Posted by panchmaster from host-148-244-221-138.block.alestra.net.mx (188.8.131.52) on Monday, November 11, 2002 at 3:38PM :
What a diference it makes when you realize the people of Iraq are the descendants of the ancient empires that graced that land... from the earliest recorded Sumerians all the way down to the Abbasids. That the glory of Ur and Sumer and Babylon and Nineveh, Selucia, of much of early Christianity and the Baghdad of Haroun al Rashid are all contained within that one small plain bounded by those magical rivers the Tigres and Euphrates? For one thing it broadens your horizon and your perspective. You see not just the dwindling Christian minority there as representative of the Assyrian and Chaldean empires, as they maintain. You realize that when people change religions, as all Assyrians and Chaldeans did...it doesn't change their ethnic origins. It certainly adds several dimensions to the cultural expressions of their common ethnicity, much of it confusing and antagonistic...but it doesn't change their essential being. Not unless they turn against the land of their Heritage and wish to do it harm. That is treason and breach of trust pure and simple. It is what our Christians who encourage war against Iraq are guilty of.
I'd say that was the best definition we have of what makes a real Assyrian or Chaldean... what we DO and how we behave...not what we say...and, by the way, even 3000 years ago people there were mixing it up with delight. At no time during the great days of empire was there any attempt to stay "pure"...princesses were imported from everywhere...slaves and concubines were merrily impregnated...no one thought a thing about remaining pure. In fact whole populations were shifted around just so they wouldn't remain pure. What mattered back then was how you behaved yourself as a member of society...your loyalty and contributions counted for much more than your "blood purity", whatever that is.
If today Americans move to a foreign land and begin to encourage the people who take them in to attack America...all the while maintaining that they are pure and true and good Americans...well, they better not let Uncle Sam get a hold of them. When he's pissed he's no kinder or gentler than Uncle Saddam.
The only kind of Assyrian, Chaldean or Iraqi for that matter who can really be considered one at all, is the one who defends and protects and works for the welfare, security and improvement of the country that now contains our Heartland. No American can betray his country because he disagrees with its policies...break its laws because he thinks they are unjust. We are told to work within the system...and at times working within this system is as impossible as it is today in Iraq. Like during the McCarthy Era when you could be jailed for refusing to rat on your friends...and people were hauled out of court for trying to explain themselves, or whole populations were considered "suspect" and stripped of their rights and possessions and jailed, though they'd committed no crimes. But still we were told that this was no excuse to go over to any other enemy country, even if it wanted a "regime change" in America for the "good" of Americans.
Iraq has not had it easy...as have none of the countries in the Mideast since oil was discovered there. One way or another Western Christian nations have found ways to exploit the resources of those lands, planting rulers who would allow them to do so with a minimum of fuss..and Democracy is a lot of fuss and bother...a tyranny far more flexible and accomodating. The few times people there tried to assert themselves they were branded troublemakers and communists, foreign agents (of the Soviets, who else)...as if Aramco was a native corporation. While you remember Simele, try not to forget Port Said in Egypt.
Our Christians can find a safe haven in any number of Christian countries. Those like Hanna and Peter and Firas...though they are happy enough to be out of there...bear a grudge against Islam for denying them what they believe is rightfully theirs. They are like many of our Christians who need to blame someone else for their personal failings...who resent anyone getting farther than they think they could have, or should have. Our Muslim brothers and sisters of Iraq...who cannot now go anywhere much, and may well not want to...are what remains of the ancient people of that region. Left to themselves they have evolved and would go much farther to being the best natural guardians of that Heritage. They are not so stupid as to declare all Christians "foreigners" who seek to steal the land. They know Christianity was a foreign import to BetNahrain...as their own religion of Islam was. They know that the Christians of Iraq are not Jews because their prophet was born in Israel...as they know damn well they are not Arabs because Muhammad came from Arabia and Islam originated there. The people of BetNahrain simply converted to religions that were brought to them...that's all. There is as much Israeli influence in Christianity as there is Arab influence in Islam. But the people remained the people.
And so I say, thank god the Assyrian and Chaldean people survive, that their Heritage, as mixed and rich and often confusing as it is, has a national homeland in Iraq...Uruk if you prefer. It's just so sad to see that noble land...which even the West admits was the Cradle of Civilization...at a time one should remember when there was neither Christian nor Muslim nor Jew...the recipient now, after so long and illustrious a service on behalf of all Humanity, of so much firepower and venom directed at our people because some corporations have seized the White House.
It's ironic...petroleum is the ultimate goo all plant and animal matter dissolves into. The petroleum deposits there are so rich perhaps because there was so much humanity there...so much life, so much "richness", once. And now not even the slimey yuck we all turn into is safe...it's like robbing a cosmic grave by first killing the people tending the shrine. Like digging up your own ancestor's bones or whatever remains of them to burn them in machines that feed your lives. Who is the savage?
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