FACTS ABOUT BRAD L. MAASKE
- born in Colorado, life-long resident of Central California (Exeter, Visalia, Fresno area)
- husband of Brenda, dad of several
- licensed real estate broker and general contractor, property manager
- past member of local civic and governmental boards
- teacher/trainer for licensed and prospective real estate agents
- educated at College of the Sequoias
- athlete with special interests in fitness and skiing
- unlikely filmmaker
In 1979, the year Saddam Hussein bullied his way into the presidency of Iraq, Brad Maaske was half a world way in body and mind from the torment rising out of the palaces of Baghdad. Supervising a ski patrol by day and partying by night were the norm for Brad who, by his own admission, had a lot of growing up to do. Global issues rarely had a place in the thoughts of this bright young man. The extermination of human masses was something discussed in history classrooms, not over a bowl of the breakfast of champions.
But Brad wasn?t alone.
Under the lenses of hindsight nearly all of America now laments a self-absorbed perspective on the world and an apathy we paid dearly for in September of 2001. In the months that followed, Brad recalls, America was united in its resolve to confront terror anywhere it was being inflicted on human security and freedom. Today, after yanking a world tyrant and enemy of the United States from his rat hole, Americans are curiously divided over American foreign policy and, in particular, the war in Iraq.
Are you ready for the truth? Brad Maaske is asking if Americans today can stand to know what?s really going on. Estimates of the number of victims from Saddam Hussein?s campaigns of genocide now top 1.3 million. In one particular action against Kurdish Iraqis, 182,000 men, women and children were systematically murdered or imprisoned ? only to be unearthed now from their mass graves. Tortures, relentless beatings, rapes, decapitations, attacks by chemical air strikes on villages that now can no longer be found ? these are just some of the atrocities America has been slow to know about and acknowledge. And, when the incumbent administration took military action to end this reign of terror, voices of detractors screamed from the streets of protest, the halls of Congress, and the red carpets of Hollywood. Another film made the scene portraying rosy living in the hamlets of Iraq and a bumbling chief executive in Washington?s Oval Office.
Brad Maaske had had enough. The picture of true evil was being hidden from the eyes of America. It was time for a truth-telling counter-offensive. Brad dropped everything he was doing ? leaving his lucrative real estate interests for a season ? to tell the story of ?WMD ? The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein.? That he has no experience in the arts, particularly filmmaking, is distinctive of Brad?s story. The learning curve was steep, but Brad approached the project with the same passion he approaches living. This all-or-nothing conviction resulted in building a feature-length documentary film in a matter of weeks, instead of months or years.
?WMD ? The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein,? a film by Brad Maaske, is now available on DVD and will be shown throughout the Middle East in 2005.