Letter From a Chaldean

Monday, March 31, 2003
Posted in category Uncategorized

One of my best friends on the planet is Joey, a Chaldean. We’ve been friends for nearly twenty years, and having worked for him and his family for ten years, I got to know quite a bit about Detroit’s Chaldean-Iraqi community. The Chaldean community is almost entirely anti-Saddam, and most of them are as warmongering as anything on FreeRepublic.com. They are, by nature, straight-line Republican, culturally conservative, pro-Bush, and pro-war, even if launched upon their own homeland. They love America, and they think whatever America does is right – no questions asked. Joey, however, defies his family and the community, enough so that if he is not to be considered hardcore antiwar, he is at least highly skeptical of the war and its motives.

In years past, as the Chaldean community was growing here, Saddam infiltrated the community, shoving money into the building of Chaldean community centers and churches. The motive? To buy influence, friends, and to stave off ill will toward his regime. Joey’s father – my former boss – became an enemy of Saddam’s merely by asserting himself in oppositon to Saddam’s funding of a Detroit area community center back in the 1980s. Even those who took Saddam’s money hated him. This article on Yahoo! News tells very little about this story, except that Saddam received a key to Detroit. It sparked Joe to write what I thought was an interesting, passionate, and frustrated letter to me the other day, one I’d like to share:

You know my father and a few others were against these “gifts” during the development of the Southfield Manor and the Chaldean Churches in the 80s. Those were just a fraction of the attempts (and successes) that Saddam used to “infiltrate” the community. We will never know the true extent.

During these last few weeks, as you can imagine, I have been witness to a “different perspective.” I believe this guy is a menace, no doubt. Do I believe we were right to send our troops in to “extract” him and his regime? No.

Now I have taken an enormous amount of flack for this because my cousins believe we in America have “no idea” what his regime is like. They all told me the horror stories, designed to shock and convince any ordinary individual into believing Americans should fight to liberate Iraqis. They feel the Iraqis will be better off dead than living under the strong arm of someone who kills and tortures the people of Iraq on a regular basis.

What they are not realizing is one simple fact: No matter what justifiable intentions we have to liberate the Iraqis from this tyrannt (aka: 9/11), in order to do so, we will have to change the belief of an entire Muslim population that total domination of the world is not a realistic goal. Thus, the war will be waged in the “religion battlefield” after the
bombs and killing of countless Iraqis have stopped. That will be the beginning of the war that the U.S., with all its might, will not be able win.

Our troops are there to help free the people of Iraq. They will inevitably be better off without the current Regime. No one can question our troops resolve to do just that. God bless them. I support them. I fear our government, though. Now, when I mention that to my cousins, however, they attack me ruthlessly. I’m not saying I do not support the military. I do not say that I am pro-Saddam, but they twist me into this liberal fanatic that goes around protesting against war. They attack me for even questioning my
government for sending troops into war with Iraq. They say, “you don’t know what it is like!” Saddam would kill you, your family, and even your friends if you uttered those words in Iraq.” Don’t you see, Joey, how lucky you are to be able to “trust” your government?”

Of course, they are overcome with elation over the prospect of the Saddam regime – that once terrorized them – finally falling. They love this country too much to second guess it.

We all like the fact we will only pay $2 a gallon for gas. But we are also talking about “rebuilding.” Rebuilding a country with fanaticism as its mantra. This will take more than invasions and ousting of leaders. I’m not convinced this war effort will make the Iraqis change to a free society. The region has always had a history of deep-rooted hatred of western society and of Jews. By the way, we haven’t heard about Israel getting bombed with chemicals or nukes yet. The Almighty God can only predict what will happen then.

Hate to admit it, but it seems the sneaky little weasel, Saddam, has something up his sleeve. His deep pockets have reached to many hot spots, including the U.S. We know that. It has and will continue to affect my father, his business, our family. As well as it has overtly given riches to those admirers of Saddam that will do his bidding. They will not be heard supporting him. They have no intention of becoming suspect. Instead, they will (and have) use the money being sprayed about to attack us in ways that even you would believe are just in my imagination. It’s not at all in my imagination. I have been living it. This is fact.

Perhaps the worst is yet to be played out. Money and power rooted so deeply and secretively into the Chaldean community will be impossible to trace and identify. It is where we should have begun this war. Not in Baghdad, where even the Iraqis in America won’t return until after the regime is dead. No money in the world will convince my cousins or any other to go back to a place where they are despised. The Muslims must go first, and that will never happen.

Sincerely Resolved,
Joey

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