2003 - `We Got Him`! With those words the greatest
barrier to the the future of Iraq was lifted! It is very
difficult for most people to understand the deep,
psychological scar the people of Iraq have born collectively
as a result of the rule of Saddam Hussein.
Many, many times I have heard the reaction
`We freed them - why dont they rise up and take advantage of
the opportunity`. The reason was Saddam.
After 35 years of terror in an almost
collective case of PTSD - Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome -
a nation was so paralyzed with fear that even after the war
had ended people still believe he would be back.
The primary reason for seeming lack of
cooperation and `rising up` as people expected was this
deep, ingrained fear of Sadaam.
If they `told`, then someone would get
them. Even though circumstances clearly said otherwise
people in general in Iraq could not psychologically come to
grips with Sadaam being gone as he had been such a huge part
of their lives.
One could not literally pass a minute in
pre-war Iraq without seeing the face! We used to joke there
were four faces of Sadaam everywhere - his black and white
official picture taken 20 years ago in every public place,
the picture of him shooting his gun, the picture of him in
his Arab Headdress and then Sadaam on the money!
He was everywhere, all seeing - if you were
there long he would appear in your dreams! Every building,
every office, a every corner was his face!
Most people had been born and raised in the
nightmare and could not imagine, months after he was gone
that in fact he was.
The capture of Sadaam will have its greatest
effect in liberating the Iraqi people psychologically from
their collective trauma of fear. Now, for the first time in
most peoples memory they will be able slowly to return to
Over the next days there will be a radical
change in the `turning in` of those causing much of the
terror and a slow but sure strengthening of the Iraqi Psyche
and self confidence.
The greatest need now in in Iraq? A stable
and `normal` government. Now that the people for the first
time in memory have a chance to be `normal` the United
States and its allies must `stay the course`and ensure that
the dancing in the streets will truly be the beginning of a
new day for Iraq an in fact for the region.
A secular, `normal` constitution, fair and
free elections with special provisions for the persecuted
minorities, a sitting legislature, local autonomy - these
are the minimum requirements that must be in place before
any power is handed over to local administration.
But the biggest effect in fact is not for
the Iraqis but for the `thug` rulers all over the world. For
all its mistakes in postwar Iraq the United States has stood
up for a cause supported by all the Iraqi people who did not
work for Saddam and for all the peoples first of the middle
east and throughout he world who suffer daily in a fate far
worse under their own `sadaam`.
The capture of Sadaam by the Americans has
put the `thug rulers` on notice that their days are numbered
and given hope and joy to those living under their similarly
despotic rule that their day too will come.
The true winners of the capture of Sadaam is
not only the people of Iraq who are `free at last` but those
living under oppression that their day will truly come.
`Staying the course` in Iraq will ensure
that the remaining `dominoes` of oppression through the
middle east and in fact the world will fall too and all men,
created by God will live in the freedom they so deserve.
May their day come too!
Ken Joseph Jr, is an
Assyrian who are the indigenous people of Iraq, was in Iraq
before the war under Sadaam and is currently writing a book
on his experiences there entitled `I Was Wrong` and directs