We are the future!
Vote “NO” – U.S. Foreign Policy fatal for native Christians and other defenseless minorities in Syria
Stockholm, 10 September 2013
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Esteemed Member of Congress,
On behalf of the already decimated Aramean (Syriac) Christians, an ancient Biblical and Semitic people who are native to Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”) urgently seeks your help in voting against the proposed resolution for the USA and its allies to commence yet another war in the Middle East – this time in Syria. There is no question that this proposal from the Obama administration flies into the face of international law and will have disastrous consequences, particularly for Syria’s Christian population and its ancient cultural heritage.
Being the representatives of the American people, our Aramaic-speaking United Nations NGO appeals to your good conscience to listen to your constituency as well as to the voice of the innocent population which is about to be bombed. All surveys show that the great majority of US citizens are vehemently against a strike against Syria, which will certainly inflame the region and possibly lead to an even larger war with many other nations. The British Parliament already gave a crystal-clear message to its ruling Conservative Government and we hope and expect that the honorable Members of the U.S. Congress will do the same by taking into further consideration the following arguments and facts.
1. Minorities are the ongoing victims of Western foreign policies in Middle East
Throughout recent history in the Middle East, native peoples like the Aramean Christians have faced great violence and genocides. The WCA cannot remain silent about the fact that the Christians in the region have been largely treated by Middle Eastern and Western Governments as ‘collateral damage’ and ‘third class citizens’ in the very lands built up by our ancestors. Due to the policies of successive governments, the Arameans are currently combating a real threat of eradication from their homelands. We are worried about the survival of native peoples like the Arameans and Copts in the Middle East.
2. We must learn our lessons from Iraq
Today it is widely acknowledged that the U.S.-led coalition which invaded Iraq in 2003 has resulted in countless dead civilians and a large number of refugees and IDPs. The Iraqi people and their cultural heritage have been destroyed and their country has been severely ruined. After a full decade of war, Iraq is still no closer to peace and stability. If President Assad leaves his post and the rebels take charge of Syria, it is highly probable that Syria will become another Iraq where the civil war and sectarian violence has effectively destroyed a once great civilization and people.
3. All criminals in the Syrian war must be held accountable
The WCA believes that anyone found guilty of crimes committed against humanity must be held accountable. At the moment, the Obama Administration is yet to provide clear evidence of the recent chemical attack against the residents of a Damascus suburb on August 21, 2013. It is not clear that President Assad committed the crime and some reports even suggest that the rebels conducted the sarin attack. For at least two years, the rebels have committed many well-documented crimes against humanity, including, but not limited to, decapitations, brutal killings including women and children, tortures, (gang) rapes, kidnappings (e.g., two Archbishops of Aleppo on 22 April who are still missing), attacks against certain regions (e.g. Latakia or Tel-Abyad) and towns (especially Aramean Christian ones such as happened most recently in Maaloula). What about punishment and condemnation of the armed rebels and of those who sponsor them? Where is the international condemnation and justice?
We are all eye-witnesses to a silent genocide, deception and war propaganda which sacrifices the truth. We should never repeat our mistakes of the past such as happened with Iraq. Unfortunately, however, it seems as if there are those who wish to lead us down exactly that terrible path.
Many proud and prominent American politicians and generals have declared that a war is not in the best interests of the American people. Further, a strike against Syria will destroy all chances of a political solution. At this point, we believe that the initiative for a Geneva II summit led by the USA and Russia, aimed at bringing together the warring parties in order to seek a political rather than military solution, is still feasible and must deserve the greatest attention by the international community just like the unprecedented humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in front of our eyes.
Finally, our hearts and minds are with the American people in remembering the innocent victims of the heinous attack on 11 September 2001. The people of the world urgently beg for peace and security.
Therefore we ask you to vote “NO” to the Resolution put before you in the coming days.
We thank you kindly in advance for your urgent consideration and support, and remain yours sincerely,
World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)