Commentary: We Got Him!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

December 14, 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 normality.

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

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