Posted by Jeff from d53-152-230.try.wideopenwest.com (22.214.171.124) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 at 8:03PM :
Illuminating Peter BetBasoo
Posted By: Qasrani <Qasrani2003@yahoo.com> (free-ppp046.MODEMS.CWRU.Edu)
Date: Sunday, 30 March 2003, at 12:48 p.m.
I am a human being, first and foremost. If I see human life manipulated and treated as though it is expendable, I react. Therefore, anyone advocating the killing of innocents for the sake of regime change in Iraq, I will not support. Innocents for me include soldiers. American soldiers are from the poorest section of American society; most of them would not be there if they actually had other options. Iraqi soldiers are conscripted and donít have any option without the right connections. The only parties to this pathetic show is the governments of all the countries involved. If ever the world could see clearly it is today. None of the governments on this earth are representative of their people. None. The people are speaking and the governments are going forward like an entity all on its own. Total disconnect.
You are welcomed to take advantage of opportunity, just donít guise it under disingenuous precepts. You are welcomed to your opinion, but if you want me to retain any respect for you, donít shroud your personal agenda with that of the US. They donít coincide and you are in no position to call anyone a traitor of the US, because by your understanding of things, if ever the interest of the US went against Assyrian interests, you would be the first to defect.
Why be perplexed by my take on things, Peter? If I put human welfare (regardless of ethnicity/religion) as my priority, everything falls into place. Please donít go down the road of ďif you really care about human welfare, then you would support the liberation of the Iraqis from the hold of this regime.Ē If a friend had everything going for him and all of a sudden an accident left them a paraplegic and he begged you to kill him, would you? Thatís how I saw Ken Josephís take on things. I couldnít believe that he, as a Christian minister, could put that all aside and take the gun and shoot his friend. Thatís how I saw it. What an inauthentic Christian (if I have ever read one).
Yes, Iím Tyaretha. Thanks for sharing that with all the world. What are you implying by that? Are Tyaraye more loyal to the Assyrian nation? Have I gone astray from the flock (I mean, lemmings)?
To understand where I am coming from you need to understand that I answer to my conscience first. Jeff, Tony, Naronda, Assyrian Volcano and I all differ in the question of what moves us. But the one thing that I can appreciate about being in the company of those guys is that their opinions are in line with their conscience. I respect that more than anything else. They donít get short-sighted by their interests as Assyrians although I think we all want the utmost prosperity and longevity for our people.
Do not fall prey to that short-sightedness. Look as far into the future as possible and strategize what the different outcomes will be along with their probability of occurrence. Weigh them against their costs. If it all comes out exactly as you see it now, then we can discuss and negotiate.
I do have a loyalty to Iraq. That country has done much for Assyrians. It could have done more (for ALL its population) if external forces stayed the hell out of the mix and let Iraq with all its riches prosper. Iraq has got potential for everything. Tourism, agriculture, natural resources, large population that was highly educated. An old Arabic adage goes ďEgypt writes, Lebanon prints and Iraq reads.Ē Assyrians benefited from that immensely. With all due respect to our people who grew up in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Lebanon, none of them had the opportunities at their disposal that the Assyrians in Iraq had. And we seized it. My parents were educated in Iraq and quite frankly they got first-class educations. I am thankful for that. They mingled within Iraqi culture and built on their experiences of working with a wide range of people. Some of my dadís closest buddies in college and the army were Shiía. And heís got stories. Do you understand that at the end, when all is said and done, each person is human first. And whatever your loyalties may be as far as faith and ethnicity, one on one interaction has greater influence than anything else as far as fostering tolerance and understanding. Iraq educated your parents too, Peter. In fact, if it werenít for the glimmer of prosperity that all Assyrians experienced, they would have never aspired to pursue greater lives abroad. My family never wanted to leave Iraq. We are rooted in that country and it wasnít due to discrimination that my family left Iraq. The war made life unbearable. But life was unbearable for all Iraqis and became more so over time.
On Simmele. Itís an unfortunate chapter in the book of Iraqís history toward nation-building. Under the circumstances at the time, the fact that Assyrians were armed and they were in cahoots with the British, both as levies and as workers for IPC, they were scapegoated. Does that make it alright? Hell no. Does it somehow explain how innocent people pay the price in times of chaos? Sure it does. You know what? Those same Arab nationalists opened the path for someone like Tariq Aziz to rise to the position of deputy prime minister. When will an Assyrian ever reach that point again in Iraq? Probably never (if we actually see true democracy in Iraq, that is). Should we be pissed off about that prospect? No. Thatís the life of living in a democratic country. The leadership ideally reflects the will of the majority of the people. We are a minute minority, thus it is understandable that we donít necessarily rise to such prominence. Should our rights be preserved? Of course, they must. Anyhow, in Baíathist Iraq, it did/does not matter your religion or ethnicity. If you are loyal to the party, Iraq is your oyster; if not, youíre screwed with the rest of them. We can call it equal opportunity oppression. Donít single out Assyrians, they aren't the only ones suffering.
I honestly would not be surprised if you got another massacre of Assyrians. For all their "brotherhood" talk with Kurds, they will get reprisal if they don't stop. Again, I don't blame the ADM, they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I just find the ADM lacks inspiration and innovation in its politcal approach. But they are doing the best that they can. Unfortunately, the best that they can may not be enough to protect Assyrians from the backlash (whether it comes from the Kurds or the Arabs). As I see it, we're screwed whatever the outcome. Second, we haven't created a strong enough foot-hold within the American or Iraqi camps to ensure our interests are protected. So, let's talk realpolitik...If we aren't going to have a say and all Iraq goes to hell with the demise of this regime; we are going to be worse off than we started. As for Kurds, we need to run as far away from them as we possibly can. Don't even offer them up as a solution.
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