|In The Footsteps of Aprim....|
- Tuesday, February 17 2009, 20:43:55 (CET)|
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Never thought I’d find myself facing an Aprim moment. There I was happily reading HG Wells account of the First World War and how so many Christian nations marched across Persia and Iraq and, knowing what they did there, finding even more confirmation that Muslims had been abused and then infuriated by the betrayals of their own Christian neighbors and that if Christian nations had stayed away and not enticed local Christians to such treachery and conducted beastly acts against Muslims there never would have been the reprisals against the local Christians etc and etc then I stumbled across this.....
...”...the story was one of despair, or of acquiescence in the revival of the old methods of tyranny and violence.
“A new rash of dictators spotted the South American continent. Getulio Vargas installed himself in Brazil at the end of 1929. Bolivia, Peru, and the Argentine became dictatorships the next year; Chile in 1931. In 1932, ignoring the League’s appeals, Bolivia and Paraguay embarked on a long and bloody war for a jungle called the Gran Chaco; the war gave an opportunity for Fascist and Nazi agents to enter South America and practice their chosen profession. In India the short period of cooperation between British and Indians ended in 1930 in the resumption of “civil disobedience” ; in the Near East King Fuad of Egypt chased out his Parliament, and the Iraki government in 1933 celebrated its new freedom from the British by quite coolly and deliberately MASSACRING THE ASSYRIANS FOR BEING CHRISTIANS (emphasis mine).”
First I have to point out that the “despair” and “acquiescence” in “old methods of tyranny and violence” did NOT refer to what the Christian nations were doing to Muslims and other darkies...no, that was “empire” and the gifts of democracy....it referred to what those darkies were doing.
Now...here’s where it pays, and hurts, to read widely and not just what your grandmother has in her bookcase. How Aprim would have loved to stumble across this last sentence...the one that confirms all his dear prejudices. Instead I have to find it, and find in a book that until now, I was praising soundly for its fair and even-handed treatment blah blah blah. What to do? I could pull an Aprim and just close the book and never mention the sentence to anybody since it contradicted what I believe...what, I must admit, I WANT to believe is the truth.
But that would be too cowardly and I’m not a Christian...so that was out. So I reminded myself that Wells is not a trained historian...that he too reads widely, very widely, but perhaps not with the same thoroughness as would be found in an academic course of study. Wells is wrong on two counts...there were no Assyrians and there was no “deliberate massacre” in Irak, or anywhere. He most likely wasn’t aware of other British educated men who knew there were no Assyrians and who admitted that the Archbishop of Canterbury as well as a few explorers were responsible for inventing the myth of the modern Assyrian. He apparently also didn’t know of the Assyrian Levies, who’d rioted in Mosul killing many innocent Muslims, or of the hard headed MarShimmun who, while accepting asylum and hospitality in Iraq was making it impossible to settle the Assyrian refugees..and who inspired his followers to cross into Syria, who, on the return, engaged the Iraqi army with many dead on both sides which finally led to the killings at Semele where 300 Assyrians were killed.....
300 is a small “massacre”...it is definitely a crime and a terrible one. But it has to be placed in context...Iraq was in an uproar, war was still going on all around, the situation was volatile and government needed to quiet the country internally. The Assyrians had been told they could expect no country of their own, that the British had never promised, on paper so one could prove it, to get them anything of the kind and that at best they could expect government help with housing and jobs....having had enough of dissension and sedition too, the Iraqi army reacted forcefully...as every bloody country has against its own people, let along ungrateful refugees.
Wells didn’t know any of this and so I think he was writing down what came handy at the moment, to make his point. Which is what Aprim does and I would have done, except I happened to have read Dr Joseph’s book who is the only one among us, Wells included, who actually studied these events as an academic and historian.
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