A young Iraqi woman is receiving death threats. Her family, inside Iraq, is on the run. Iraqi officialdom is apocalyptic. Why? Because Sarah Idan, the 2016 Miss Iraq winner, took a photo (a selfie) with Miss Israel.
Idan was in Las Vegas recently, representing Iraq in the Miss Universe Pageant for the first time anyone has done that in nearly 50 years. At Idan’s suggestion, she and Adar Gandelsman (Miss Israel), took a selfie and posted it on social media with the caption “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
Beyond the photo with Miss Israel was one of Miss Iraq in a bikini. Of course, this was an invitation to the wacko’s, extremists, Jihadists and the like to jump all over this young lady. Unfortunately, that can be expected from that assortment of ideologues. But here’s what is so discomforting. The Miss Iraq organization itself, under pressure from Iraqi government officials, asked her to remove the photo from social media and apologize. Idan refused (though all the bikini shots have been wiped clean).
An open letter to the United States:
Is this what we fought for in Iraq? Tens of thousands of American lives were lost or badly injured over the last decade in Iraq. Billions from the U.S. Treasury spent on this inane war in Iraq. ISIS comes. Wreaks havoc. Now they’re gone from Iraq apparently, which is good.
And what is left – an American sponsored and supported government that is going to allow an Iraqi family to be chased out of Iraq because of a photo taken by their daughter in the United States with a young lady from Israel.
We’ve had successive ragtag—stooge governments in Iraq that at their core are anti- American, pro-Iran, anti-Christian, anti-Israel, reactionary, corrupt and anti-democratic. This Miss Iraq story is but one small example of the result of a failed Iraq policy going on two decades.
It is time for the American people to hold our officials responsible for dastardly decision making, especially in matter of war and peace. The Iraq war was not meant to be. It should not have occurred. But it did and it set in motion a series of events that have caused death and destruction, war and famine, dislocation and disease.
We must learn from our mistake but also, do what we can as a country to make things better.
Sarah Idan competed in the Miss Universe competition last month. She wore a one piece for the bathing suit competition. She didn’t place in the top ten. Her family remains in hiding. Like so many of our Christian brothers and sisters, they are no longer welcome in Iraq.
Michael G. Sarafa
Disgruntled Iraqi Chaldean American
Soon to be just a Chaldean American