I am calling on Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) to uphold his promise to me when I testified on 30 June 2006, before his Congressional Committee of the 109th Congress on religious freedom regarding the genocide, massacres and persecution of Assyrians in Iraq by Kurds and Islamists. This is what he said to me on the record:
“I thank you for that very powerful testimony. I just want you to know that you point out no one’s taking notice. The reason why we invited you and wanted you here was to try to begin to rectify that. To raise this issue with our own government and other coalition partners, especially the Iraqis. Your testimony will be used, I can assure you, to try and rectify things.”
Furthermore, my Congressional testimony is quoted in the May 2007 Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
. Despite this report, and although it has been nearly a year since Congressman Smith’s promise, the Assyrians are still patiently waiting on the fulfillment of these assurances. Instead we have witnessed the suppression of information in regards to the Assyrian crisis. Undoubtedly the matter is buried deep in Congressional archives. Unfortunately, so are Assyrians being buried everyday, with limbs severed and lives shattered and all hope dissipating.
We can no longer afford to remain complacent about the Assyrian tragedy unfurling in Iraq at the speed of light. We are in the midst of a crisis of unparalleled proportion. The status quo is failing. It is paramount that the U.S. and Iraqi governments take the initiative to immediately provide for an Assyrian Safe Zone. The U.S. was able to implement such a zone for the Kurds in 1991.
Assyrians are an integral part of the fabric of Iraq. If democracy is going to be implemented successfully in Iraq, then it stands to reason that the Assyrians must be protected. Change can come when the information and news blackout on Assyrian interests in lifted in western media.
I urge every Assyrian and friends of Assyrians to contact Congressman Christopher Smith and demand a progress report on his promises to the Assyrians. This is where he can be reached:
The Honorable Christopher H. Smith
United States House of Representatives
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3004
Washington, DC Phone: 202-225-3765
Washington, DC Fax: 202-225-7768
New Jersey District Offices:
1540 Kuser Road, Suite A-9
>Hamilton, NJ 08619
Together we can make a difference. Please do your part.