Rated of 5
by Marie (Warner NH)
An Iraqi General's Dilemma
Wendell Steavenson reveals the book's main character, Kamel Sachet, through interviews she conducted with fellow military peers, associates, friends, and family members. Sadly, death has silenced Sachet; therefore, his voice is never heard.
Through these interviews, Sachet's personality, character, motivations, and actions are revealed. Not only is he revealed but the author also reveals aspects of Iraq, its struggles, and its people.
Steavenson's book is not necessarily filled with new facts of Iraq under Saddam, but one which reinforces accounts of the brutality and atrocities during Saddam's reign of terror. His brutal actions affected not only those on the receiving end but also those meting out the deadly punishments. It was most interesting to read the first hand accounts of what motivated Saddam's military to comply with his orders and their regret in their complicity. In the words of Dr. Laith, a senior Iraqi army physician, "I felt the lie, but I could not say anything or they would cut my neck." He further states, "I would do my best as an officer with my duties and then I would come home and speak against the regime. All Iraqis have two characters. It was the only way to survive." Though we never hear the words from Sachet's lips, he too was torn between conflicting loyalties--the soldier's duty to his country and Saddam and his duty to his family and to his moral sense.
For more, I recommend that you read the book.