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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Assyrians would Rather survive in a ghetto than be slaughtered in the streets of Baghdad

It's been roughly a year since I've posted anything, and unfortunately things are still desperate for the Assyrians.
The following article is from :

The Vatican and its representatives try to stop the historical opportunity our nation has in establishing the Nineveh plains administrative area for the protection of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq.
Ethnic cleansing is about to be completed in Iraq in front of the eyes of the west. This ruthless slaughter of Christian Assyrians is carried out without the government in Baghdad or the American troops attempting to stop it.

The Christian Assyrians have been the ones worst affected among all the ethnic groups in Iraq despite the relatively small size of the community. The inferno in Iraq has evolved into a systematic mass murder on the Christian Assyrians.

On June 8th 2007 a historical meeting was held between two of the world’s most powerful men; the President of the United States of America, George W Bush and the leader of the Vatican and the Catholic church, the Pope Benedict XVI.

Two questions discussed during their meeting were;
1) The situation of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq and,
2) The establishment of an administrative area for the Christian Assyrians in north western Iraq.

Autonomy for Assyrians in the Nineveh plains in north western Iraq

All Christian forces and organisations involved, whether Assyrian or from the west, have a genuine interest in the question of local self rule and are unanimous on the solution of the Assyrians problems in Iraq; to establish an administrative area for Assyrians in north western Iraq.

Assyrians do not wish for the Iraqi state to be divided. Assyrians are and will remain loyal citizens to the Iraqi government. The intended administrative area will function as a safe haven from the religious violence that ravage in today's Iraq.

The world leaders have an excellent opportunity to be remembered as the ones who prevented the attacks against an entire nation, those who prevented the butchering of the Christians in Iraq. The world leaders can also, through helping Assyrians on-the-spot, avoid a refugee wave off approximately one million to Europe and The USA.

The Vatican wants to stop the establishment of an administrative area for Christians

All aid organisations agree about the urgent need for an administrative area for Assyrians if the world wants to avoid a human disaster. It is the only reasonable solution to stop the present ethnic cleansing. This proposal has met a lot of unexpected opposition.

The Vatican, with the Pope Benedict XVI, has taken a treacherous position towards the proposal to establish an Assyrian administrative area and has thereby taken a position against the Assyrian nation's survival. The Vatican’s ” official” reason to this treacherous position is that Assyrians do not want to move from other parts of Iraq to the expected administrative area on the Nineveh plains. The Vatican asserts that the Assyrians feel like home in the places they currently live in.

Either the Vatican has not realised the fact that the Assyrians are being oppressed, assaulted, driven out, kidnapped and murdered on a daily basis or it has deliberately chosen to ignore this fact. The last six months the Vatican has carried out a very intense lobby activity both to divide Assyrians on the question of administrative rights and to persuade the western world not to support the proposal about establishing an administrative area.

Anonymous sources from the Swedish government office has informed ESNA that the Vatican’s embassy in Stockholm has worked lately to convince Swedish government officials in order to ensure that the Swedish government will not support the Assyrian administrative area. As a result of the intense Vatican lobby Sweden's government has rejected the establishment of the administrative area for the Christian Assyrians in north western Iraq.

The Vatican claims that it’s mostly exiled Assyrians who are using the persecution of the Assyrians in Iraq in order to advance their political agenda. The desperation and fear of the Vatican requires it to use very strong words to describe the administrative area, such as the expression that the Vatican does not want to have an “Assyrian ghetto” in Nineveh.

Analysis– Why is the Vatican fighting against Assyrians?

A couple of weeks ago the American congress announced a first time contribution of 10 million dollars ear marked for the Nineveh plains and the many Assyrian refugees who have escaped from ethnic cleansing in other parts of Iraq to the Nineveh plains area.

The background to this necessary contribution is the present refugee wave of Assyrians from other parts of Iraq to different Assyrian towns on the Nineveh plain. It is a very risky trip for the refugees to make in order to save themselves from the religious violence that has turned them into permissible prey.

It’s no surprise that the economical contribution comes from the USA, because the administrative area proposal is openly supported by the powerful Christian organisations, spearheaded by the Evangelists.

The difference between the Evangelists and the Vatican is that Evangelists do not seek to spread the gospel's message of love on the expense of ethnic groups. Evangelists follow the love message’s genuine meaning and have responded to the Assyrians request for help. They help in the way they can. On one hand, the Vatican carries a lobby activity against the proposal to establish an administrative area. The Evangelists, on the other hand, want to save the Assyrians from the ongoing inferno.

The statement of the Vatican that the only ones wanting to establish an administrative area are Assyrians in the Diaspora with a specific political agenda is nothing more than a disgusting attack on Assyrians. It is an insult to those Christian Assyrians who have been murdered just because the Pope and other westerners expressed their views on art, not thinking of the big suffering it meant for an entire nation in the Middle East.

The Vatican rejects and openly fights against the proposal of an administrative area, without presenting any reasons. They claim that Assyrians are content being settled in different places in Iraq and do not want to move to Nineveh to save their lives.

It is obvious that the Vatican’s decision is taken without any regards towards the future of the Assyrians in Iraq. The Vatican seeks to divide the unity that has begun between different churches in Iraq. The Vatican has earlier, through the Pope's well-known embarrassing statement about Islam in year 2006, put the Christian Assyrians in a very dangerous situation. Churches in the Middle East were set on fire and Christian Assyrians were murdered as a direct consequence of the Pope's clumsy statement.

In the light of the above mentioned and the Vatican’s obvious disloyalty to their Christian Assyrians, their friends in faith, the question arises of how the Vatican can regard itself as a lawful representative of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq?

Who has appointed the Vatican- who has demonstrated its disloyalty and is fighting against the Assyrian nation - to represent Assyrians?

The Vatican has only one aim with their dangerous and fatal policy; to increase their territory and to extend their specific interpretation of Christianity, irrespective of the consequences for an entire nations survival!

A few points are given below to explain the Vatican’s treacherous opposition to local self rule for Assyrians.

1) If Assyrians establish local self rule it would eventually mean Assyrians would identify themselves by their ethnic identity more so than their religious belonging. This would weaken the church's power grip on Assyrians. The fact that this treacherous position can exterminate the Assyrians does not seem, in anyway, to have an influence on the Vatican’s hunger for domination.

The aspiration of the Vatican is that Assyrians will not identify themselves by their ethnic identity because strong ethnic identities are seen as an obstacle against the Vatican’s aspirations to spread Christianity in the world.

2) The development of the nation state has meant loss of territory for the Vatican in the western world. This has caused a dwindling number of followers, something which creates a problem for the Vatican. In order to make up for lost souls the Vatican throws greedy looks on other parts of the world. The chaotic situation in Iraq makes Assyrians an easy prey. The Vatican seeks to convert Assyrian refugees from Orthodoxy to Catholicism. The Vatican utilizes certain Bishops for this mission, such as the Catholic Bishop Luis Sako in Kirkuk, an eager opponent to the administrative area project.

3) There are vast and unexploited oil deposits beneath the ground in the Nineveh plains. These natural recourses belong to the Assyrian nation. If the Assyrians were to extract these recourses the political power and the ethnic awareness would be strengthened among the Assyrians. This would automatically weaken the church's power over Assyrians.

4) There are also others who want to claim the oil deposits and prevent an Assyrian autonomy. The Kurds in northern Iraq are seeking - through treacherous Assyrians employed by them - to claim these oil deposits, along with the Vatican which seeks to prevent the establishment of an administrative area.

5) The Vatican claims that Assyrians in Iraq don’t want local self rule. According to the sources of the Vatican Assyrians don’t want to resettle. It should be understood that the Vatican has no idea of the difficult life the Christian Assyrians are having in Iraq. It is easy for the Vatican’s representation to be in Rome, with all the luxury and service, while they at the same time play with the fate and lives of humans in Iraq. This luxury has resulted in the disclosure of scandals, of all possible types, among the Vatican’s cardinals and priests in recent years.

As an entire nation is on the edge of extermination the Vatican ridicules itself, exposing the power-hunger and the longing for worldly things.

The Vatican’s foundation should be the Bible. The message in the Bible is intended for the vulnerable, the weak ones and the ones who are being oppressed and who suffer from injustice.

Where can one find the Bible’s message of justice and brother hood in the acts of the Vatican?

In what way is it unfair for the Assyrians to have – like all other groups - their own region where they can live with dignity and humanity?

The Vatican tries to make profit from the Assyrians who are stuck in the inferno of Iraq. For the Assyrians in Iraq, and the ones in exile, it is all about survival. For the Vatican, it is about extending its power. It seems there are no limits to what the Vatican can think of doing to expand its territory, even if it means an entire nation becomes obliterated.

ESNA urges all organizations involved to arrange demonstrations outside the Vatican’s embassy in their respective country because of the Vatican’s stand against the proposed Assyrian administrative are in the Nineveh plains in north western Iraq.

Assyrians prefer to live in an” Assyrian ghetto” in the Nineveh plains rather than being slaughtered in the streets of Baghdad.

May justice flow like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24

Stockholm, 2007-06-22

ESNA © EasternStar News Agency

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Friday, June 09, 2006

From:Assyrian International News Agency
Continuing Persecution Renews Calls for Assyrian Safe-Haven in Iraq
Posted GMT 6-9-2006 16:59:22
(AINA) -- Assyrian Christians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) continue to be targeted within Iraq. Recent attacks have highlighted the varied groups perpetrating the attacks. On March 17, 2006, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) paramilitaries broke into Mr. Slewo David Simon's home in Batnaya, a Christian town in Northern Iraq. Mr. Simon had recently emigrated to the US after a series of altercations and incidents with KDP militants. As the armed assailants broke into the home, Mr. Simon's neighbors Mr. Nabil Jaro and his brother Mr. Faris Jaro interceded to prevent the break-in and looting.
Later that afternoon at 5 pm, KDP personnel dressed as Iraqi National Guards forcibly entered Mr. Nabil Jaro's home. The KDP paramilitaries ransacked Mr. Jaro's home, broke his furniture, and confiscated his gun. Mr. Jaro was then roughed up and arrested as his terrorized family looked on. Mr. Jaro was then taken to the KDP occupation center in Tel-Kaif in the Nineveh Plain on trumped up charges of terrorism. KDP officers then served Mr. Faris Jaro with an arrest warrant and indicated that his brother, Mr. Nabil Jaro, would not be released until he turned himself in as well. The next day, Mr. Faris Jaro turned himself in, accompanied by his terrified elderly mother and another brother. Two KDP officers along with two other KDP personnel proceeded to severely beat both brothers for several hours while shouting derogatory anti-Christian and anti-Assyrian insults.
Fearing that her sons may be killed, the mother pleaded with her sons to apologize to their attackers in order to be released. Following an apology under duress, the brothers were released. Their neighbor's home has since been expropriated as the new KDP party office in Batnaya in the Nineveh Plain. The establishment of a KDP party office in an area without any Kurds is widely believed to be intended to "bring Christians in line" and dampen enthusiasm for any independent political expression.
Assyrians in other parts of Iraq have not fared much better due to a steadily deteriorating security situation (AINA 4-28-2006).
According to Voices of Iraq, the director of operations for the Nineveh governorate police stated during his briefing on June 5th, 2006, that another Assyrian has been murdered by armed gunmen in the city of Mosul. According to nearby shop owners, the director said, the unidentified gunmen entered Ms. Rahima Elias' shop, one of many in the commercial part of town, and opened fire immediately killing her. Mr. Elias owned a beauty supplies store in the Drakzliya District located west of the city of Mosul. The 33 year old was a native of Karimles, a ChaldoAssyrian town approximately 18 miles east of Mosul.
On April 6, Mr. Samson Awisha was walking home in Baghdad when five men came out of a car and shot him dead. Earlier, presumably the same group of assailants had kidnapped Mr. Awisha's two children for ransom. After paying the ransom, Mr. Oisha's children were released and then quietly sent out of Iraq to Syria along with their mother for safety. The kidnappers had demanded that Mr. Awisha not take his children out of the country. After the murder, Mr. Awisha's family was threatened not to hold a funeral service lest the entire family be targeted. Mr. Awisha was laid to rest secretly and quietly, without a funeral.
On May 30th, 2006, and reported that Ra'ad Joseph, born in 1976, was found murdered in the Industrial quarters of Mosul. Mr. Joseph was from Bartella in Northern Iraq. Mr. Joseph was married with one child and was an owner of a bodybuilding gym. Reports from Mosul indicate that the murder is suspected to be an act of revenge as the decision of ownership of the gym was awarded him after public bidding for the gym. He was threatened by the Kurds to withdraw his bid but he refused.
on June 2nd, 2006, and also reported that The Evangelical Church of Ascension was attacked by a rocket bomb the night before. The bomb caused damage to the church building and caused a gaping hole in the church dome. No injuries were reported because the attack happened during the night.
On June 3, 2006, and reported that armed men murdered a Christian engineer in front of his home in Basra the previous night. The Christian engineer, whose name has not yet been released, worked at the al-Najeebiyya Electrical Circuit Station in al-Ma'aqal. The murder seems to be due to religious reasons since the engineer was a Christian and there have been many killings against Christians in Basra and much effort made to force them to leave the city.
Assyrians are now in an untenable position, being targeted by many sides of an increasingly violent conflict in Iraq. Assyrians are targeted in northern Iraq as well as other areas. As one activist noted, "Christians are now targets of Islamic groups, gangs who accuse them (Assyrians) of links to the West, and the Ba'athists and nationalists who view them as traitors."
In their October 2005 report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted what Assyrians had already known, namely, "While much of the hardship and harassment they (Assyrians) report that they face is symptomatic of the situation of general insecurity faced by all Iraqis in present-day Iraq, members of the Christian minority nevertheless appear to be particularly targeted. Iraqi Christians feel especially apprehensive about the overwhelming presence of extremist Islamic groups and armed militias, whose display of intolerance towards non-Muslims has become a nearly daily feature in Iraq."
Another report by Refugees International (RI) dated November 5th, 2005 noted that over 500,000 Iraqi refugees had left Iraq by November 2005. According to RI, the UNHCR is unable to register all refugees, but that of the Iraqi refugees registered in Syria "Nearly half... are Christians, although Christians comprise only about 5% of the population in Iraq."
In an earlier statement, the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission labeled Assyrians "endangered," stating "As people, groups, and whole communities start to identify by religious affiliations other than their common Iraqi nationality, the Christian minority find themselves increasingly despised, marginalized, and exposed. They are endangered, without equality before the (Islamic) law, having no clan networks and retaliation ideology, and lacking security in a lawless Islamic society." (AINA 2-7-2006)
While Assyrians recognize the general insecurity afflicting most Iraqis in and around Baghdad, the continued harassment and attacks in their homes in the north have been doubly taxing. Although some Assyrian families have fled from Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra back to their ancestral villages in the north, most -- as the UNHCR reports have documented -- have instead chosen to leave Iraq entirely. What had been designated a destination point for internally displaced Assyrians has instead been hijacked by KDP militants.
The example of the Jaro brothers illustrates difficulties faced by Assyrians living under a brutal tribal KDP occupation. As one analyst noted, "The confiscation of the Jaro home shows a double tragedy for the community. On the one hand, yet another family has forcibly and violently lost their home to KDP thugs with no recourse to the authorities. On another level, the entire community of Batnaya is now subjected to an armed KDP occupation."
The continued KDP hegemony into still more historically Assyrian areas has further increased tension between Assyrians and the tribal Behdanani Kurds of the KDP. According to the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) and the Iraqi Constitution, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administration and occupation would only extend to areas occupied by Kurds prior to the war. The steady encroachment of KDP paramilitary militants beyond the KRG occupied areas is viewed as illegal and provocative. One Assyrian leader recently asked, "There are no Kurds here; why do they need an armed presence to terrorize our people here?"
With the growing conflict following the Samarra mosque bombing on February 22nd, the already disproportionate impact on Assyrians has only intensified. The increasing insecurity and subsequent exodus of Assyrians has reinvigorated calls for an Assyrian Administered area. As one analyst summarized, "Only an Assyrian Administered Area, a safe zone in the Nineveh Plain that is secured by Assyrian police, will ensure the confidence of the populace to stay."
© 2006, Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Disturbing news from 'Kurdistan' Iraq

Dohuk, North Iraq (AINA) -- A kurdish mob attacked a group of Assyrian school children as they left the Arart primary school. The children were attacked at 10:20 A.M. as they left the school after finishing their final examinations. Mr. John Shlemon Youkhanis was stabbed in the head and was taken to the hospital. The police did not stop the attack and did not make any arrests. The children were threatened, called cowards, and told to leave the city.
© 2006, Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Monday, May 15, 2006


The US, Israel, & Palestine...

A friend sent me the following link. The film plays for about 1 hour 20 minutes and is deeply disturbing in a number of ways. It is also hopeful, as am I.

Monday, December 05, 2005


It's been nearly a year since I've posted...

I've become more informed (and frustrated) on Assyrian issues, I've become more worried about American politics and culture, and I've made a couple new friends:
Hi Shushan!
Hey Jake!

I'm posting this to say that I'm still here. I usually begin my more in-depth searches of issues here, at, so if anyone wants to leave me a message, I should get it before T O O long.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
Currently The Only Bob Griffin in NoHo

Sunday, December 19, 2004


The biblical bases of American Liberalism:1) How long a workweek can an employer demand

Premise: The employer pays the employee for his or her services. This relationship is often spelled out in a contract.
Extrapolation:If the employee agrees to work every day of the week, what's wrong with holding him/her to that agreement?

Biblical response (Revised Standard Version): Exodus 20:8-9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath [rest--my translation] to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates

It looks like this also applies to braceros and migrant workers.

Be Well,

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