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Post Christians and Saddam Hussein
Created by John Eipper on 08/09/14 3:29 AM

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Christians and Saddam Hussein (Robert Gibbs, USA, 08/09/14 3:29 am)

I just wanted to clarify and enlarge somewhat John Heelan's post (8 August) regarding how well the Christians had it under Saddam Hussein. John is of course correct in his observation that "few Iraqis had it good" under Saddam, and that included Christians. He did, at times, control anti-Christian violence. However, this did not always extend to the north, and in the Kurdish areas there are significant numbers of Kurdish Christians. And it did not extend to the Yazidi (Yezidi, Yazdani, etc.).

The relocation programs or Arabization programs were centered mainly in Kurkuk, owing to the oil deposits.  This is where Saddam sent most of his retired Colonels, Generals and senior people as well as poor Baghdadis. (They were offered free houses and estates taken from the Assyrian, Turkmen and Kurdish owners.) These were protected by Republican Guard troops as well as draftees. His main objective seems to have been to Arabize the oil fields and destroy the Kurdish areas further as well as the Turkmen and Assyrians.

As an Aside, the Iraqis John Eipper refers to in Detroit are mainly Assyrian Christians and most of them are Eastern rite and or Chaldean (as was Tariq Aziz). There is also a large Assyrian community in San José, California, though Detroit is their center in the US.

I might also say that women had it infinitely better, with more opportunities and freedom under Saddam than at present. Sadly, they were also raped at alarming rates under Saddam, his son Udai and the Republican Guard, Murkharabout, etc.

JE comments:  It is the Yazidi (up to 50,000) who are presently under siege from ISIS and isolated on the infamous mountain range.  As of August 7th, the US has begun to airdrop humanitarian assistance--as well as to launch strikes on ISIS positions.  

So the US is at war again in Iraq.

Here's a primer on the ancient Yazidi religion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazidi


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