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Assyrians Better Off in a 'Ghetto' Than Being Slaughtered in Baghdad
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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

EasternStar News Agency

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