Monday, October 16, 2006

Creating New Bounderies

I read today that many Christians are migrating back from different areas in Iraq to their old villages in northern Iraq, and that the regional government in Kurdistan (Barazani) is giving them all sorts of support in order to settle down. Those Iraqi Christians were forced to leave their villages during Saddam’s rule. In fact, some sources indicates that this displacing Christians from north Iraq took place before Saddam became the president, specifically, according to the same source, from 1975 onwards. They were forced to leave their land, their houses and villages and locate them in other areas all around Iraq, and in the meantime the government put non-Christians in their place.

Well, I called them non-Christians and not as written in the original article: “Christians were forced to leave their villages and territory and were replaced by Arabs”, which is not correct because in my opinion Arabs consist of different religions and social groups.

This counter-immigration of Christians back to their territory is a combined effort by the regional government in Kurdistan Iraq and the Christian Affairs Committee, where the two is trying to bring all Christians originally from these areas within one geographic area, which will later be part of the Kurdistan Iraq region (not as it is right now as as part of the province Ninewa). We are talking here about an approximate of 4 to 5 million people form villages such as Tilkeef, Karamles, Bakhdida, Al Qush and many others.

Further more, the Kurdish regional government already made a number of measures in order to make this process easier for immigrated people: by building houses, sport and education centers, renovate old and build new churches! In addition, is working on promoting the Assyrian language in primary schools, by financially support these schools and giving funds for printing books and staff training. All this effort is for the purpose of establishing an independent geographic entity for Christians that will provide social protection for their citizen rights in the future, according to a Kurdish official interviewed about this matter.

This news comes after the national assembly voted less than a month ago in a swift move with very slight majority on a law allowing all provinces in Iraq to run a referendum to see if the people would favor the federal status for Iraq. Personally I find it very strange that the national assembly members discuss the federation issue, and I am not talking about the sectarian violence that is raising day after day, but I am referring to the never-ending-debate among the different political parties on the very issue of the federation and the way it has been written in the new constitution. There are still many obvious gaps in that constitution where even the supporters of the federation admit that a lot of work needed to be done until full agreement is reached. Despite that, the national assembly took the decision!

Last week I was listening to a political analyst who said that since the end of the war in 2003 and till this month, October, approximately 1.5 million people were forced to leave their places and live now in other areas in Iraq. The same analyst said that between 1.2 and 1.5 million have left Iraq since the end of the war to mostly neighboring countries.

According to the BBC, more than 300,000 people were internally displaced since February this year. Further more, The UNHCR came with a result on the number of travelers to Syria, for example, saying that “2,000 people a day coming across, so it's more than 40,000 people a month just into Syria."

The full BBC article can be found here

My conclusion from all has been said is that no different between the people now on power from those during Saddam era? Both regimes forced people to abandon their homes; both reallocated (and still are) communities the way they see appropriate to their best interest. Both forced millions of Iraqis flee their country and became refugees all over the world,, but what make things worse is the pace of such actions, unbelievable!! Each party or group is acting quick, each sees justice with own way! For example, I don’t believe that Barazani did consult with the central government regarding giving northern Iraq Christians a favor and to arrange this counter-immigration I mentioned earlier, simply because “politicians and politics in Baghdad does not concern me” I don’t blame him, it is logical that he doesn’t need to consult with anyone. Why getting headache from something he shouldn’t be bothered with?? On the other side, the politicians in Baghdad are giving the best example of a shattered unity, by either having a group occupied with the best way to get more money, or another group thinking with whom they should put their loyalty (or bet on), or another group (or individuals) are shining with their attitude by insulting each other and criticize each other to the level of accusing each other of incompetence and sometimes accusing each other of the highest level of stupidity – watch any satellite channel to enjoy the bashing of one politician against the other.

Another conclusion I can draw from the current situation is that the whole chaos in Iraq is not chaotic after all. These actions is part of a programmed process, and a long-term political agenda. Yes, it is a planned process by people who really know the inside and outside of Iraqi society, Iraqi history, and geo-political nature of Iraq. They know what they are doing, really. I am not referring to a conspiracy theory or something similar to that, because such a theory is supposed to be made by one particular source, but in Iraq’s case there are many, each is pulling a string, and this is leading the country into more disastrous situation, parallel to the daily torture and killings.

How can someone categorize all those I mentioned above? I can only put them in one category: They all share the responsibility of the crime committed towards the innocent Iraqi people. I am not execluding the American administration from this responsibility too.

I can’t imagine someone who lived for more than 20 years in Basrah suddenly is being forced to live in Ramadi!! I can’t imagine someone who live in Baghdad will need a permit to go to see his brother who live in Amara!!


Anonymous said...

I'm against moving Iraqi Christians to one area of the country in the name of safety and security.

I was born and raised in Basra. I visited Dohuk. where my parents come from, twice in my life.

If I was still living in Iraq, I would have wanted to stay in Basra. Basra was MY HOME and not some area determined by Iraq's politics.

But that shouldn't become an issue very soon with the continuous exodus of this small minority from Iraq. Since 2003, most of my relatives left Iraq. I have very few ones left there.

MixMax said...

It will remain the issue, as long as there are people forced to move from one place to another. It will also remain the issue because during Saddam's time Iraqis fled the country and there are who returned after the fall of the regim, and now there are others who are fleeing the country or displaced forcefully. In either way, this will remain the issue because there are people in the coming future who will use this issue for his interest and act the same.