Under the watchful eyes of the coalition forces, United Nations, and humanitarian organizations in Iraq, Iraqi Kurds have labeled the heartland of Assyria (Northern Iraq) as Kurdistan. Kurds have been busy in the last two years Kurdifying the indigenous people of Iraq, the Assyrians and refer to them “Kurdistani Christians”. The oppression of the Assyrians in Northern Iraq by the Kurd invaders went as far as denying over 200,000 Assyrians in that region their voting rights during January 2005 elections.
In her recent visit to Iraq on May 15, 2005 the Secretary of States, Condoleezza Rice met with the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) leader, Mr. Massoud Barazani in the city of Irbil. During that interview, Mr. Barazani continuously referred to the heartland of Assyria, the “Kurdistan” region, to which Secretary Rice, consistent with all other American officials refrained from using the unhistorical name.
At the end of the meeting, Secretary Rice was asked, “What’s the significance, what’s the message of you coming straight from America to meet with Mr. Barazani, especially with regard to the future of Kurdish autonomy and territory?” to which Secretary Rice responded, “My understanding with Mr. Barazani, and we’ve just had a discussion about it, is that he is one of the many leaders of Iraq, several leaders of Iraq, who are dedicated to a unified and federal and democratic Iraq. He talked about what the Transitional Administration Law has meant to him personally. Of course, the Kurdish people have a very special culture and a very special place. But it is a place within a democratic of federal Iraq, and so I am now in a very important and special part of Iraq”.
The Assyrian people around the world continue to be concerned about their brethrens who have remained on their ancestors’ lands in Iraq. They particularly take heart that the ancient names of the regions in Iraq will not be changed by the Kurds or others who migrated to Iraq not too long ago. They are especially proud to have such an old history that testifies to their legitimate claims on their lands.