Saddam Hussein's top military adviser, who is a devout Christian, has written a book in which he tells about the former Iraqi dictator's plans to destroy Israel, hide weapons of mass destruction and overtake the Arab world.
In Saddam's Secrets, set for release on Jan. 24, Georges Hormis Sada, a former air vice marshal in Saddam's air force, gives a firsthand account of his interaction with and service to the ousted leader and how his faith was a vital part of it all.
"This book is not just a tell-all about Saddam Hussein," said Sada, 65, the former president of the Assembly of Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Iraq. "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."
Sada, who serves as the current personal adviser to Iraq Prime Minister Ayad Allawia and an adviser to the new Iraqi army, paid a price for serving under Saddam. He was promoted to the rank of general in 1980, but was involuntarily retired in 1986 because he refused to join the Baath party, a radical Arab political party.
Sada was recalled to active service on Aug. 2, 1990, just hours after Hussein invaded Kuwait. He was put in charge of prisoners of war, but on Feb. 5, 1991, Sada was discharged and imprisoned because he refused to obey Hussein's order to execute allied forces pilots who were shot down and captured in Iraq.
"I really expected bad things to happen to me when I was put in prison, but thank God, Saddam finally realized that what I did with the POWs was the right thing," Sada recalled. "So instead of being killed, I was retired once again. When the war ended and the prisoners were free to return to their homes, alive and safe, that's when I really understood why God had allowed me to be recalled into the service. It was so that I could be given the task of keeping the pilots alive."
Retired Col. David Eberly, the United States' highest-ranking Gulf War POW, was one of the coalition pilots shot down and captured. Eberly, who retired from the Air Force in 1997, was held for 43 days in the Iraqi desert. "I was only in the lion's den for those days," said Eberly, who wrote about his ordeal in the book Faith Beyond Belief. "Georges lived there his entire life, and he was protected. The Lord knew Georges was on a mission. Georges has told me that he was there to save our lives."
Eberly described Sada as a humble Christian. "He wears a large cross of nails around his neck on the outside of his coat most of the time," Eberly said. "Georges is behind the cross. His life is that way. Saddam respected him for that." Terry Law, president and founder of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries, a Tulsa, Okla.-based evangelistic and humanitarian aid organization, has traveled to Iraq seven times since 2003 with Sada's help.
"Georges was Daniel in King Nebuchadnezzar's court in my mind," Law told Charisma. "That was real because Saddam wanted to rebuild Babylon, ancient Iraq. Georges is a Christian witness. He has contact with all of the leaders of Iraq. He is highly respected. He is one Christian that they all listen to."
Law considers Sada a close Christian friend. "He is living for God in the middle of the worst situation in the world," he said. "The fact that he's alive is one of the most amazing testimonies. Georges is the only Christian in the world who knew Saddam and can tell the stories."
Sada, who is a member of Iraq's National Presbyterian Church, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), noted that "no one should ever underestimate the cunning and resourcefulness" of Saddam, whose trial began in October.
"Saddam needs to be held accountable for his actions," Sada said. "He murdered countless thousands of our men, women and children over many, many years, so the punishment must be severe. The biggest mistake would be to assume that Saddam is no longer a threat to Iraq or to the world. No one is safe as long as he's still around, so the judgment of the courts must be swift and certain."
Also releasing this month is John Hagee's book Jerusalem Countdown, which discusses the threat of a war against Israel and the impact it would have on the U.S.