Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who is Georges Sada and why should we care?

The New York Sun publishes an interview with Georges Sada, director of the Iraq operations of the Christian humanitarian organization, World Compassion. Mr. Sada previously was known as General Sada and was Air Vice Marshal in Saddam Hussein's military. Mr. Sada has written a book, just published by Integrity Publishers, Saddam's Secrets - How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein.

About his book, Sada says,
This book is not just a tell-all about Saddam Hussein. I hope that this book will help people to see what this man was really like. But more than anything I hope that people who read it will see that appeasing tyrants is always a bad idea. As we all know now, kissing up to Saddam Hussein was a recipe for disaster. And we're still paying the price for that today.
In the interview with the Sun, Mr. Sada says that he is convinced that Hussein moved his WMD's to Syria before we attacked Iraq. He says that those movements took place in two Iraqi Airways Boeings which were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, then flown 56 times to move the weapons. He says that ground transportation was also utilized to move WMD's to Syria (reported, among many other sources, here).

The Sun goes into little detail to tell us who Sada is, or, more importantly, who he was. You might like to know a little more about Mr. Sada in order to establish his bonafides in your own minds.
Georges Hormis Sada graduated from Iraq's Air Academy in 1959 and was trained by elite forces in Great Britain, Russia and the U.S. An ace fighter pilot who trained other pilots, he went on to become air vice marshal in Saddam Hussein's military.

Georges Sada was born into an Assyrian Christian family in northern Iraq and became a born-again believer in 1986. Georges had great favor with the former Iraqi dictator, as he is one of the few Iraqi men to ever publicly confront Saddam Hussein and live to tell about it. Georges believes a key reason why he served as one of Saddam's most trusted advisors was to persuade him against attacking the nation of Israel with chemical weapons, something Saddam attempted to do on two separate occasions.

Now retired, Georges is director of the Iraqi Institute for Peace and also serves as spokesman for the newly elected prime minister of Iraq. He is also the president of the National Presbyterian Church in Baghdad and chairman of the Assembly of Iraqi Evangelical Presbyterian Churches.

In recent years, Georges held the position of principal advisor to the former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi. Additionally, he acted as the lead consultant for the reconstruction of all three branches of the Iraqi defense system. In June of 2003, Georges received the prestigious International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation presented by the Bishop of Coventry, England.
And a little more here:
Sada, head of the International Centre for Reconciliation in Iraq, was retired from the Army in 1991. In the first gulf war he had responsibility for prisoners of war but disobeyed direct orders from Saddam's younger son Qusay, to execute Kuwaiti, British and American prisoners. He was thrown into prison later and is thankful to this day that his own life was not taken.
And here:
Sada also served as Minister of Defense under Allawi.
And here:
Thursday, 01 December 2005

General Georges Sada - The Power Of One

The Rev Fred Nile MLC, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, gave the following address in State Parliament (Australia);

Last Monday I met a remarkable man in Canberra in the main hall of Federal Parliament House, General Georges Sada, who is the National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Government. During the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein, General Sada was the Air Vice Marshall in charge of the Iraqi Air Force with particular responsibility for fighter aircraft. He was the guest speaker at the annual prayer breakfast held in the main hall of Federal Parliament House, which was attended by more than 600 guests. Many Federal parliamentarians took part in the prayer breakfast, including John Anderson, Peter Costello, Kevin Rudd, Harry Quick and Bruce Baird, as well as the Governor General.

General Sada told us some interesting stories. One story concerned orders he received, when he was the Air Vice Marshall, from Saddam Hussein to equip 96 supersonic fighters - I understand they were Russian aircraft - with chemical bombs which would be dropped on the main population centres of Israel.

He was given that order in front of a number of defence officials in the regime and he refused to carry it out. He persuaded Saddam Hussein that the Iraqis could not succeed in their mission because they would be "flying blind" while Israel had the "eyes". He meant that the Israelis had superior military equipment and could identify the aircraft before they reached their targets. However, some of the aircraft could have got through. Sada said that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Some of them were destroyed but a large number were shipped across the border into Syria, where they remain to this day.

Sada shared another story with us, of which I have had confirmation from a former American Air Force Colonel, David Eberly. In January 1991 Colonel Eberly and some other coalition pilots were shot down over Iraq and captured. They were made prisoners of war. Saddam Hussein gave the order that all the pilots were to be executed as they were classified as criminals of war. Because Sada was head of an air force department he was put in charge of the prisoners of war. He received the order that they were to be executed but disobeyed it.

As a consequence, Saddam Hussein threw him into prison, where he suffered greatly. The pilots whose lives were saved by Sada's stand have expressed their appreciation for his bravery. Sada was ordered to join Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party in 1986. He refused to do so and was thus forced to retire. The key fact in this man's life is that he is a Christian. I was amazed that a Christian could hold such a high position in the Iraqi regime. But his ability to fly aircraft and to organise the air force for Saddam Hussein made him invaluable.

Shortly after Sada was forced out of the air force, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and Sada was the first man he called back into service. He was restored to his former position and put in charge of the air force. Sada was obviously a loyal citizen of Iraq but because he would not execute the American prisoners he was thrown into prison.

Sada is a remarkable man. I understand that he will be visiting Parliament House tomorrow. I am not involved in Sada's visit - I have only just learned of it - but I urge honourable members to take the opportunity to meet this remarkable Christian, who showed amazing courage and faith by putting his life at risk to protect the American pilots. (Emphases mine) Sada got a lot of press coverage, mostly bad, when, acting as spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, he offered amnesty to "resistance fighters". He was widely quoted as saying, for instance, by
"If he (a guerrilla) was in opposition against the Americans, that will be justified because it was an occupation force. We will give them freedom."

864 Americans died - and 16,000 were wounded - and Bush wants AMNESTY for their attackers? Impeach Bush Now!
But what he was not so widely quoted was adding this:
Such people, Sada warned, would face the full force of the US-backed Iraqi security forces.

"He should expect to be killed. Those who continue fighting the government can expect anything ranging from prison to the death penalty," he said.
and this:
Some people were cheated, some were misled. Some did this because they had no salaries, no food, no bread.
His claims about the movement of Saddam's WMD's cannot be verified, unless and until, of course, the Assad government in Syria falls. But what about the story of his defying Saddam's order to put to death the American, Kuwaiti and other coalition downed pilots?

This from Air Force Colonel David Eberly, shot down near Al Quim, Iraq, 1/22/91 and liberated 3/5/91 (42 days in captivity):
At the time we first met, we were enemies. He was clearly the enemy," Eberly told me. "He was the other side of the blindfold, like anyone else who had put a gun to my head or spit on me or any other level of mistreatment.

"And yet in his mind, he personally viewed us differently. He viewed us as pilots who had protection under the Geneva Convention. He is a big man in the sense that he recognized what Iraq had signed up to, and it nearly cost him his life in trying to uphold that signature."
And what, exactly, happened to prompt these comments from Col. Eberly?
On Jan. 24, (2001) Qusai first ordered the POWs executed. When Sada balked, Qusai accused him of disobeying the orders of the president.

Sada tried to reason with Qusai, reminding him that even the prophet Muhammad once said that if prisoners of war learned 10 verses of the Koran, they could be set free. This only angered Qusai, who threatened to put the POWs in areas being bombed by American forces. Sada urged him not to use them as human shields. He kept turning to the Geneva Convention, which made Qusai angrier still.

"This was the end," Sada thought. "And I knew something was going to happen to me."

He was right. Qusai pitched him into a cell in the same prison as the POWs, and Sada wondered if his head would be separated from his body at last. But even locked up, Sada still had his contacts check on the POW pilots, making sure they were still alive.

After 12 days, Sada finally found a way to reach Qusai: He made the war personal.

"If you kill the pilots," Sada told him, "you will have new war between America and your family. They'll come and kill your father, your brother...." He ticked off Hussein family members.

"After that," Sada says, "he was changed. He thought twice."

Finally, Sada was released from prison. A few weeks later, the war ended and Eberly and the other POWs were released. Battered physically and mentally, they returned home in early March.
And Sada says this of Col. Eberly:
"He was very calm, very confident, very brave and very clever," Sada says of Eberly now, smiling over the "clever" part.
So, we have a better idea who Georges Sada is and who he was as well as what he did. This documentation should add some weight to his assertions that Iraq's WMD's were, in fact, moved to Syria. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

More comment and opinions on Georges Sada:

High Desert Wanderer - Wow, if this is true it will do strange things to politics around the world. It’s going to be interesting to see the fallout from this book.

Cold Fury - ... and probably also spells the eventual end of Bashar Assad.

Conservative Culture - It probably won’t silence the liberal talking heads but will lend credence to the earlier reports about what Saddam had available to him.

Atlas Shrugs - Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

Right Wing Nut House - And that is the overwhelmingly belief by the world’s best intelligence agencies that Saddam did indeed have stockpiles of WMD in the six months leading up to the war. The French, the British, the Germans, The Israeli’s, the United Nations (UNSCOM and IAEA), not to mention the CIA, DIA, and most politicians here in this country. That’s quite a number of people to be dead wrong about such a huge issue.

Ace of Spades - The WMDs may be in Syria. But I don't think one man's say-so proves that proposition.

Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit - But George Bush is president, so this story will probably receive a great big yawn, when it is mentioned at all.

Michelle Malkin - . . . the story of the day that the rest of the MSM won't be covering.

Sister Toldjah - Don’t forget that former UNSCOM inspector Bill Tierney speculated in an interview with Frontpage Magazine last November that they had been moved to Syria as well. And also keep in mind Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s visit to Syria back in January of 2002 where he told Syria - an ally of Iraq - that he believed President Bush had already made up his mind to invade Iraq.

MacsMind - As I told you here, a "little birdie" is sqawking - Loudly and speaking things about how a certain Senator "tipped off" Iraq through a meeting in Syria about what was to come. Mr. Rockefeller, you are in trouble.

Mein Blog Vault - Keep your ears open - we WILL get to the bottom of this, and a lot of leftists are going to end up having egg on their faces (per usual).

Right Voices - We know Saddam had them, and now we can’t even find the evidence that they existed? That is the part that troubles me.

Publius Rensezvous - Every Democratic talking point, and the thesis bolstering the opposition to Gulf War II could be slipping through the fingers of the liberals who have berated President Bush since the development of one of the most telegraphed operations in the history of war.

The Autonomist - If Sada's assertion's are verified, and in my opinion they eventually will be, the Democratic Party and the rest of the American far Left will be squashed like a bug, New York Times stock will be available for 1/4 cent per share and John Kerry will be reduced to having to work as a model in a Botox clinic.

SoCal Pundit - With all we know about the Syrian regime today, it is not hard to imagine them assisting Saddam in the concealment of his WMD.

Pardon My English - Note to liberals: this is your cue to begin bashing this Iraqi General, President Bush, myself for even writing on this, and completely avoid addressing the claims of this book.

Conservababes: Right from New Fallujah - I'll wait here for the media to pick up on this, research it, interview Sada and admit that maybe, just maybe, WMDs *do* exist after all.

Jay - If there is one thing that history teaches us, however, it’s that widely-assumed judgments like “Saddam did not have any WMDs” can easily be overturned by explosive new evidence - and while that evidence hasn’t yet materialized, it remains a possibility.

GOP Bloggers - I'm only skeptical because you'd think the CIA would do all it can to salvage its reputation and blow this story open, but, then again, it's the CIA.

what if? - May those who mocked the failure to find WMD in Iraq ultimately be the ones who must issue the mea culpas.

Irish Pennants - But most Democrats and journalists won't even consider the danger this could pose, because discovery of Iraqi WMD would validate President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq. They would rather be blind to a danger to the United States than concede an argument in domestic politics. This is both amazing and frightening.

Political Mind Field - has transcript of Sada's interview with Hannity and Colmes last night.

Junk Yard Blog - Some may say that Gen. Sada is acting as a Bush shill, but stop and think for a minute: Is it really in the Bush administration’s interest to have a causus belli to attack Syria pop up at the same moment that the situation with Iran is deteriorating? I don’t think so.

Liberty Just In Case - We'll see. Another guy trying to sell a book. Sorry, but I've got way too many to read right now as it is....

Myopic Zeal and Toad Pond

Right Wing Nation - Where is this story in the NYT?

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