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Iraq's Draft Constitution and the ChaldoAssyrians
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WASHINGTON -- In an unprecedented move, the U.S. administration is attempting to whitewash the division of Iraq's Christian ChaldoAssyrians along sectarian lines in the recently tabled Iraqi constitution. This effort, driven by Kurdish authorities, facilitated in part by the complacence of the Bush administration, only makes the U.S. guilty of aiding and abetting in the perpetuation of a Saddam era program of cultural genocide against this ethno-religious, indigenous group.

Saddam Hussein and previous Iraqi regimes worked to nurture artificial rifts in the indigenous ChaldoAssyrian people of Iraq in order to dilute their ability to assert their religious, political, economic and human rights in the country. The name ChaldoAssyrian is in the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) and reflects a compromise among the representative leadership of this Christian community. In the few remaining hours before the constitutional deadline, behind closed doors, Kurdish officials altered the wording in Article 122 of the constitution from ChaldoAssyrian to "Chaldean, Assyrian" as two separate peoples. This undermines the best intentions of the U.S. in Iraq vis-

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