Despite being an indigenous people whose pre-Islamic jihad conquest era ties to the land antedated those of the mid-7th century A.D. Arab Muslim invaders by centuries, the 1930 Anglo-Iraq treaty under which Britain withdrew all its forces from Iraq by late 1932, deliberately excluded any guarantees for Assyrian Christian autonomy, or protection. The Assyrians concerns were trivialized, and their appeals condemned as inflammatory, as evidenced by these statements of the British High Commissioner for Iraq, Sir Francis Humphreys:
Too much importance should not be attached to local sectarian dissensions, the explanation for which was often to be found in some purely trivial matter or incident… reports [i.e., of potential threats to the Assyrian community] can only serve to excite religious animosities, to estrange the Iraqi government, and to unsettle the Assyrians themselves, whose hopes of future welfare depend upon their being merged into the body politic of Iraq, being accepted as loyal subjects of King Faisal, and living in peace with their neighbors…
Thus were the Assyrians sacrificed to Britain’s Muslim Arabophile policy. Beginning on August 7, 1933—hence the August 7th date commemorating “The Assyrian Martyrs Day”, less than a year after the British withdrawal, the ‘new’ Iraqi armed forces, aided by local Arab and Kurdish tribesmen, began the wholesale massacre of Assyrians in the Mosul area (Simel, Dohuk). The carnage was described in a contemporary chronicle believed to have been written by Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, a Cambridge University graduate and Patriarch of the Church of the East:
The inoffensive population was indiscriminately massacred, men, women and children alike, with rifle, revolver and machine gun fire. In one room alone, eighty-one men from the Baz tribe, who had taken shelter… were barbarously massacred. Priests were tortured and their bodies mutilated. Those who showed their Iraqi nationality papers were the first to be shot. Girls were raped and women violated and made to march naked before the Arab army commander. Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls. Children were run over by military cars. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets. Those who survived in the other villages were now exposed day and night to constant raids and acts of violence. Forced conversion to Islam of men and women was the next process. Refusal was met with death. Sixty five out of ninety five Assyrian villages and settlements were either sacked, destroyed or burnt to the ground. Even the settlements which existed from the year 1921 and who had no connection in any way with the trouble were wrecked and all property looted by Iraq army and tribesmen.
Before the end of August, 1933, 3000 Assyrians were murdered, and thousands more displaced.
In a series of essays at The American Thinker, beginning in March of 2006 (here, here, and here), I warned of a policy failure that by virtue of its willful blindness to totalitarian Islam, was abetting Sharia supremacism in Iraq. By September 13, 2006, commenting on then President Bush II’s absurdly ebullient, making the world safe for Sharia assessment of the “accomplishments” in U.S.-occupied Iraq, I made a gloomy prognostication citing the same misplaced optimism expressed in 1935 by the British Arabist S.A. Morrison. Despite great expense of British blood and treasure, more than a decade of military occupation, and even after the Assyrian massacres (by Arab and Kurdish Muslims) of 1933-34, shortly after Britain’s withdrawal, Morrison wrote, (in “Religious Liberty in Iraq”, Moslem World, 1935, p. 128):
Iraq is moving steadily forward towards the modern conception of the State, with a single judicial and administrative system, unaffected by considerations of religion or nationality. The Millet system [i.e., dhimmitude—not reflected by this euphemism] still survives, but its scope is definitely limited. Even the Assyrian tragedy of 1933 does not shake our faith in the essential progress that has been made. The Government is endeavoring to carry out faithfully the undertakings it has given, even when these run directly counter to the long—cherished provisions of the Shari’a Law. But it is not easy; it cannot be easy in the very nature of the case, for the common people quickly to adjust their minds to the new legal situation, and to eradicate from their outlook the results covering many centuries of a system which implies the superiority of Islam over the non-Moslem minority groups. The legal guarantees of liberty and equality represent the goal towards which the country is moving, rather than the expression of the present thoughts and wishes of the population. The movement, however, is in the right direction, and it may yet prove possible for Islam to disentangle religious faith from political status and privilege.
I concluded with these disquieting observations (circa September, 2006), regarding the unintended, if predictable consequences of our supporting and re-affirming Sharia supremacism in Iraq:
Over seven decades later, the goals of true “liberty and equality” for Iraq remain just as elusive after yet another Western power has committed great blood and treasure toward that end.
Despite the absurd hagiography of the 2007 U.S. surge (notwithstanding the incredibly fierce and brave sacrifice made by America’s finest men and women—its troops), radio host Sam Sorbo was kind enough to allow me to address in brief, May 28, 2015, some of the crucial, if willfully ignored matters which have created the Iraq morass—unchanged two-years later—and rooted in denial of Islam’s Sharia-based doctrine of “international” (and domestic) relations”: jihad.
During our interview we touched upon the following:
- General Daniel P. Bolger’s “Why We Lost—A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars,” is a sobering read. Bolger went from a 1 to 3 star General in Iraq, and then Afghanistan, and once commanded 20,000 troops in Baghdad. He served 8-years in these war zones, between 2005 to 2013. Bolger characterized (on 256) the much ballyhooed 2007 Iraq “surge,” at its tactical conclusion, thusly: “The casualty and hostile attack rates went down in the fall of 2007, never again to rise to their previous heights, at least during the remaining years of the American campaign. But the fighting never stopped either. It lingered, a third of the previous rate, but that was no comfort to those who fell, killed or wounded, or to their families. Al-Qaeda in Iraq, unrepentant Sunni rejectionists, surly Sadrists [Shiite followers of Muqtada al-Sadr], and Iranian handlers all kept their pieces on the board. As long as the occupiers remained, there would be attacks. As long as Iraq was Iraq, violence remained part of the picture.” Bolger elaborated on these sentiments in a November 2014 op-ed, while exploding the standard mythical trope about how the alleged “decisively victorious” troop surge—with irony, repeatedlydubbed “fragile and reversible” by its putative architect, General Petraeus—was “squandered” by the Obama Administration’s policies. …
- When President George W. Bush announcedthe “surge,” during 2007, he maintained the overall objectives for this great expenditure of precious U.S. blood and treasure were to establish a “…unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror.” Any rational post-mortem indicates none of those goals were achieved, from either an Iraqi or U.S. perspective, even in the near term, let alone chronically.
- The successful post-World War II paradigm of neutralizing Japan’s bellicose, religio-political creed of Shintoism, has been turned on its head with regard to Islam, and the theocratic Islamic legal code, Sharia—imbued with jihad, and completely antitheticalto modern human rights constructs.
- Born of sheer willful ignorance about living Islamic doctrine, and history, this deficient mindset begot a corollary dangerous absurdity: embrace of the General David Petraeus “COIN” theory, a see no jihad, see no Islam military strategy designed, perversely, to somehow “defeat” the ancient-cum-modern forces of global Islamic jihadism.
- The current predicament of Iraq’s Yazidis, and Christians, past as prologue, also illustrates, starkly, mainstream conservative ignorance and dishonesty about Islam, and the creed’s timeless sine qua noninstitution, jihad. Post-surge Iraq — the paragon of Petraeus’ counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine “triumph” — rapidly deteriorated, well-before the emergence of the traditionalist Islamic Caliphate movement IS/IL, per se, into a hotbed of anti-Christian, and anti-Yazidi, Islamic brutality.
- Pew survey results reported in 2013 have confirmed the abject failure of the U.S. midwifed Iraqi and Afghan “democracies” to fulfill the utopian aspirations of the (Bernard) Lewis doctrine. The negative prognostications, epitomized by my colleague Diana West’s evocative description “Making the world safe for Sharia,” have instead, been realized. Specifically, the Pew data indicated91% of Iraqi Muslims and 99% of Afghan Muslims supported making Sharia the official state law of their respective societies. Hurriyya, the Arabic term for “freedom,” but meaning “perfect slavery to Allah and his Sharia”—Islamic religious totalitarianism—has triumphed over the diametrically opposed Western, Judeo-Christian conception of individual liberty, founded upon the bedrock freedoms of conscience and expression.
We have a moral obligation to oppose Sharia which is antithetical to the core beliefs for which hundreds of thousands of brave Americans have died, including, between 2001 and 2017, almost 7000 (6923) in Iraq, and Afghanistan. There has never been a Sharia state in history that has not discriminated (often violently) against the non-Muslims (and Muslim women) under its suzerainty. Moreover, such states have invariably taught (starting with Muslim children) the aggressive jihad ideology which leads to predatory jihad “razzias” on neighboring “infidels”—even when certain of those “infidels” happened to consider themselves Muslims, let alone if those infidels were clearly non-Muslims. That is the ultimate danger and geopolitical absurdity of a policy that ignores or whitewashes basic Islamic doctrine and history, while however inadvertently, making or re-making these societies “safe for Sharia.”
Assyrian Martyrs Day should serve as another poignant reminder of this eternal truth.