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Posts by LaBelleDameSansMerci

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  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 12:17:51 PM PST · 82 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Blue Scourge
    "....You are acting like one of those fools who turns a blind eye to someone screaming "rape" and walk the other way saying it's not your problem. .."

    No. I am one of those reactionary souls who having witnessed a grown woman get plastered and then joyfully laid by every guy she can impale herself on during the party, spreading her legs in directions she didn't even know were physically possible, REFUSES to support a rape charge in the morning when, hungover, sore and incapable of remembering the names of the last thirteen guys she tackled, she's feeling a bit low on self-esteem.

    Or, are you attempting to say that the US government had nothing to do with the Hussein regime in all the years that all those eyes were being gouged out?

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 12:03:16 PM PST · 75 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to ez
    ".... I've been spreading UN Res 688 around for weeks highlighting the human rights abuses of Saddam's regime. The strategy is clear... Like the Partial Birth Abortion debate, ...


    Our great, good friends, the Chinese, might hear you....

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 11:55:36 AM PST · 152 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Just mythoughts
    full text of Bush speech in italics interspersed with commentary from great conservatives here

    Or you can find the speech on the American Enterprise Institute web page....

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 11:49:19 AM PST · 150 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Just mythoughts
    ...So who is the "Colonel House" of the Bush administration?...

    You must be the "near occassion of sin" we're always taught to avoid!!!

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 11:35:30 AM PST · 70 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Frapster
    And you can fold little Tommy "I don't have orgasms but bombing Serbs is the next best thing" Friedman five ways and stuff him---along with Hamas, Sadaam, Mohammed this. that, and the other one, the Taliban and all the other "brothers under the skin"---five ways and stuff them high and tight and so-on-and-so-forth....

    My ancestors didn't fight in the Grand Army of the Republic in the Civil War and other wars so that someday the United States could "play by Hamas rules."

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 11:27:02 AM PST · 66 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Frapster
    "...Or, as Thomas Friedman puts it, we must play by Hamas rules....

    Thank you for that. You've done more good on this thread than you can possibly know. Unconsciously, of course. But nevertheless: WELL DONE!!

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 11:12:53 AM PST · 59 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to LaBelleDameSansMerci
    By the way--the reviewer is incorrect when he says that President Bush hasn't explained why we must invade Iraq. He did the other night speaking before the American Enterprise Institute. He unveiled his Wilsonian dreams before a politely aplauding audience.

    I posted the entire text of the speech but it was stuffed down the Hobbit Hole. Which leads me to believe that the Admin moderators are, in a strange way, smart. The President's chances for a second term would decrease measurably if too many conservatives start slicing and dicing that speech.....

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 11:05:31 AM PST · 57 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to MadIvan
    The Storm That Threatens Is Not What Kenneth Pollack Thinks
    by Richard W. Behan

    by Kenneth M. Pollack

    Now, the face that I see in my mirror
    More and more is a stranger to me.
    More and more I can see there’s a danger
    In becoming what I never thought I’d be.
    --from a John Denver song

    With broomstick rifles and saucepan helmets, American boys growing up during World War II imitated, in their back yards, the battlefield fighting. I was one of those boys, and we told each other with great pride and patriotism, “America has never started a war and we’ve never lost one.”

    Twenty five years after that we lost our first war, and now we’re about to start our first, cheered on by President Bush and by Kenneth Pollack’s new book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq

    Mr. Pollack’s habitat is wholly inside the Beltway. He is a product and a denizen of what Kevin Phillips called, in the title of a book, The Arrogant Capital. Governance in Washington DC has become a self-perpetuating permanent structure of self-serving lifetime professionals, elected and otherwise, and it is dominated by corporate campaign money and corporate lobbying. It has suffered a near-total disconnect from the American people at large, as a result.

    Mr. Pollack’s book serves the Arrogant Capital well. The Gulf War in 1991, as Senator Robert Dole said, was about o-i-l. Clearly the pending invasion is, too. Direct American control of Iraqi oil reserves—second in magnitude only to Saudi Arabia’s—will bring pleasure and profit to our Petro-Administration and its client corporations. No informed, thinking citizen will deny this, but Mr. Pollack avoids it, speaking only to Saddam’s threat to our physical security.

    Saddam Hussein is a psychopathic tinpot with no significant air power or navy, a decimated army, questionable inventories of chemical and biological weapons with no capability for intercontinental delivery, and five years away from his first nuclear device. By what conceivable means can he realistically threaten America, the most heavily armed nation on earth? This is left utterly unexplained in Mr. Pollack’s book.

    The book’s case for invading Iraq is no better than President Bush’s, who hasn’t explained, either, but Pollack’s attempt is detailed and sophisticated. He demonizes Saddam in poetry (two stanzas) and prose (424 pages, and 44 more of footnotes), and shows that 3 presidents were so persuaded. Both Bush I and Clinton favored “regime change,” but they lacked popular support for an invasion. 9/11 changed all that, Pollack argues. (Awkwardly: he admits there is no linkage between Saddam and 9/11.) Bush II now has the people with him, the polling indicates (because of successful propagandizing?), and hence faces a choice:

    1. Rebuild “containment.” With President Bush frantic to discredit it, this option is underway. It had not begun when Pollack wrote, but he had reasons to reject it, and recently called the current inspections a “trap.”

    2. “Deterrence.” Drop the sanctions, pull back the troops, and count on Saddam’s fear of the U.S. (This would abandon the Kurds and the Shi’ites.)

    3. “Covert action.” Assassination. (Saddam’s security system is too effective to make this possible.)

    4. The “Afghan Approach.” With massive air strikes, encourage a factional revolt. (There is no effective counterforce in Iraq.)

    5. Invasion. The “least best,” but the only alternative, really.

    Pollack’s options are tactical alternatives to attain the strategic objective designed in the Arrogant Capital.... We need desperately to formulate other, peaceful, humane strategic objectives for our nation, but such rigorous discussion has been deflected. Instead the invasion of Iraq, wrapped in a fraudulent veil of physical security, has been sold to a decent and trusting public by the Bush Administration. An impolite term for this is propaganda, and Pollack’s book contributes to the effort.

    He works hard at it. Pollack compares Iraq to Germany in 1938. Hitler was building the most fearsome war machine in history, and appeasement only made more costly his eventual defeat. Pollack sees Saddam as today’s Hitler.

    It is not Saddam Hussein, however, who now commands the world’s mightiest military. George W. Bush does. And the threatening storm is not Saddam, either. It is America becoming what we never thought we’d be: a self-serving tyrant on a global scale, willing to unleash its colossus of armed might to advance its parochial, commercial interests. America is becoming on the world stage what Saddam has been in the Middle East.

    The subtitle of Mr. Pollack’s book is a monstrous insult to the ideals of American people, and to our history. There is NO case to be made for invading Iraq, or anyone else. We don’t start wars, and American people are justifiably proud of that. Only a government disconnected from its people could propose doing so now—and only a heavily propagandized citizen could find this book appealing.

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 10:49:28 AM PST · 48 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to MadIvan
    "...One thing that is truly maddening is that the Pope probably knows all this. But did he send emissaries to ask Saddam to step down? No, he sent emissaries to Washington and London to stop us from removing Saddam. .."

    Yes, the sorry Old Pope just doesn't know anything about shoring up the base and making it out of the primaries with the nomination; or beating down challenges from recalictrant back-benchers.

    He's sooo naive...

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 10:45:43 AM PST · 47 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to MadIvan
    We must all ask ourselves: "What would Mrs. Miniver do?"
  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 10:43:38 AM PST · 46 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to MadIvan
    Another blast from the all-too-recent-past:

    Nato's undeclared propaganda war

    The Independent 6th April 1999

    By Philip Hammond

    It takes two sides to fight a propaganda war, yet critical commentary on the "war of words" has so far concentrated on the "tightly controlled" Yugoslav media. We have been shown clips from "Serb TV" and invited to scoff at their patriotic military montages, while British journalists cast doubt on every Yugoslav "claim".

    But whatever one thinks of the Yugoslav media they pale into insignificance alongside the propaganda offensive from Washington, Brussels and London.

    "They tell lies about us, we will go on telling the truth about them," says Defence Secretary George Robertson. Really? Nato told us the three captured US servicemen were United Nations peacekeepers. Not true. They told us they would show us two captured Yugoslav pilots who have never appeared. Then we had the story of the "executed" Albanian leaders - including Rambouillet negotiator Fehmi Agani - whose deaths are now unconfirmed.

    When the Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, who was said to be in hiding, turned up on Yugoslav television condemning Nato bombing, the BBC contrived to insinuate that the pictures were faked, while others suggested Rugova must have been coerced, blackmailed, drugged, or at least misquoted.

    They told us the paramilitary leader Arkan was in Kosovo, when he was appearing almost daily in Belgrade - and being interviewed by John Simpson there. They told us Pristina stadium had been turned into a concentration camp for 100,000 ethnic Albanians, when it was empty. Robertson posing for photographers in the cockpit of a Harrier can't have been propaganda. Only the enemy goes in for that sort of thing.

    Nato's undeclared propaganda war is two-pronged. First, Nato has shamelessly sought to use the plight of Albanian refugees for its own purposes, cynically inflating the number of displaced people to more than twice the UN estimate.

    Correspondents in the region are given star billing on BBC news, and are required not just to report but to share their feelings with us. As Peter Sissons asked Ben Brown in Macedonia: "Ben, what thoughts go through a reporter's mind seeing these sights in the dying moments of the 20th century?"

    Reports from the refugee centres are used as justifications for Nato strategy. The most striking example was the video footage smuggled out of Kosovo said to show "mass murder". The BBC presented this as the "first evidence of alleged atrocities," unwittingly acknowledging that the allies had been bombing for 10 days without any evidence.

    Indeed, for days, the BBC had been inviting us to "imagine what may be happening to those left in Kosovo". After watching the footage, Robin Cook apparently knew who had been killed, how they had died, and why. Above all, he knew that the video "underlines the need for military action".

    The second line of attack is to demonise Milosevic and the Serbs, in order to deflect worries that the tide of refugees has been at least partly caused, by Nato's "humanitarian" bombing. Parts of Pristina have been flattened after being bombed every day for more than a week. Wouldn't you leave? And what about of thousands of Serbian refugees from Kosovo - are they being "ethnically cleansed", too? Sympathy does not extend to them, just as the 200,000 Serbian refugees from Krajina were ignored in 1995. Instead, the tabloids gloat "Serbs you right" as the missiles rain down.

    The accusations levelled against the Serbs have escalated from "brutal repression" to "genocide", "atrocities" and "crimes against humanity", as Nato has sought to justify the bombing. Pointed parallels have been drawn with the Holocaust, yet no one seems to notice that putting people on a train to the border is not the same as putting them on a train to Auschwitz.

    The media have taken their cue from politicians and left no cliche unturned in the drive to demonise Milosevic. The Yugoslav president has been described by the press as a "Warlord", the "Butcher of Belgrade", "the most evil dictator to emerge in Europe since Adolph Hitler", a "Serb tyrant" a "psychopathic tyrant" and a "former Communist hard-liner".

    The Mirror also noted significantly that he smokes the same cigars as Fidel Castro. Just as they did with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf war, Panorama devoted a programme to "The Mind of Milosevic".

    Several commentators have voiced their unease about the Nato action from the beginning. But press and TV have generally been careful to keep the debate within parameters of acceptable discussion, while politicians have stepped up the demonisation of the Serbs to try to drown out dissenting voices. The result is a confusingly schizophrenic style of reporting.

    The rules appear to be that one can criticise Nato for not intervening early enough, not hitting hard enough, or not sending ground troops. Pointing out that the Nato intervention has precipitated a far worse crisis than the one it was supposedly designed to solve or that dropping bombs kills people are borderline cases, best accompanied by stout support for "our boys". What one must not do is question the motives for Nato going to war. Indeed, one is not even supposed to say that Nato is at war. Under image-conscious New Labour, actually going to war is fine, but using the term is not politically correct.

    The limits of acceptable debate were revealed by the reaction to the broadcast by SNP leader Alex Salmond. Many of his criticisms of Nato strategy were little different from those already raised by others, but what provoked the Government's outrage was that he dared to compare the Serbs under Nato bombardment to the British in the Blitz. Tony Blair denounced the broadcast as "totally unprincipled", while Robin Cook called it "appalling", "irresponsible" and "deeply offensive".

    The way Labour politicians have tried to sideline critics such as Salmond is similar to the way they have sought to bludgeon public opinion. The fact that Blair has felt it necessary to stage national broadcasts indicates the underlying insecurity of a government worried about losing public support and unsure of either the justification for or the consequences of its actions... <

    Philip Hammond is a senior lecturer in Media Studies at South Bank University, London.

  • THE SCOTSMAN: No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear (MUST, MUST READ!)

    03/03/2003 10:36:27 AM PST · 44 of 85
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to MadIvan
    Ah. I can hear "The White Cliffs of Dover"--played on a tuba--in the background. Or is that "Nobody Does it Better"?

    By the way, have the Nazis made it across the Mexican border yet?

    " ... We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to moralize,' said James Harff, director of Ruder Finn Global Public Affairs, a Washington D.C. public relations firm which was paid to turn Serbs into monsters, fascists and beasts. "Speed is vital," he said, "it is the first assertion that counts. All denials are entirely ineffective." Any means were good. Remember, this could happen again to any other group. ...."

    Demonology 101

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 9:03:46 AM PST · 132 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Terriergal
    "...without having to waste time fending off the inanities of the New Left..."

    By the way, I clearly mis-spoke there. This forum is suffused with--one might even say dominated by--New Leftism.

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 9:00:45 AM PST · 131 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Terriergal
    President Bush gave an explicitly Wilsonian speech the other night before the American Enterprise Institute. The speech deserved close and intense scrutiny on FreeRepublic as one of the few places where American conservatives can fight among themselves without having to waste time fending off the inanities of the New Left. I started a thread about it and it got heaved into the Hobbit Hole.

    The attitude on this forum is one of sullen submission to the inevitability of American hubris, blindness and nemesis.

    The silence around here on one of the most important--and, in my opinion, most chilling--foreign policy statements yet made by the President is deafening. But terribly, terribly enlightening....

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 8:41:21 AM PST · 126 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to winner3000
    "...I'm sure the Christian minority that lives in Iraq is thrilled with the Pope's helping of their tormentor Saddam Hussein...

    See post #100....

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 7:50:20 AM PST · 107 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Destro
    "...The sight of the Pope kissing the Koran is the most disturbing thing I can witness..."

    And it coincided almost to the day with the news that two Orthodox nuns were raped in Kosovo by "freedom fighters" as NATO "liberators" stood around scratching their butts. The emotions are too deep for words...

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 7:44:23 AM PST · 105 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to ScholarWarrior
    "... THe Pope should keep his mouth shut. It he goes to see Bush, I would make him stand in the snow barefoot for three days...."

    I think the Pope should go as THE Human Shield in Iraq. He failed to protect the Serbs against ClintoNATO. He has, for reasons unkown to me, abandoned the AMChurch to the little foxes---perhaps a good thing in the long run, but painful to live through nontheless.

    In preventing the US from carrying out its Wilsonian suicide dreams in the middle east he could actually save the US from the fate of Europe in the 20th century.

    Although at this point in history we are sprinting madly towards destruction--embracing it like a long-awaited lover...

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 7:30:22 AM PST · 102 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to patriciaruth
    ... It's the Pope's job is to tell everyone to let their enemies slap them on the cheek and take their clothes and smile, but it isn't the American way....

    Yes the ancient Catholic teaching of slap-happy nudism has always been a sticking point for Puritan America...

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 7:24:43 AM PST · 100 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Pure Country
    "...Does he not have a clue about what is going on in his own backyard or in Iraq....or does he just not care?...

    Well, SOMEBODY doens't have a clue, that's for sure..

    Christians for Saddam?
    by Glen Chancy


    After the Divine Liturgy a few Sundays ago, I joined several other men from my parish for brunch. The topic of Iraq came up, and one of the men remarked that he had heard that there was a substantial Christian population in Iraq, and that Tariq Assiz, the Iraqi foreign minister, was a Roman Catholic. He was shocked that a Christian could be associated with such a man as Saddam Hussein. "What can that mean for his witness as a Christian to serve such a leader?" my friend asked in bewilderment.

    While I cannot know what is in Mr. Assiz’s heart, only God can know that, I can certainly understand, on a basic level, his service to Saddam Hussein. Before we, in the West, become too judgmental of our co-religionists living under Muslim rule, I believe we need to understand the world Iraqi Christians inhabit. It is a brutal world of few good choices, and many potential dangers. Theirs is a truly desperate plight, and it is one that our forthcoming invasion of Iraq is quite likely to make much, much worse.

    Background – Iraqi Christians

    In Iraq, live an estimated 1 million Christians who are ethnically Assyrian. This community descends from the various Mesopotamian kingdoms that once ruled the area and formed powerful empires in the Fertile Crescent. Their Christian heritage is ancient. Many Assyrians converted to Christianity as early as the second century A.D. Assyrians define themselves as a broad category of Christian groups speaking Aramaic (the language of Jesus) that includes followers of the Chaldean Catholic Church (in communion with Rome), the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East, among others.

    The Assyrians have lived under foreign domination since the fall of the Assyrian kingdom to Persian power in the seventh century B.C. Since then, the Assyrians have been subjected to Persian, Arab, and Ottoman domination. As a result of ethnic cleansing by Iranian, Turkish, and Arab-Iraqi forces in the 1920s and 1930s, the Assyrians lost thousands of people and have found themselves mostly concentrated in the mountainous regions north of Baghdad.

    Under various Iraqi governments, particularly those following the British withdrawal in 1945, Christians in Iraq have been politically suppressed. Although substantial numbers of their intellectuals chose to join the Ba'th regime and identify themselves as Arab Christians, the Assyrians have been subjected to systematic attempts by Saddam’s regime to "Arabize" them, 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. This has been done partly out of Saddam’s fear of disloyalty on the part of non-Arabs, and partly out of a desire to reward Saddam’s political supporters with their land.

    "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.

    Today, 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 largely unsympathetic to their religious and cultural aspirations. In Iraq, most Assyrians live in the North, under Kurdish control in an enclave that was established after the 1991 Gulf War. There, they have achieved a modicum of independence, and are allowed five seats in the Kurdish Parliament.

    In fact, this is perhaps the best situation in which Assyrians have found themselves in some time. Given their history with Saddam, and the relative freedom they are experiencing in Northern Iraq, you would probably assume that the Assyrians would like nothing better than to see Saddam’s murderous regime consigned to the dustbin of history. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

    Saddam Hussein – That Bad in Context?

    This may come as a shock to many Americans, whose image of Saddam has been framed by comparisons to Adolf Hitler, but the prevalent fear among Assyrians, both in Iraq and abroad, is that what comes next after an American invasion will be worse.

    "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 estimated four-million-strong Assyrian community in the United States.

    Saddam Hussein and the Ba’th Regime have been, and still are, nasty and oppressive to all Iraqis. However, Saddam has not been particularly oppressive to the Assyrians, at least compared to what has been the norm elsewhere in the region. One must always keep in mind that the oldest members of Middle Eastern Christian communities remember outright slaughters of Christians by the millions. By the yardstick of his neighbors and Middle Eastern history, Saddam just doesn’t look that bad.

    The secular Saddam has neither encouraged nor permitted the type of anti-Christian riots seen in Egypt and Iran. Further, Saddam has never engaged in actual anti-Christian genocide of the type seen in Sudan, where 2 million Christian have lost their lives in the past decade. Unlike any other regime in the Middle East, Saddam has permitted Christians to occupy high public office. This includes the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Tariq Assiz, who is a Roman Catholic. In addition, Saddam’s regime has permitted a degree of free practice for Christians that is positively enviable compared to the situations experienced in such U.S. ‘allies’ as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Christmas and Easter decorations always abound, even in Baghdad, and attending church does not require an act of courage.

    Today, the Christians of Iraq seem to be split between those who support the status quo – de facto autonomy of a type in the North – and those who support Saddam Hussein’s continuation in power. Broad support, enthusiastic or otherwise, for the ouster of Saddam Hussein by the U.S. Army seems to be noticeably absent from the political landscape.

    Is this anxiety warranted? Should the Assyrians be so concerned about being liberated by U.S. military power? If history is our guide, they shouldn’t be afraid. They should be terrified.

    Our Friends The Kurds

    As noted earlier, the majority of Assyrians live in northern Iraq in the Kurdish enclave. So far, this situation has been reasonably tolerable for the Assyrians, as the Kurds have been conducting a fairly successful democratic experiment under the cover of U.S. and British combat patrols. Given the historical tendency of the Kurds to victimize and slaughter the Assyrians, the current situation seems quite impressive.

    However, Assyrians are quick to ask, have the Kurds really moderated their traditional attitudes and embraced Western notions of civil rights? Or, are they only moderating their tone in order to build a unified front against Saddam Hussein? This leads to a great fear among Assyrians in the north that when the unifying factor of a common enemy is removed, the traditional problems between the Kurds and the Assyrians will resurface with a vengeance.

    Among the future problems between the two groups are disputes over land, that for now have been put on hold. "There are outstanding issues of Assyrian villages and lands, which were vacated under Baghdad's forced repatriations during the 1970s and '80s," says Hania Mufti of Human Rights Watch.

    Recent events in the north fuel fears that the Assyrians may become victims of Kurdish aggression again. The Kurdish authorities have begun attempts to classify Iraq's Christians as "Kurdish Christians." This appellation is an outright fabrication, but it points to a future in which the Assyrians, who survived ‘Arabization’ in Saddam’s Iraq, may find themselves subjected to a harsh ‘Kurdization’ at the hands of an independent Kurdistan.

    Also, there has been a resurgence of traditional Kurdish attacks on Christians. The Kurdish authorities have resolutely ignored these attacks. As Ronald Michael explains, it is in the best interests of Kurdish politicians to not antagonize their Muslim constituents by being zealous in the defense of Christians.

    "The nationalist parties don't want to lose the support of the Kurdish people," says Michael. "The KDP [Kurdish Democratic Party] turns a blind eye to these attacks out of fear of an Islamic backlash."

    The Kurds have an estimated 70,000 anti-Saddam soldiers in the north. How extensively the U.S. plans to make use of them in its war effort remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear – these men aren’t going away after the fighting stops. If the blind eye turned by Kurdish authorities to violence against Christians becomes outright genocide, will our U.S. military forces intervene against our Kurdish ‘allies’ to protect defenseless Christians?

    If you and I don’t know the answer to that troubling question, how do you think the Assyrians feel?

    Our Friends the Turks

    Turkey has repeatedly warned against any attempt to establish an independent Kurdish political entity. The Ankara government is fearful that independent Kurds will be an example for the millions of Kurds under Turkish domination. Should the Kurds attempt to achieve independence, there is a real threat that Turkey will enter the war in order to stop a Kurdish state from forming.

    In fact, there is a chance that Turkey may intervene aggressively in any event. Leading up to the latest Turkish election, which brought to power a party with Islamic roots, 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.

    In September 2002, Ozdem Sanberk, the former Turkish ambassador to Britain, told a reporter, "If the U.S. intervenes, and in the first days the Kurds enter Kirkuk and Mosul, the Turkish army will move in." It has been reported that the Turkish army already has troops inside the Iraqi Kurdish zone, and is already planning to send more to stop any flow of Kurdish refugees into Turkey when full-scale war breaks out.

    Currently, Turkey is driving a hard bargain in exchange for backing the U.S. The details are not all public, but it appears that Turkey is demanding at least 10% of the oil revenues from the area around Kirkuk and Mosul. Even if it receives its wish, there is no guarantee that it will abide by any agreement it makes with Washington.

    Should the Turks end up in control of northern Iraq, the outcome for the Assyrian Christians in the area is likely to be catastrophic. Turkish rule would likely be far worse than continuing to live under Saddam Hussein, and could very well spell the end of the Assyrian communities.

    No nation in the region has as much Christian blood on its hands as Turkey. The Turks carried out major slaughters of Christians in 1915 (close to two million Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks that year alone), the early 1920’s, and again in 1955. To this day, it is the official position of the Turkish government that these genocides did not happen. Further, Turkey has waged a non-stop war of attrition on its native Assyrian, Greek, and Armenian minorities over the last century. Through discrimination, expulsion, race riots, and immigration, these communities have been practically obliterated.

    Today, Turkey is almost a Christian-free zone, despite Istanbul serving as the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople – one of the most important Sees of the Orthodox Church. It is estimated that only 60,000 Armenians, 15,000 Assyrians, and 3,500 Greeks remain in Turkey at the dawn of the 21st Century. Less than 100 years ago, the numbers of Christians in what is now Turkey numbered in the millions.

    If a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq leads to genocide against the Assyrian Christians as part of a campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing,’ will the United States defend the Christians? History would lead one to conclude that the answer is an unqualified ‘no.’

    The United States sat idly by and allowed the Turks to massacre Christians in 1923 and 1955. (In fact, U.S. ships in the area even refused to take aboard survivors who were fleeing for their lives. The U.S. was afraid of ‘offending’ the Turks by helping any of their victims.) The U.S. did not assist the Greek island nation of Cyprus when Turkey attacked it in 1974, and occupied over 1/3 of Cypriot territory. The U.S. has failed to vigorously protest ongoing Turkish abuse of Turkey’s few remaining Christians.

    Over and over again, the U.S. has proven that it will sacrifice an unlimited number of Christian lives in order to maintain its alliance with Turkey. The Assyrians are well aware of this history, and are terrified that they will be the next sacrifice offered up on the altar of U.S.-Turkish friendship. Our Friends the Iraqi National Congress

    The Iraqi National Congress is an umbrella organization bringing together various anti-Saddam groups. Based in London, it is heavily financed by the United States, and may be expected to play a role in the post-invasion reorganization of Iraq. The groups represented in the INC range from constitutional monarchists to Islamic radicals. Their diversity is representative of Iraq itself, which has a Kurdish north, a Sunni Arab center, and Shiite south. Despite this diversity, however, there may be one thing that all of these various groups could agree on – they are all Muslims.

    And this is another fear that grips the Assyrians. In a post-Saddam world, there must be some unifying force to hold the disparate pieces of Iraq together. What that force will be is still to be determined. Will it be an occupation by the U.S. Army? Will it be a new monarchy, loosely based on Islamic principals? Will it be fundamentalist Islam, as in the ethnically diverse nation of Pakistan?

    If Iraq turns more fundamentalist after Saddam is removed from the picture, as some future dictatorship seeks to use Islam as a unifying force, the Assyrians could find themselves becoming the sacrificial lambs on the altar of Iraqi unity. It has happened elsewhere in the Middle East – nothing unifies a population like a common enemy to slaughter. If a new Iraqi government, in control of the whole country, turns on the Assyrians with a genocidal fury, will the U.S. military protect the Christians? If history is our guide, the answer is an unqualified ‘no.’

    In Kosovo, we have an example of NATO forces, led by U.S. ground troops, occupying a majority Muslim state. While ostensibly neutral between the two sides at the time of deployment, it became quickly apparent to the Serbs in Kosovo that the NATO forces had little stomach for keeping the Muslims in line. The ‘peacekeepers’ were only there to keep Serbian forces out of Kosovo, not to protect the Serbs in Kosovo. If they had tried to do so, then it would have invited casualties from Muslim reprisals. That was the last thing any NATO governments wanted. So 50,000 NATO troops stood by while 100,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed and 112 churches and monasteries were destroyed. NATO and the United States were, and are, unwilling to make waves in Kosovo in order to save Christian lives and churches – why would post-invasion Iraq be any different? Conclusion

    There is probably no avoiding war with Iraq at this time. Too much has happened for us to turn aside now, even if that might be the best thing for all concerned. Despite some of our wishes to the contrary, the war is probably going to come, and its coming is fraught with danger for many innocent people in the Middle East. But if war must come, then as citizens of the United States, we have an obligation to remind our leaders that the lives of Christians are just as important as the lives of Muslims. A victory in Iraq that destroys the Assyrian community in its wake is no victory. If our President and his staff are not considering the fates of these brave Christians, then it is time for us, as Americans, to remind them of their obligations to our co-religionists in a war that we brought to them.

    The Assyrians still speak the language of Jesus, and follow the way of the cross, despite centuries of persecution. The strength of their faith should be a humbling example to us all in the West. The Assyrians have survived the coming of the Persians, the Arabs, and the Turks. It remains to be seen if they will survive the coming of the Americans.

    February 25, 2003

    Glen Chancy is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science, and a certificate in Eastern European Studies. A former University lecturer in Poland, he currently holds an MBA in Finance and works in Orlando, Fl as a business analyst for an international software developer.

    article here

  • Pope John Paul II may ask to personally address UN Security Council to stop Iraq war

    03/03/2003 7:18:23 AM PST · 97 of 267
    LaBelleDameSansMerci to Cachelot
    "...The Pope again. Anyone need any more proof that this is a malign force?..."

    Poor Cachelot.You're surrounded by malign forces aren't you? The Papists and, worse, the Americans--as you so eloquently wrote on the thread "Schools Threatened by Terrorsts":

    ...Far from "exploding", the American public would probably snivel a bit about how much bad karma America has accrued by not helping the arabs delete Israel from the map. And then they'd start looking for a synagogue to burn....

    posted on 10/04/2002 12:57 PM EDT by Cachelot

    How sickening and degrading it must be for you that Israel depends wholly upon the good will and money of these malign forces.

    It's a supremacists lament. So many of Them. So few of Us. Lol!!