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ISSUE 121 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 11/2/2007

Sada touts U.S. policy

By Bryan Beaudoin
Contributing Writer


Friday, November 2, 2007

Gen. Georges Sada, a man who served as one of the highest generals to Saddam Hussein and saved 40 coalition prisoners of war from execution during the Gulf War, took the Boe Chapel podium to loud applause. "It is an honor for me to be here with you, I hope we will have a good time," he said in his Tuesday evening speech.

Sada, a Christian member of Hussein's cabinet, rose through the ranks to become the general of the Iraqi air force.

He is also credited for helping persuade Saddam Hussein not to use chemical weapons against the state of Israel as well as convincing Saddam's son Qusai against executing 40 captured coalition pilots.

Sada now serves as an advisor for the reconstruction of the Iraqi military and chairs the organizations fighting for peace in Middle East region.

As a known Christian in an oppressive Islamic regime, he attributes his survival to Hussein's trust in Christians.

According to Sada, Hussein felt he could trust Christians because they were never a threat. "Saddam had many palaces, all filled with Christians," Sada said. "They would never poison him; they are peaceful, loyal and hardworking."

General Sada stated his deep belief that it was Jesus Christ who prevented Hussein from killing him when Sada chose to express dissent. "All the words and courage was given to me by Jesus," Sada said.

He recounted a time when, by miracle, he had left a room seconds before the room collapsed from a bombing.

Sada conveyed a deep sense of pride in his native country of Iraq and its Christian heritage. He described the Iraq's history from the beginning of civilization, to Abraham and Jonah, to Saint Paul's conversion of the Assyrians, all the way up to the fall of Hussein.

Sada discussed his personal experience of Hussein's personality and brutality and the fear that came with working under such a ruler.

"Many people gave good advice and lost heir lives," he said of Hussein's advisors. "You may lose your life in a second. You would ask why, and he would not tell you. He just didn't like what you said."

In his speech he also portrayed Hussein as a reckless and myopic international figure who would invent ideas about placing nuclear bombs in Washington, D.C. or sending 98 fighter jets to Israel.

Sada also stated his firm belief that Hussein had in fact harbored nuclear weapons. "Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I have seen them with my own eyes," he said.

Sada contended that the weapons were smuggled out of Iraq to Iran under the ruse of a humanitarian project.

Sada adamantly stated his belief that the war with Iraq was justified. He said, "The world, the region and Iraq are safer without SaddamÂ… it was the right step at the right time."

Sada also touched on other contemporary issues in the Middle East such as Iran's threat to become a nuclear state. "It is the duty of all the world to tell Iranians not to do that. It is not only the task of Americans," he said.

Sada feels that in the future the American efforts in Iraq will pay off. "I am optimistic that Iraq is going to be good because people are starting to realize they should not cooperate with terrorists."

Though Sada expressed some hotly debated views in his speech, St. Olaf students stated their appreciation of his visit and his speech.

"I really liked it," Lauren Hankins '10 said of General Sada's speech. "It was interesting to hear, as it came from a very different perspective than what we hear in the news."





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