Baghdad, Iraq - I sat in the
Inauguration Ceremony room, first enduring a long
winded, completely unacceptable and out of place sermon
and long winded prayer by a moslem mullah who seemed to
be wearing tennis shoes.
Not much I could do in protest - but
thank God I can still cough! I coughed and coughed and
coughed as long as the sermon and prayer went on and at
least a sizeable number of the crowd I hope could not
I looked around the room - surely Mar
Gewargis would be there and Mar Addai and the others . .
.but it was not to be! Not one was there!
Shortly before I went up to Rabi Yako
and asked how things were! The regular `everything is
ok!` didnít seem to have the regular conviction.
Then I waited through the long winded
speeches of Mr. Brahimi and the President. Listening
clearly to be able to hear when they mentioned the
Assyrians - after all the indigenous people of Iraq -
the Original people of Iraq. They would have prime
mention in each speech. I waited and waited and waited .
. . the speeches were over!
Nobody had even mentioned the word
`Assyrian` - the had said `Kurds`, `others`, but not
even a mention of the word Assyrian!
Now, for what we had been waiting for!
There would of course be one among the
five officials, who would be an Assyrian. Deputy
President? Deputy Prime Minister? I wonder which one?
I waited and waited and waited . . .
They were finished and none!
There must be some mistake! Nothing!
Next they began to name the various
ministers. I cheered up! Well, then there must be a
couple ministries - three or four? Maybe the Minister of
Transportation again, Trade etc.
I waited and waited and waited and
waited and suddenly there she was! It was Pascale! She
was a Minister! And then it was all over.
Out of 32 Ministries just one! Well,
pretty bad, but it must be a good one then. `What is the
Ministry` I asked . . .
`Ministry of Emigration` . .
I stood still in my tracks?
After the long nightmare of Sadaam
doing all he could to have Assyrians emigrate, we would
not accept the `Ministry of Emigration` even if it was
offered to us, right?
`Oh my God` I said to myself . . it
It could not have been worse! Even no
Ministry would be better than that! The ultimate in
Then I began to speak to the Assyrians!
`Shame!` was all they could say!
`We have been betrayed` said another!
`It is over!` another commented
`The message to us? Leave and we will
I sat there in the hall in Baghdad on a
hot, dusty afternoon in what could only be termed a
nightmare. Not once in any speech did any say `thank
you` to the Americans for liberating their country,
getting rid of Sadaam and embarking on a reconstruction
program the likes of which have not been seen in a
Not one word of the Assyrians, the
original people o Iraq - not even a mention!
And the final humiliation - the
Ministry of Emigration!
Total and complete failure! There may
be excuses, explanations, but to every Assyrian living
in Iraq the message was clear - our leaders have totally
and completely failed. We are alone.
What will we do? Abandon them? Send a
little money to ease the conscience? There is just under
a month left to make a difference.
The nightmare is not next year, next
month, but now.
Total and complete failure!
Will the Assyrians all over the world
finally wake up? The enemy is not outside - the enemy is
within! Will this total and complete failure even under
the Americans finally cause them to open their eyes?
One of the Assyrian leaders said it
`the only hope is for the Americans. We cannot do
anything here, but they can in Washington`.
I just spent nearly one month in
Washington and met with nearly all the Senators on the
Armed Service Committee, the Foreign Relations
committee, Secretary Rumsfield, Armitage, and in Baghdad
with Mr. Brahimi, and each of the new Government
Ministers except for one.
To each carefully explaining the case
of the Assyrians. Is there hope? Yes there is! In spite
of the failure not one American or Iraqi government
official disagreed on the idea of an area for the
Assyrians - not one! The usual reaction?
`If the Kurds can have one why not the
Assyrians - why have you not said anything before?`
So the truth is out! Not only have our
leaders in Iraq failed us, but those in the US too! Now
what do we do? In this issue I have carefully noted the
fax numbers, addresses and other information for the key
people in the US Government.
FOR THE CONTACTS DIRECTORY
Please take a moment after your anger
has subsided and write a nice letter demanding an
Assyrian Regional Government in Iraq and fax it to them.
And then take a moment and pray that God will, in the
last remaining days before June 30th do a miracle!
`If my people, who are called by my name will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face than will I hear
from heaven and will give them the land` II Chronicles
It is up to us!