lundi 6 octobre 2008

Letter to British MP Mr. Edward Leigh re: Iraq's minorities

To: Mr. Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough

Dear Sir,

Subject: Your article “Politicians must act to save the language of Jesus”

I read your article in the Catholic Herald about your recent visit to the north of Iraq and I would like to make some comments:

The war of aggression launched on Iraq by the US and the UK in March 2003 and the illegal occupation of this country by the US-UK forces have brought complete chaos in Iraq and great sufferings to Iraq’s entire population, causing the death of over 1,270.000 Iraqis.

This illegal war followed 12 years of criminal sanctions - imposed on the Iraqi people by the UN at the instigation of the US and the UK- which caused the death of more than one million innocent Iraqi civilians.

This war has caused the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure and the displacement of over 4.5 million Iraqis inside and outside the country.

The US-UK occupiers in order to impose their occupation policy on the Iraqis have dismantled Iraq’s existing institutions, disbanded its army and police leaving the country without defence forces, its borders without surveillance and its population without any protection. Over 400 Iraqi academics and scientists have been assassinated in Iraq since the occupation by gangs manipulated by the US, UK and Israeli, secret services.

Is it possible to ignore these crimes and simply turn the page?

As an honourable British MP who voted against the invasion of Iraq I deplore the fact that in your article you omit to mention the responsibility of your government in causing so much harm to the Iraqi people and that you do not demand that the UK political leaders who started this illegal war be held accountable for the crimes they committed in Iraq and insist that the Iraqi people receive a just compensation from the US-UK aggressors for the destruction of their country.

Defending one of Iraq’s minorities is highly commendable but is it fair not to give the same attention to the other minorities who are suffering under the same Kurdish domination in the north of Iraq today?

You recommend that: “the West, particularly the US and Britain, must step in to protect the last remnant of a Christian minority in Iraq, lest they go the way of the Jews, who were all evicted”. We need to give them their own province in the Nineveh Plains. We need to warn the Kurds that continued encroachments of their land will not be tolerated

- Iraqis were well known for their religious tolerance, Christian and other non-Muslim Iraqis have always been respected by their Muslim compatriots. I would like to remind you that before the US-UK illegal invasion in 2003 Iraq’s Christians were not threatened and did not come under attacks from what you call “Muslim or Islamic extremists”.

- As for the Jews, it is false to say that they were ‘evicted’. Jews have never been forced to leave Iraq, they left by their own free will, following the Zionist plan which encouraged them to settle in Palestine.

I would like to remind you that it is the Americans and the British who have wrongly classified and described the Iraqi people as being composed of: “Shias, Sunnis and Kurds”, mixing religious sects with ethnicity and completely ignoring the Turkmens, the Chaldeo-Assyrians, the Yezidis and the Sabeans. It is interesting to note that although the majority of Iraqis are Arabs the name ‘Arabs’ was left out of their classification of the Iraqi people.

Of course, the division of Iraq along ethnic and religious lines ‘Divide and Rule’, by the neo-con gang which controlled the Bush administration, was meant to weaken Iraq, facilitate its occupation in order to plunder it’s natural resources and also to have a pretext to occupy the country indefinitely.

All Iraqis, irrespective of their ethnic origin or religion, have suffered from this brutal aggression and from the consequences of the occupation of their country. Evidently, Iraq’s minorities which did not have armed militias became more vulnerable in the chaos which has been created by the foreign aggression and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Today in the north of Iraq all minorities are suffering from Kurdish hegemony and from their land grabbing that is why there should be no hierarchization of Iraq’s minorities and none of the victims should be ignored.

Among Iraq’s minorities the Turkmens who represent the third main ethnic community in Iraq have suffered the most.

Over the last three decades they have suffered from discrimination, marginalization, expropriation, forced displacement, arbitrary imprisonment and assassinations due to the Arabisation policy of the former regime. Their situation has continued to deteriorate even further since the occupation of the north of Iraq in April 2003 when the Kurdish Peshmerga invaded and occupied Kerkuk and other Turkmen towns and cities with the blessing of the US Army.

Today, the Turkmens are victims of the Kurdification of their ancestral lands and cities as the two Kurdish warlords are imposing their hegemony over the entire north of Iraq and are seeking to annex Kerkuk - the Turkmens’ capital city and main cultural centre in Iraq - to their autonomous region.

Yet, I have not heard a single UK politician take up the defence of Iraq’s Turkmens. Why?

The US and the UK politicians must stop creating divisions among the Iraqi people, they must stop supporting one group to the detriment of the others and they must stop favouring one religious group while demonizing another, such kind of interferences will not bring peace, stability and harmony to the Iraqi people.

Yours truly,

Merry Fitzgerald

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