve to demand rights that for 35 years you denied your own people! The nerve of you through your lawyer to demand protection because someone saw you in your underwear!

What I saw when I saw you in your underwear was a body that was not scarred and broken from the beatings and torture that you inflicted on everyone else you could.

You have a lot of nerve to complain about your `human rights` after abusing the human rights of 23 Million people for 35 years and killing over a million of them, many at the fancy of you  and your even more evil sons.

Frankly, I along with most Iraqis do not understand why you are even alive! How dare you demand anything! You are lucky it was the Americans who entered Baghdad . . . anybody else and you would have been dead the moment you had been found.

It is too bad that the Americans have to honor freedom, democracy and the rule of law . . . you for one do not deserve it! Shut up and get back to your garden!


Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. brought the first relief truck across the border following the war and is writing a book about his experiences in Iraq entitled `I Was Wrong`.

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