On and during the week of 7 AUG 1933, the Assyrians of Simele were massacred again. Those who perished numbered at least 3,500; the actual total may be significantly higher. But why was this one particular day and week of Assyrian massacres as significant as the entire “Seyfo,” i.e. the WWI genocide of Assyrians at the hands of Ottoman Turkey and their Sunni Kurdish henchmen?
Simele was the first time in modern history where the Assyrians were not only persecuted for being Christian, but for being Assyrian; and it was the first time the army of the nation in which they resided and which existed because of their loyalty and sacrifices in WWI on behalf of their state was used specifically for that purpose. In this case, that state happened to be the newly established nation of Iraq, which is now claiming ownership over the majority of historically Assyrian lands.
It is with these facts in mind that Assyrians worldwide not only lament for the souls of those who perished, but also for those who endure the continuing occupation of their historical homelands in the Assyria Nineveh Plain by Sunni Muslim Kurds as well as Shia and Sunni Arabs. NEC-SE has repeatedly reported on the desertion of both the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army leading up to and following the JUN 2014 ISIS invasion of Mosul and the Assyria Nineveh Plain.
In light of the Simele massacre and the events of the last two years, we ask why anyone would even think of entertaining the comments of Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Sako and a certain Obama administration appointee to the State Department Office of International Religious Freedom when they both stated that the Assyrians should fight under the command and control of either the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) or the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)?
The Obama administration appointee recently presented four points for the Assyrians to acknowledge.
– The Kurds control the Assyria Nineveh Plain and the Arabs want to keep Mosul.
– The US will not send US troops to aid the Assyrians nor will there be any international protections implemented for the Assyrians in Nineveh Plain.
– Attaining a province is very difficult, so you [Assyrians] must place yourselves under the authority of the Sunni Muslim Kurds or Arabs.
– There will be no international aid provided for the rebuilding of infrastructure in the Assyria Nineveh Plain, except for public infrastructure (e.g. hospitals and schools) that will be built by agencies/companies that the U.S has helped to contract through the UN. This means that Assyrian who have lost their homes will continue to be homeless.
These points appeared to target almost directly the Assyrian Army commander’s previous requests for:
– Distancing the Assyria Nineveh Plain from the quarrels between Arabs and Sunni Muslim Kurds, as the latter two are not the original owners of the land.
– Rebuilding the infrastructure of the Assyria Nineveh Plain after it has been liberated. There is little infrastructure left and many of the remaining inhabitants have lost everything.
– The Assyrians need land and a province even if the nation of Iraq emerges intact from the present conflict; or a sovereign state if Iraq is destroyed.
– The Assyrians need international protection because neither the Sunni Muslim Kurds nor the Shia and Sunni Arabs have been able (or willing) to protect them. This failure by the Kurds and Arabs to protect the Assyrians was made clearly evident in the fall of Mosul to ISIS, but also in the fighting for Teleskof and other villages in the Assyria Nineveh Plain.
In 2015 NEC-SE was asked to help write H. CON. RES. 75. One of our recommendations was for lawmakers in DC to consider adding the following paragraph:
“Whereas the Assyrians and the Yezidis have been documented as having undergone violent persecutions at 50 year intervals for the past 2,000 years, and the Assyrians and the Yezidis have over the past century suffered mass killings, persecutions, and forced deportation from their historical lands in 1915 1918, 1922, 1933, 1940-1945, 2010, and as recently as 2014 in the Khabour River Valley, the Assyria Nineveh Plain, and Mount Sinjar. The Assyrians and Yezidis continue to experience the silent cultural genocide to eradicate the Assyrian nation and the Yezidi people.”
NEC-SE proposed this addition to illuminate and underscore past genocidal actions taken against the Assyrian nation and the Yezidi people.
Not only was the paragraph not included but the section referencing the 1933 massacre was completely removed from the first drafts of the H. CON. RES. 75. as early as 10 OCT 15. The final version of the HR. referenced the genocidal killings of Muslim Sunni Kurds but did not reference the 1933 massacre. H. CON. RES. 75 was finally voted on as a non-binding resolution. This type of resolution is often used to express Congressional approval or disapproval of something that Congress cannot otherwise vote on.
Many Americans recognize that United States, because of both real and perceived foreign policy failures, fecklessness, and irresolution, is losing the confidence and trust of its traditional allies. The only solution to this situation is for America to decide to treat its friends with the utmost respect, and as true friends, rather than as expendable resources; and to endeavor to defeat its enemies instead of accommodating or appeasing them. If it does so, it will have more friends than anyone would have expected.