quoting from William Ziff, The Rape of Palestine, p.406-408:

Those who believe the assurances of the English have only to read the gory history of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq, after Britain terminated its Mandate there in 1932, to gain a picture of what is impending in Palestine. Just as the English made an arrangement with the Zionists, so they had made a similar one with the Assyrians, inviting them to rise against the Turks and promising them independence and protection if they would do so. Moved by these pledges, the Assyrians were the only people in what is now Iraq who took up the Allied cause and fought loyally for the British Empire.[97] Their territory was later placed under Arab rule because London was anxious to include the Mosul Oil District within Iraqian frontiers.

When the Assyrians expressed alarm over the British proposal to grant statehood to Iraq, the Mandates Commission was solemnly assured that the anxiety of these minorities was due to "mischievous propaganda." Iraq, said the British representative, was "a country where the Moslem, Christian, and Jew have lived happily side by side for centuries... His Majesty's Government fully realizes its responsibilities in recommending that Iraq should be admitted to the League. Should Iraq prove unworthy of the confidence which has been reposed in it, the moral responsibility must rest with His Majesty's Government.[98] [sic]

In vain the Assyrians pleaded. The engineer A. M. Hamilton and other thoughtful Englishmen immediately called the turn without reservation, stating that "the lives of the minorities have been placed in the hands of people without any morals or conscience."[99]

Scarcely a year after Iraq was granted its 'independence,' and despite the readiness of His Majesty's Government to assume "moral responsibility," the Kurdish settlements were bombarded by airplanes. A month later (in August 1933), a holy war was proclaimed against the Assyrians. The Government offered Arab tribesmen one pound bounty for every Assyrian head brought in, as well as license to plunder any Assyrian property they could find. The Arab press made it known that all acts of violence were lawful and that anyone not participating in the war would be betraying his religion and country.[100] At the head of the Criminal Investigation Department was an Englishman, who watched this terrific barrage of wild propaganda and incitement without making a move.

Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Stafford, British Administrative Inspector in Iraq, gives a blood-curdling eye-witness account of what followed. The Assyrians were first systematically disarmed. On August 5, an Army detachment swept through their territory and the Assyrians were hunted down as one stalks rabbits. "No pretence was made that these operations had any purely military objective, for the Army Intelligence Officers did not even take the trouble to cross-question that captured Assyrians, who were simply shot as they were rounded up."[101] [...]

On August 7, the inhabitants of the whole surrounding district were ordered to come down to Simel, the largest Assyrian settlement. After days of sacking, the troops began a cold-blooded and methodical massacre. [...]

The troops engaged against the defenseless Assyrians were given a royal reception on their return. In Mosul the Crown Prince, now King of Iraq, decorated their colors with his own hands. The various officers concerned were promoted. Enthusiastic applause greeted their triumphant procession through the capital.

After this cowardly slaughter, occurred other massacres, this time of the Yezidis, "planned by the Central Authorities at Baghdad and conducted by the army with no less barbarity than the previous ones." [105]

Ziff's citations are:

  • 97: Lieut.-Col. A. T. Wilson, Mesopotamia : A Clash of Loyalties, p.291; Sir A. Haldane, The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, pp.288-296; Lieut.-Col. A. T. Wilson in The Nineteenth Century and After Review, October 1933.
  • 98: Sir Francis Humphreys, British High Commissioner for Iraq, speaking for His Majesty at Geneva, January 5, 1932. Only four years later, Great Britain and the East (issue of June 4,1936) is glibly repeating the same assurances that "Jews and Arabs have lived in amity ... for many centuries without racial or religious friction of any kind."
  • 99: Hamilton's statement was carried in the entire Hebrew press. See also his book, Road through Kurdistan.
  • 100: Yusuf Malkak, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, pp.267-268
  • 101: Lieut.-Col. A. S. Stafford, The Tragedy of the Assyrians, p.168
  • 102: Ibid. p. 169.
  • 103: Ibid. pp.174-177.
  • 104: Yusuf Malkak, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, pp.269-270 ; 281-284.
  • 105: Dr. David Barsum Perley, Nero's Rule in Iraq.

Side note: the author is the Ziff in Ziff-Davis, as in the ZDNet tech publisher.

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