Posted by panch from host-148-244-221-62.block.alestra.net.mx (220.127.116.11) on Friday, November 08, 2002 at 1:39PM :
In Reply to: Tow Truck Coming Through posted by AssyrianVoice4Peace from 15-099.103.popsite.net (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, November 07, 2002 at 11:16PM :
: Sounds of Silence
: Iraqi Assyrians Speak the Language Jesus Spoke — But For How Long?
: By Leela Jacinto
: Nov. 6 — In the high mountains and plains of northern Iraq, a region above which U.S jets enforce the Kurdish "no-fly" zone, an ancient, minority Christian community still speaks the language once spoken by Jesus Christ.
****I don´t see this as any more significant than that those who speak the language of Muhammad are being killed...their children too. When you´re dead you also can´t speak a language.
: Called the Assyrians, they are one of the world's oldest Christian communities, and scholars believe the Aramaic language they speak today is a dialect of the language Jesus of Nazareth and his early disciples spoke.
****Then let´s show some more consideration for the Jews, who also spoke the language...and the Egyptians likewise. It wasn´t just Assyrians who spoke the language...again, our brush with a jew carpenter should not be the determining factor in gaining ALL Assyrians, Muslims and Christians and believers in Ashur their security.
: In the Christian villages and hamlets dotting the northern enclave, historic churches and monasteries today conduct their services in classical Aramaic, presenting a picture of a people and their culture untouched by time.
: But nothing could be further from the truth.
: Linguists warn that the Aramaic language is in its death throes, battered by centuries of persecution and marginalization by a range of conquerors from Persian armies and the Ottoman Turks to Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime.
***This is claimed only by Christian Assyrians. How many of them have done a damn thing to preserve this language in America that they come crying about what Saddam WONT do?
: And these days, while the Bush administration makes repeated calls for a "regime change" in Iraq, the talk in Assyrian households across the world is getting increasingly urgent as a community that has preserved its culture through the centuries braces for another milestone in their long, often tormented history.
: "Our greatest fear if there is a regime change in Iraq is if there will be a substitution of Saddam Hussein's tyranny for a new tyranny," says Ronald Michael, president of the Assyrian American League, an Illinois-based organization representing the Assyrian community in the United States.
***Indeed...place any of the self-proclaimed leaders of this nation in its Diapers incontrol of a parking lot, and you´ll see tyranny. Most of them learned their skills at Saddam´s knee.
: ‘Correcting’ Ethnic Identities
: Human rights groups say the Assyrians — like the Kurds — have suffered under Saddam's systematic attempts to "Arabize" the north, a process that includes driving ethnic minorities from their lands and seizing some of their properties, especially in the strategic, oil-rich northern region bordering the Kurdish enclave.
****You mean like the United States and Britain did with native and aboriganl populations? You mean like everyone since Adam tried to do to forge one common national identity...you mean like that infamous Melting Pot we Americans were so proud of? Go cry wolf somewhere else.
: "The Iraqi government has also forced ethnic minorities such as the Assyrians, the Kurds and the Turkomen to sign 'national correction forms' that require them to renounce their ethnic identities and declare themselves to be Arabs," says Hania Mufti of Human Rights Watch. "In a way, it is a form of ethnic cleansing by clearing an area of its ethnic minorities."
****Bullshit. This has been the rallying cry for every failed Muslim hating Christian. I suppose the jails of the United States are filled with CHRISTIANS instead of criminals? As long as our Christians demonstrate and demand an "Assyria" where there hasn´t been one for 3000 years...they can be glad they aren´t clapped into an insame asylum...signing a document should be easy.
: Unlike the Shiite Muslim majority concentrated in southern Iraq and the empowered Sunni Muslims primarily based around Baghdad, the Kurds, Assyrians and Turkomen comprise Iraq's non-Arab populations — a group whose loyalties have always been a cause for Saddam's concern.
***There are no Arabs in Iraq...there are Iraqis...it was a political movement, Pan-Arabism...to combat the combined forces of the UNITED States and GREAT Britain...to avoid being picked off piecemeal...as they still are. No one...not Lawrence, not Abdul Azziz, not Nasser can ever unite theArabic SPEAKING people...they can´t even do it in Saudi Arabia. Get a life.
: The Politics of Numbers
: Through centuries of conquests as well as forced and voluntary migrations, the Assyrian community has been plagued by the politics of numbers.
: Assyrians define themselves as a broad category of Christian groups speaking Aramaic — or Syriac, as it is sometimes known — including followers of the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East, among others.
***That is their own great big mistake...they can identify themselves as CHRISTIANS in any way they want. It defies logic and reason and common sense to maintain that all Muslims in Iraq came from Arabia with the Muslim conquests, and ALL Christians in the region came from Assyria...when Christianity was never the religion of the Assyrians...and Jesus was a Jew from Judea...neither of which religion or its founders had anything indigenous to do with the land of Ashur. This is Christian wishful thinking...and an attempt to make much of themselves because they see their fortunes slipping in the MidEast...NOT because they are Christian but because they have been ever ready to betray their countries and neighbors to their Western co-religionists.
: But scholars such as Naby Eden, an Assyrian-American specialist on minorities in the Middle East,
***She is not...ask her...Her specialty is Afghanistan.
say there have been attempts on the part of several Middle Eastern governments to categorize Christian groups by their churches in an attempt to break up an ethnic category along religious lines.
****Whoa there...now hold on. It is all these CHRISTIAN groups who have been giving us all headaches with their petty distinctions about Mar One and Mar Two...it is THEY who have soght to make a separation between themselves and their Muslim brothers and sisters...The Missionaries of the West started it by converting Christians to Christianity...a lot easier you must admit. Since then we´ve been fracturing and fragmenting like mad...and you want to blame that too on Muslims?
: Not surprisingly, reliable figures for the number of Assyrians in the world today are hard to come by. In the Middle East, Assyrians are spread across Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, where rights groups say they live as small, often discriminated-against minorities under governments that are largely unsympathetic to their religious and cultural aspirations.
***How sympathetic has Britain been to ethnic minorities...how kind and thoughtful has the United States been? You talk from three sides of mouth.
: But an estimated 4 million Assyrians live in the United States, Europe and Australia today, in a steadily growing diaspora that dates back to the 1915 massacres of Armenians and Assyrians in the Middle East by the Ottomans.
****You mean that time when the Western Christians killed millions of Ottomans and stole their lands...and killed millions of Christians...is that when you mean???
: ‘The Arabs on One Side and the Kurds on the Other’
***Feel sorry for them all surrounded by Christians and Israelis.
: In northern Iraq, where an estimated 1 million Assyrians still live in towns and villages, the situation slowly improved when the northern enclave was established after the 1991 Gulf War, and the Kurds were allowed to build an autonomous region free from Saddam's control.
***Improved? You mean after their villages were bulldozed and after thousands lost their lives under United States bulldozers and have their lands poisoned and an impending war hanging over their heads and their children´s heads? Let me "improve" your asshole...after reaming it with a telephone pole...wouldn´t YOU be grateful?
: In the current regional Kurdish parliament, there are five seats reserved for the Assyrian community, four of which are occupied by the ADM (Assyrian Democratic Movement). And where Aramaic was once banned by Saddam, today the language is taught in about 35 schools in the northern autonomous zone.
***The Aramaic language was banned, as you put it, because it was the language of dissent and separation...sort of like African religions and dialects were banned on the Plantation...not to mention Native American languages and ways on the Reservation. If you want me to drool after you...you´ll have to try harder.
: But while the bridging of Assyrian and Kurdish interests in northern Iraq has been wobbly at best and troubled at worst, with Washington's renewed calls for political change in Iraq, the country's Christian minority has serious fears for the future.
***I´ll bet they´re nothing compared to the country´s Muslim Assyrian majority.
: "We are in a critical stage today," says Edward Odisho, a linguist at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and an Iraqi Assyrian who fled Saddam's Iraq in 1980. "We have the Arabs on one side and the Kurds on the other.
***Don´t forget the Christian overhead, you putz.
And although we have good relations with our Kurdish brothers in northern Iraq, unfortunately, now the Kurds are behaving in the role of a big brother."
***Oh so NOW the Kurds are your "friends"...like the Muslims were your "neighbors"? It is safe to say that no one should depend on the constancy of any Christian Assyrian...especially another Christian Assyrian.
: The Land Festers
: Experts fear that in the event of a collapse of Saddam's regime in Baghdad — a common enemy for the Kurds and the Assyrians — historic differences between the two groups could resurface.
****The United States has killed far more Kurds and Assyrians than Saddam ever did...just in the last few years.
: An estimated 1 million Assyrians live in towns and villages in northern Iraq. Turkish nationalist politicians have threatened to seize the oil-rich cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. (ABCNEWS.com)
***Sure they will...and Exxon will sleep.
: And one of the greatest causes of concern is the festering issue of land ownership in the oil-rich north.
: "There are outstanding issues of Assyrian villages and lands, which were vacated under Baghdad's forced repatriations during the 1970s and '80s," says Mufti. "Those issues have not been resolved when the Kurdish authorities took over and they are a bone of contention between the two groups."
: Experts warn that in the event of a war, control for the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk — currently under Baghdad's control — is a particularly troubling pressure point, which is being closely watched by neighboring Turkey.
: Earlier this month, in a run-up to last weekend's Turkish general elections, nationalist Turkish politicians and senior generals threatened to seize Kirkuk and Mosul in the event of war, citing Ottoman-era claims to the two oil-rich northern Iraqi cities.
: Some Iraqi Assyrians are also concerned that the Kurdish parties might seek an independent state if the United States attacks Iraq.
: "If the Kurds use the chaos of the war to try to grab land and if they are given a federal state, then we want our own state," says Michael, "because they [the Kurdish parties] have not proven themselves to be democratic."
****You want yer arse!
: For their part, the leaders of the KDP (Kurdish Democratic Party) and the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), the two leading Kurdish parties, have maintained that their aim is not to set up an independent government or entity, but an Iraqi federation made up of an Arab region and a Kurdish region.
: Fears of an Islamic Backlash
: Some experts concede that Assyrian concerns about the democratic credentials of the KDP and the PUK are not unfounded.
: Over the past few years, Assyrian groups in northern Iraq have recorded a number of attacks against the community, primarily by militant Kurdish Islamic groups, including the Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), a group suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
: Although the KDP and the PUK have outlawed the Jund al-Islam following a series of assassinations and armed clashes with the PUK, many Assyrian community leaders say the two Kurdish nationalist parties fail to administer justice in cases of attacks against the Christian population.
: "The nationalist parties don't want to lose the support of the Kurdish people," says Michael. "If the KDP is in power, we expect justice to be served. But the KDP turns a blind eye to these attacks out of fear of an Islamic backlash."
: A Matter of Identity
: But by far the biggest complaint, according to Mufti, is the Assyrian fear of being "lumped together with the Kurds."
: Particularly egregious from the Assyrian point of view are recent Kurdish attempts to classify Iraq's Christians as "Kurdish Christians."
: "They started calling us 'Kurdish Christian,'" says Odisho. "Then we should call them 'Assyrian Muslims.'"
: For a community that has had a minority status for centuries under different empires and has dispersed across the world, identity is a critical issue — for Assyrians living in and outside the Middle East.
: With approximately 4 million Assyrians living in the West and speedily assimilating the cultures of their adopted lands, experts say a shared language can play the role of an emotional state, binding members in the absence of a geographic concentration.
: By all accounts, the continuation of the Aramaic language has been a linguistic feat, significant credit for which goes to the Assyrian exile communities who have refused to lose their mother tongue.
: "Aramaic has retained its place as a form of cultural identity because of the importance of the language to the people," says Stuart Creason of the University of Chicago. "Within history, there are very few examples of languages that are spoken for this long a period of time, maintained by the community."
: But Creason warns that the very future of Aramaic is at stake. "I would call Aramaic an endangered language," he says. "It's a language whose future existence is uncertain, and it could die out within a few generations because of the political situation."
: History has shown that the fate of languages is inextricably linked with the political power of the people who speak it. And Iraqi Assyrians hope their future will ring to the sounds of their ancient language.
***Not so clever propaganda in the form of an article. All it proves is that Assyrian Christians can be trusted to do what they have done since running after a jew carpenter...beg for crucifixion.
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