Petitions regarding Iraq, the Mosul Vilayet, etc.

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.../iraqoil.htm ¦ .../iraqsplit.htm ¦ .../hotpursuit.htm ¦ .../rebirth.htm ¦ .../zaman.htm ¦
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22 Nov 07   Shiites in S. Iraq Rebuke Tehran, WP, Amit R. Paley et al., comments
27 Apr 07   Joint Resolution by US Congress on Assyrians (draft)
8 Mar 07   Assyrians appeal to US lawmakers (draft)
15 Apr 04   If you don't have a silverbullet either, why not try this?, Gogel memo
19 Mar 04   1,7 mio Mosul Vilayet citizens appeal to H.E. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General; (German text)
    Appendix to Petition (Historical Background)
14 Feb 04   Kurdistan Independent-Congregation appeals to Coalition Provisional Authority
19 Aug 03   Yezidi leaders appeal to H.E. Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN Representative in Iraq
22 Oct 99   Non-Muslim Turkish citizens appeal to H.E. Suleyman Demirel, President of Turkey

*          *         *


to  H.E. Suleyman Demirel, President of Turkey

We, the undersigned Turkish Citizens, duly appointed to represent, notably for the purpose of this Petition (1), the Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Medean (Kurdish) and Yezidi communities, all of which since times immemorial have been tributaries to and constitute indeed integral parts of what is now called modern Turkey, which was forged under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk and which, in international law, came into being with the Treaty of Lausanne of 24th July 1923;

at the dawn of a New Millennium coinciding with a New Aera which gives us also an opportunity to remember and draw inspiration from some ancient and more recent experiences, including

at a moment of growing tensions and conflicts, with uncertain ramifications on both national and international levels where gesticulations dominate and often mask a lack of vision and courage, and in the absence of principled and effective leadership which lay at the roots of successful historical developments not only in the past but also in the presence and in the future;  and

on the advice received from friends from both abroad and inside of Turkey, including those we have asked to represent our interests, i.e. the International Committee for European Security and Cooperation ICESC (2) and, in the event, the Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers:

thus invite Your Excellency to consider our offer to participate in the development and implementation of measures designed to effectively promote genuine national reconciliation, regional stability and security, economic progress and cultural enrichment, and to these effects

1.    to see to it that the Turkish authorities effectively support and promote the study of the roots of Turkey's constituant peoples and, in this sense and within the confines of the Turkish Constitution, join His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar who said in relation to the proposal (3) to set up, in the neighboring Mosul Vilayet, an international institute for the study of the roots of Islam, particularly those preceding Judean and Christian traditions, with the name of SLM Center:

2.    to see to it that forthwith all institutions of the Turkish State effectively and reliably recognize also and notably the Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Medean and Yezidi (4) communities as minorities in the sense of articles 37 - 44 of the Treaty of Lausanne of 24th July 1923 (5, 6) and that, in the event, a census is being conducted at the earliest possible date among all Turkish Citizens and current residents of Turkey providing for each of them to freely and secretly express his/her identification with the community of his/her choice; and

3.    to see to it that the work of Kemal Atatürk be faithfully preserved, pursued and adapted to changing circumstances and, particularly with regard to minorities thus brought under the Turkish umbrella, that the commitments entered into with the 1920 National Pact and the 1923 Lausanne Treaty be reliably and verifiably adhered to, i.e.
a)    while no Turkish "law, regulation [or] official action" shall prevail over the "fundamental laws" laid down in articles 38 - 44 of the Lausanne Treaty, and while the indeed still relevant minority protection clauses thus accepted constitute "obligations of international concern", the proper implementation of these overriding obligations calls for a prompt overhaul of the entire minority protection system, in as much as they were originally "placed under the guarantee of the League of Nations" which is now defunct,and its successor organization, the United Nations, cannot automatically be relied upon to provide the corresponding facilities and instruments;
b)    it is thus first of all incumbent upon the Turkish authorities to eventually heed the suggestion formally tabled at the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission in Geneva on 11th August 1995 (7), namely to turn the international minority protection guarantees contained in that 1923 Treaty "into reliable and effectively accessible monitoring and redress instruments, e.g. in the form of Special Minority Representatives who are elected by the beneficiaries of these guarantees and who shall also be communicating directly with the guaranteeing institutions or powers"; and
c)    the Special Commission provided for in article 42 alinea 2, of the Lausanne Treaty is to be activated forthwith, and the Umpire thus foreseen, in the event, is to be chosen promptly from among European jurists.


                                                   for the Armenian community         for the Assyrian community

for the Chaldean community           for the Medean community       for the Yezidi community

1    This Petition has been developed with the assistance of the Mosul Vilayet Council which was founded in Ankara on 15th May 1992 (, which is statutorily pledged to provide, on request, good offices "towards an early cease-fire and a mutually advantageous lasting solution of Turkey's 'Kurdish Question'", and which has drawn inspiration from the 1992 statement the then-Prime Minister Demirel made in the Turkish Parliament: "the Turkish-Iraqi border is wrong!"  (
2    founded in May 1968, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with ECOSOC and UNESCO, c/o Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers, POB 2580, 1211 Geneva 2,
3   based on land grant offers by Turkish, Turkoman and other Mosul Vilayet landowners in accordance with article 65 alinea 2 of the Treaty of Lausanne of 24th July 1923 and articles 7 and 14 of the Declaration of Iraq of 30 May 1932 (, inspired also by article 42 alinea 3 of the Lausanne Treaty, and made to the Grand Imam, Dr. Mohamed Sayed Tantaoui, in his meeting of 16th December 1998 with the Representative of the Mosul Vilayet Council to the United Nations,
4    J.B.Daud Baghistani, "On the Realization of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the Yezidi", ICESC statement to the UN Human Rights Commission, 10th February 1995
5    Bianca Baghistani, "New Horizons in the Middle East in Religious Matters", ICESC statement to the UN Human Rights Commission, 14th February 1995 God
6    David Littman, "Towards a United States of Abraham in the Middle East", ICESC statement to the UN Human Rights Commission, 4th August 1995
7     Hadi Baghistani, "VIVANT SEQUENTES: LET THEM LIVE, LEARN AND PROSPER", ICESC statement delivered by Abdul Rahman SEQUENTES

To -  Kufi Anan, Secretary General of United Nations

We, the undersigned {1700000 persons, excludes Baghdad and exile region}, request the United Nations to conduct a referendum in the districts and regions comprising Iraqi Kurdistan, to enable the residents of Kurdistan to freely ascertain their choice for the future consistent with their inalianable right to self determination.

This petition is supported by the following:

1.    In accordance with the Resolution of League of Nations on December 16th, 1925, the Mousil Vilayat - South Kurdistan - was illegally annexed to the newly established state of Iraq without due consideration to the will of its residents nor its ethnic composition.  This was done illegally and in deference to the interests of external powers.

2.    This annexation was a blatant violation of international law and the declaration by the US President Woodrow Wilson on January 8th, 1918, affirming explicitly the right of Kurdish subjects of the Ottoman Empire to self-determination.  The principle of self-determination was given a legal status in articles (1/2) and (55) in the UN Charter.  And were also reaffirmed in the United Nations declaration of 14th of December 1960, common article (1) of the international convention on civic and political rights, and the international convention of cultural, social, and economic rights (1966), the international law principles concerning cooperation and friendly relations among states (1970), and numerous other international and regional documents.

3.    Successive Iraqi governments have failed to honor any of the obligations of the State of Iraq towards the Kurdistan people; non[e] of the obligations stipulated under international [law] nor the specific obligations stipulated by the League of Nations as a precondition for Kurdistan's annexation to the State of Iraq in 1925. [1]

4.    Further to the above stated violations, the basic human rights of the people of Kurdistan were systematically violated culminating in a brutal war of genocide during 1987-1988 which included the use of the internationally banned chemical weapons.  The Iraqi government massacred 8000 Barzanies in 1983 and over 182000 other civilians in 1988, pursued a scorched-earth policy that led to the destruction of over 4000 villages and communities, and implemented a wide scale ethnic cleansing campaign in Kirkuk, Khanaqi, Shangal, Makhmur and other districts of Kurdistan.

5.    The uprising of March 1991 and the Coalition's humanitarian intervention conducted under the auspices of UNSCR 688 provided a conducive opportunity for our people to conduct national elections in certain parts of Kurdistan that laid the foundation for democratic self governance that has been functioning for the past 12 years.  During this period, the Kurdistan people have enjoyed basic freedoms and human rights and cannot be expected now to give up those hard won gains.  There can be no acceptance of less than what the people of Kurdistan have been enjoying during these 12 years of self-government.  Voluntary union of the various nationalities and communities of Iraq must be based on mutual respect of the right to self-determination and universal principles of human rights - and this is the only way that democracy can flourish.

6.    After the overthrow of the Iraqi regime on April 9th, 2003, and the designation of the CPA as the authority to govern the country based on UNSCR 1483, it is time to rectify the historical injustice of 1925 inflicted upon the Kurdistan people.  The Coalition and the wider international community are morally and legally responsible to facilitate [a] referendum to ascertain the legal status of Kurdistan and its people in accordance with their inalienable right to self determination.

-    The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq.
-    Permanent Members of United Nations Security Council.
-    International Court of Justice.
-    Iraqi Governing Council.
-    Europe Union.
-    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
-    United Nations Economic and Social Council commission on Human Rights.
-    Human Rights Watch.
-    Amnesty International.
-    Kurdistan National Assembly.

*          *         *

Appendix (Referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan)

Historical Background

We, the people of Kurdistan, are a fragmented nation of about 35-40 million. After the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned. As a result, the people of Kurdistan were divided between five different states: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the former Russian republics Azerbaijan and Armenia. Although we are dispersed over five countries, we inhabit areas that are closely linked. The Kurdish problem has remained to destabilize the politics of the three countries in which Kurds form important minorities: Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

The Kurdish people are one of the oldest nations of the world, living in their homeland for about 4000 years. We are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Middle East, and the largest ethnic group in the world without our own state. We have a culture and identity which have remained distinct for a long time.

In 1639 Kurdistan was divided between the Ottoman Turkish and the Persian Empire. who kept control of it for the next 400 years. In 1919, the Kurds submitted a memorandum to the Paris Peace Conference, calling for Self-determination in accordance with President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points.

In 1920, for the first time in the Kurdistan long history, the Treaty of Sevres recognized an independent Kurdistan "the creation of a Kurdish State", but owing to the military revival in Turkey, the treaty was not implemented. Iraq, a newly-formed state in 1921. was put together from parts of Mesopotamia and Kurdistan as a result of the conquest by the British army (1914-1918). In 1920 a referendum was held in Iraq to approve the accession of Prince Faisal to the throne of the new monarchy. The Kurds of Sulaimani boycotted the election while the province of Kirkuk voted against the prince.

In 1921 the Iraqi government wanted immediately to withdraw from the Kurdish regions the local Kurdish officials in order to install Arabs and to suppress the teaching of the Kurdish language in the administration of Kurdistan. As public policies became militant and Arabized, the Kurds differentiated themselves from the center rather than be homogenized in the state as Iraqi citizens. On 24 December 1922, an Anglo-Iraqi Joint Declaration to the Council of the League of Nations clearly recognized the right of the lraqi Kurds to some type of autonomy. Seeking Iraq's admission to the League of Nations, the British employed measures that would assure "minority groups rights" in the new state.

In 1926 the Iraqi Prime Minister, Abd el Muhsin al Sa'dun declared, "This nation cannot live unless it gives all Iraqi elements their rights .... The fate of Turkey should be a lesson to us and we should not revert to the policy formerly pursued by the Ottoman Government. We should give the Kurds their rights." The Kurdish minority threatened Iraq's stability since its foundation as a nation-state.

Under the League of Nations mandate system, Britain look control of Iraq. Strictly speaking, Iraq was a creation: a novel political system constructed from three ex-Ottoman provinces. Unlike the Ottomans, the British treated Kurdistan (Mosul province) as a separate entity from Arab Iraq. The High Commissioner assumed direct responsibility for Mosul and treated this "Kurdistan" as an autonomous entity - - evident in British accounting. fiscal. and administrative procedures. In 192s the League of Nations recommended that the wilayet (administrative unit) of Mosul, to which the Turks had laid claim, be incorporated into the new kingdom, a decision finally implemented in the treaty of July 1926 between the interested parties: Britain, Turkey and Iraq.

Consequently, the southern territory of Kurdistan was annexed, against the will of the Kurdistan people, to the newly- formed state called "Iraq". The Kurdistan people, however, never accepted their inclusion into Iraq. Therefore, there have been intermittent uprisings and revolts, waging long guerrilla warfare, against the successive Arab governments of Iraq (1921-1991) to achieve their goals of sovereignty and independence. The history of the Kurds is a story of one rebellion after another. They have struggled for national liberation.

For about seventy years, the Kurdish people were deprived of their legal rights, and suffered from repression, persecution, tyranny, internal deportation, Arabization, chemical warfare. ethnic cleansing and genocide "the infamous Anfal campaigns". The Kurds have a history of grievances and have keen political memories of conflictual relations. In 1920 the country was put under a League of Nations mandate, to be administered by Britain. The British mandate ended in October 1932, when Iraq became fully independent.

The Kurds consider themselves ethnically different from the Arabs. Being non-Semitic and speaking an Indo-European language. the Kurds have little in common with the Arabs of Iraq apart from their Sunni Muslim faith. In Iraq, the British could and did create a state, but they could not fashion a people.

After the Gulf War in April 1991. the Allies and the United nations established a "sale haven", and they provided support and protection for the Kurds against genocidal attacks by Iraqi government forces. Since 1992 the Kurdish people have acquired a sort of self-mastery and have developed a reasonably efficient administration. They have been developing a de facto government and autonomous state, with many attributes of sovereignty which normally attach to independence. They have an elected Parliament and municipal councils. The Kurdish rebellion showed that Iraqi national unity remained fragile, even after seventy years of nationhood.

The Right of the People of Iraqi Kurdistan to Self-Determinations: Declarations and Resolutions
Self-determination, which is closely associated with human rights, is the right of a people to form their own state and choose their own government. It is a principle of international law stating that a nation has the right to constitute itself as an independent state and determine its own political system. government and laws. It is associated with the democratization of the world. Consequently. The Kurdistan people have the right to exercise democratic rights and freedoms of peoples who have been historically placed under the control of others.

It is evident that every nation must be free and entitled to organize its own state. The will of the population of the territory concerned should be respected. Owing to our nationality we form part of the population of a state, but we are different from the majority of the people of this state because of our special character and attributes. We, the people of Kurdistan, bear the right of self-determination since we are an ethnic group, Kurds constituting the majority, living inside a state territory. We are part of the population of a sovereign state, and the entire state has come under foreign domination.

Theoretically, there have been articles in the Iraqi constitutions that recognized the Kurds as a major ethnic group, but practically there was no implementation of them. The provisional 1921 Iraqi constitution asserted that "Iraq is composed of two ethnic groups, Arabs and Kurds" and that the "Kurdish and Arabic languages have equal status". In 1958. President Abd al-Karim Qasim established a provisional constitution that recognized Iraq's bi-national character. It stated that the Kurdo-Arab relationship was a "partnership". President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, leader of the 1968 coup d’état, drafted a constitutional amendment stating that. "the Iraqi people consist of two main nationalities: Arabs and Kurds''. In the accord of March 1970, Iraq recognized the Iraqi people as being made up of two nationalities. and recognized Kurdish as an official language.

There is clear emphasis on maintaining human rights and the principle of self-determination" in accordance with the following documents:

l. The American Declaration of Independence of 1776 ("the consent of the governed").
2. In 1789, the French revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man ("the Divine right of the people").
  1. In 1918, in the Fourteen-Point Programme, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, gave legitimacy to the principle of national self-determination.

  2. Among these points, major significance was attached to the principle of self-determination. President Wilson's efforts resulted in the establishment of a system to protect minorities under the supervision of the League of Nations. The idea of national independence came to be known as national self-determination. He contemplated the creation of an independent Kurdistan on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
  3. The League of Nations

  4. The League of Nations recognized the principle of Self-determination. 1n 1920, the League of Nations. understanding Kurdish distinctiveness and consciousness, considered self-determination of peoples as the moral foundation of peace.
  5. The Atlantic Charter (14 August 1941)

  6. "They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live".
  7. The United Nations Charter

  8. In 1945 the principle of self-determination was given legal status in the United Nations Charter. The Charter (in l '2') states that the purpose of the United Nations is "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace".
    (55) "With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people.... ".

    The right of self-determination was again reaffirmed in the 1970 Declaration of Principles of International Law which further emphasized that all states were under a positive duty to promote it.

    United Nations Resolution 688 (5 April 1991)
    The Security Council "condemns the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq. including most recently in Kurdish-populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region".

  9. The Bandung Conference and Declaration ( 24 April 1955).

  10. The Asian - African conference declared its full support of the fundamental principles of Human RiQhts as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and took note of the United Nations Resolutions on the Rights of Peoples and States to self-determination, which is a prerequisite of the full enjoyment of ail fundamental human rights.
  11. The Helsinki Agreement (1975).

  12. VIII: "By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, all peoples always have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when and as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development.
  13. African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (1986).  Article 20 (1) "All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.
  1. Vienna Declaration Adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights (1993).

  2. (2) "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. social and cultural development".
  3. The European Parliament.
The European Parliament emphasizes that the Kurdish people have had a tragic history in the Middle East since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Iraqi government started a war of extermination (committed genocide) against the Kurdish people of Iraq. Saddam was continuing his policies of terror against them.
Thousands of villages were destroyed and razed to the ground in the 1980s. Mass executions of prisoners were carried out.
The European Parliament has condemned the:
  1. continued violation of the rights and freedoms of the Kurdish people,
  2. use of chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of Halabja by Iraq, which is in flagrant violation of international law,
  3. Iraqi government's repressive and genocidal actions against the Kurdish people.
The above-mentioned items of information have been derived from numerous resolutions by the European Parliament. They are:

Resolution (No C 122, 14 April l988) on the use of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war,
Resolution (No C 262, 15 September 1988) on the Iraqi offensive against the Kurds,
Resolution (No C 326, 17 November 1988) on the massacre of the Kurds,
Resolution (No C 158, 25 May 1989) on the threat to the Kurds in Iraq,
Resolution (No C 106, 14 March 1991) on the situation of the Kurds,
Resolution (No C 129. 18 Apri1 1991) on the situation of the Kurds,
Resolution (No C 158, 16 May 1991) on the situation of the Kurdish Refugees.
Resolution (No C 326, 22 November 1991) on the plight of Kurdish refugees and the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan,
Resolution (No C 176, 12 June 1992) on the rights of the Kurdish people,
Resolution (No C 176, 29 May 1993) on the threat to the Iraqi Kurds.

[1]    cf:  "Petition to UN - an impressive demonstration of People Power" (; see also: "Iraq: if you don't have a silverbullet either, why not try this?"

Iraq: if you don't have a silverbullet either, why not try this? (15.04.04)

courtesy by:  Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers  cp 2580, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
url: ¦ .../invitation.htm ¦ .../recres.htm ¦ .../opinion.htm ¦ .../cherrypicking.htm
tks 4 notifying errors, comments & suggestions to:  +4122-7400362  - 

"The goal is to stabilize Iraq."
(US Senator Bill Nelson: CNN Late Edition, April 11, 2004)
How do we get there, in light of recent developments, e.g. in Fallujah and elsewhere in urban Iraq?
"... punitive military action is not the answer, or not necessarily the only answer"
(Rend Al-Rahim, Iraq's Representative to the US: CNN Late Edition, April 11, 2004).
Above all, the answer must be "political," based on an early and effective transfer of power to an
internally & externally recognizable, legitimate and thus generally supported interim Iraqi government
(Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein, Constitutional Monarchy Movement CMM:
CNN, Nic Robertson, "Hope and fear: Journeys in the new Iraq", April 5, 2004;
numerous lawmakers on both sides of the aisles and the Atlantic)

 Security, stability, reconciliation, etc. - all seems to hinge on the legitimacy of the next interim Iraqi government.  General elections might - one day - bring progress in that direction.  For the time being, another way must be found in order for power to be transferred later this year to an internally & externally recognized government which can and will provide the indispensable ingredients for a rebirth of Iraq, i.e. security, stability and reconciliation.  Absent these ingredients, and Iraq will almost certainly remain frontpage news and influence the next US presidential electionAnother iron claw regime may then loom as the only real alternative to a more or less spontaneous and generally tolerated - if not supported - liberation war, to regionally destabilizing chaos, and to civil war preceding a most probably uncontrolled break-up of Iraq ( ¦ .../britishgas.htm).  In the latter event, the Kurds seriously risk to be haunted for centuries to come, effectively standing accused as being collectively responsible for the break-up of Iraq - not unlike what their Jewish brethren have experienced in the last centuries for their ancesters' alleged role in the death of Jesus.

Ironically, the authors of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-political plans developed over the last 12 years for Iraq's North, i.e. for the religiously, historically & legally peculiar Mosul Vilayet (.../mvc.htm), find themselves obliged to temper the aspirations of the Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Turkomans living in this crossroad of civilization.  And even to join efforts to keep Iraq united - for the time being at least.  Sadly, they find their work plagiated and in danger of being hijacked by ill-informed or misguided citizens as well as by politically single-minded opportunists, cherry-pickers and flat earth apprentice-sorcerers (.../cherrypicking.htm).  Indeed, key documents which have served as the basis for the 1992-created political laboratory called Mosul Vilayet Council (.../a31.htm ¦ .../UNGA.htm) have inadvertently given rise to the dominant political parties' inclination towards a confederation with Turkey, and to the 1.73 mio signatures-strong March 2004 petition to the UN for a subito referendum on whether the Mosul Vilayet's conditional attachment to Iraq of 1926 should be made permanent or reversed (.../petition.htm).

Of course, hapless, careless and visionless pursuit of what, in the last 12 years, may have passed as Iraq policy by the powers that be, is seen to have encouraged and even legitimized Iraqi citizens to explore alternatives to the free flow of things.  Yet, in the current fundamentally changed situation, pursuit of either separation initiative seems to be not only unhelpful but incendiary, and needlessly at that.  Just like general elections and use - or abuse - of other institutions which, basically, are alien to the prevalent social and value structures would, under current cicumstances, most likely enhance inter-community and inter-/intra-religious tensions and anxieties to levels hindering harmonious social development, even causing constituent communities to stand against each other.  Notwithstanding the fact that, in the eyes of some short-sighted Western campaign managers and Western-leaning observers, corresponding soundbites might be considered politically correct, voter-effective and thus called for.

More visionary statemen with a long-term view and commitment to corresponding responsibilities may want to recognize and seek to accomodate all relevant facts on the ground.  They may seek inspiration from time-tested principles and genuine alternatives to flat earth, Wild West & bounty-hunting mind sets and fumblings.  In particular, they may thus want to look again at Iraqi society's still generally prevalent and society-permeating tribal mentality and structures.  And they may look out for opportunities to integrate as much as feasible modern Iraq's organically grown civil society.  Instead of turning Iraq's top-to-bottom-structured society on its head by organizing currently premature - for more unsettling and divisive than stabilizing - general elections. Indeed, all regularly elected or appointed leaders of tribes, religious communities, professional associations, educational institutions, towns and even political parties are already in place.  Each one of them is responsible for the matters traditionally falling under his/her sphere of influence and responsibility, i.e. territorial security within the traditional tribal area, free exercise of religious practices, tolerance and respect for members of other faiths in the corresponding circumscription, educational excellence at the institute of learning concerned, law and order in the mayor's town, etc.  And they readily avail themselves for being internally and externally recognized and supported as the genuine representatives of all constituent communities of Iraq.  In the Mosul Vilayet, all these some 350 leaders are ex officio members of the - so far in theory only - politically supreme Mosul Vilayet Council.

The above analysis reflects the political laboratory work made over the past 12 years with regard to the Mosul Vilayet.  With the regime change in Baghdad, the question has arisen as to whether and to what extend the ideas thus explored and the solutions thus developed might helpfully be adapted for other parts of Iraq as well.  The consultations conducted among political leaders, MVC Members and scholars on these questions in & outside of Iraq over the past 12 months have lead to the proposals embodied in the draft Reconciliation Resolution "We, the Iraqi People"  (.../recres.htm).  Eventually adopted by the traditionnally legitimized representatives of all ethnic, religious & other constituent communities of Iraq, this key resolution is designed to fully legitimize the current Iraqi Governing Council, both internally & externally.  As such it is intended to break ground for a nationally and regionally stabilizing comprehensive solution for all of Iraq.  The Resolution provides for a correspondingly qualified early effective transfer of powerSecurity is to be re-established through Iraq's re-strengthened tribal and other constituent communities And the full reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction potential of the UN Charter is thus to be brought to bear promptly by way of correspondingly designed Trusteeship Agreements (.../opinion.htm).  To these effects, the Mosul Vilayet Council is to take the lead by holding in May an Extraordinary General Assembly (.../invitation.htm), followed by similar assemblies of sister councils in the Baghdad and the Basra Vilayets.

As reader of this message, what can and will you do to effectively help achieve the above-outlined objectives? Answer: consider contributing in your own ways and with your own means what you consider indicated and proper under the circumstances, including forwarding this email to a friend of yours, returning a comment or other feedback (, throwing a chip into the hat, etc.

To:    Coalition Provisional Authority
Cc:    UN
From:    The Kurdistan Independent-Congregation
Subject:    A Peaceful Demonstration
Date:    February 14, 2004

Dear Sir,
    Attached please find a copy of a Public Demonstration Statement, this demonstration is a practical protest against terrorist acts of February 1st, 2004 in Erbil city.
    It is our pleasure, though in such a sad occasion, to reiterate, on behalf the Kurdish people, our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the CPA and through them to the governments of the USA & UK for their sincere condolences for that heartbreaking tragedy and also for providing the Safe Haven for our people in the south of Kurdistan in the last thirteen years.
    We dare say that this is the place and the time to remind every body that during the first quarter of the last century the South Kurdistan, against the will and consent of its inhabitants, were converted to a colony of the then newly established Iraqi state, in contrary to the concept of the President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen points memorandum to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which called for the independence of all nations that suffered under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire.
    The Kurds, who are regarding the CPA as their liberators, are expecting to be freed from the control of the Iraqi state through implementing the following measures [1]:
1-    Expanding the political entity of South Kurdistan by reunification of all its territories that were annexed to the Iraq (including Mosul, Kirkuk and Diala Provinces).
2-    Organizing a general election thrughout south of Kurdistan to elect a parliament and to form an administration in the name of the Government of the South of Kurdistan.
3-    The South of Kurdistan and its Government should be protected by the International Community under the supervision of the allies forces for ten years as a prelude for its total independence.
4-    In the last stage of the transitional period, a general referendum should be held, to consolidate the status of Kurdistan as an Independent State.
    These measures will secure the mutual interests of the Allies and the Kurds in fighting and defeating the terrorism in the region, which is the most eminent danger to the peace and security in the world.
    We are asking you kindly to convey our legitimate demands to the highest authority in the CPA and through them to the governments of USA &UK, while looking forward to submit, in the near future, a petition with a million citizens signatures, demanding independence for Kurdistan.
    Kindly accept our best regards.  Yours faithfully
Kurdistan Independent Congregation
[1]    cf:  "Petition to UN - an impressive demonstration of People Power" (; see also: "Iraq: if you don't have a silverbullet either, why not try this?" (

In the Name of God, the Only One
19th August 2003

To His Excellency Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, U.N. Secretary General Representative

After Iraq Freedom Operation, which led to liberate Iraq from Saddam's dictatorship, we believe that deep genuine changes will accompany this memorial incident. At this very critical moment in the new history of Iraq we the Yezidis desire wholeheartedly to contribute positively and effectively in rebuilding the new Iraq taking into consideration the great suffering and prosecution that we have had under the policies of the previous regime and from the Ottomans in history. Twenty-seven genocide campaigns were imposed on the Yezidis only because of their religious belief. Accordingly, we would very kindly put forward our most important demands at this current and crucial stage of the history of Iraq.

The following is our most important demands:

1. We would like to have representation and presence in the interim government.

2. We would like to have representation and participation in Iraqi National councils and conférences according to our population ratio. We are approximately one million people living in Ninewa and Duhook governorates.

3. We would like to participate effectively and positively in forming of the provisional and permanent constitution of Iraq. .

4. We would like to emphasize that the new constitution should not include any article, word or text that hints at Yezidis implicitly or explicitly in a way that it will give or provide misunderstanding or misconception about their belief. In this regard, we stress that the constitution should include a statement where the Yezidi religion is recognized by other religions in the country and the Yezidis will have the right to practice their religious rites and traditions freely and according to law and regulations. We would like to have the right to teach the principles of our religion at our schools.

5. We would like to have the local administration in Yezidi areas run and managed by ourselves according to our people's qualifications and skills.

6. We would like to be included in any resolutions and decrees issued by the government relating to civil affairs that may apply to other religions in Iraq. In this respect, we would like to draw your kind attention to the fact that the Yezidis have their own specialty governed by their religious norms and teachings.

7. As regard to parliamentary election, we would like to have representation and presence according to law and our population ratio.

8. We look forward to having our temples, shrines and sanctuaries to be included in the rebuilding of Iraq. Those are spread over the Yezidi villages and towns (Sheikhan, Sinjar and Bashiqa). The main sanctuary is that of Sheikh Adi in Lalesh.

9.    We would like to have our religious festivals and ceremonies announced officially through the government mass media.

We look forward to your kind attention. Accept our sincerest regards.

Tahseen Saeed Beck, Prince, President of the Yezidis in Iraq and the world, Chief of the Supreme Yezidi Council
Farook Saeed Beck, Prince, Vice President of the Yezidis in Iraq and the world

Henry Cabot Lodge: "for if we stumble and fall ..." (draft)

Dear Member of the U.S. Senate / House of Representative,

In hindsight, Henry Cabot Lodge may have been right in his principled opposition against Europe's unrealistic post-WWI peace formulas. While not an isolationist, he argued in his 1919 Philippika to President Wilson: "The United States is the world's best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her power for good and endanger her very existence. ... for if we stumble and fall freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin."

But as powerful chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Cabot Lodge probably would not have allowed successive administrations to lead the United States astray from existing security, reconciliation and cooperation arrangements. Particularly not when they were successfully negotiated with and by the ethnic, religious and cultural communities directly involved. Regardless of whether these texts have an American seal dangling from it. And he wouldn't have been kind to current office holders here and there who treated history as bunk or would have forgotten about past and still valid international agreements. Yet, in the case of Iraq, that is precisely what is still happening, with valid international minority protection and private property guarantees waiting to serve the cause of peace.

The over three-million-strong Assyrian community in Iraq, in the United States and elsewhere - who, of course, hold no monopoly for good ideas either - have taken it upon themselves to identify some lesser-known elements, means and methods which for now may be most immediately and practically helpful to stop and reverse the current disastrous developments in all of Iraq and beyond. Inspired by the lapsed House Resolution 272 of 2003, this is done in the form of the enclosed draft Joint Declaration which may be developed further and adopted as you and your colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives may conclude to be helpful, effective and indicated under the circumstances.

While thanking you for your benevolent consideration of this matter, we remain at your disposal for any furher questions, and look forward to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

Senator John J. Nimrod (ret.), Secretary General, Assyrian Universal Alliance |
tel:    +1773-2749262    fax:    +1773-2745866    e-mail: ¦

Hundred-tenth Congress of the United States of America

Joint Resolution
to commend and support the Assyrian people in their efforts
to bring about safety, reconciliation and well-being in their Iraqi homeland for themselves and
for their Yezidi, Jewish, Shia and Sunni Arab, Kurdish and Turkoman brethren in One God,
by way of equitable power-sharing, cooperation and fruit-sharing institutions and services,
a follow-up to the 1923 Lausanne Conference,
and an Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice
on Iraq's international minority and private property protection garantees and obligations.

"Du gleichst dem Geist den Du begreifst"
 (you resemble the spirit which you comprehend)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust

“Traveller, there is no road,
the road is made by the traveller!”
Antonio Machado

      Whereas it is in the interest of the citizen, the state and the common good to promptly overcome the fury and blinding fog of war by truth, wisdom and eternally valid principles found in one's own roots and in those of friends at home and abroad;

    Whereas the break-up of the Ottoman Empire along artificially fashioned borders has not been in line with either the visions or the principles which have guided the Founding Fathers of the United States, and the still festering wounds of the colonial designs symbolized by the Sykes-Picot Agreement risk to burden future generations, regional stability and even world peace unless the root causes of conflict will be properly addressed and the dignity, legitimate rights and aspirations of the peoples concerned will be truly honored in reality, now and lastingly;

    Whereas even with the best of intentions, as illustrated by the recurringly violent schisms among the Jewish, Christian and, now again, the Muslim communities, simmering conflicts anywhere can unwittingly and suddenly be brought into the open, spin out of control and jump national borders, without much chance of being contained and eventually resolved on worn-out tracks with only traditional means and methods, thus calling for fresh eyes, open minds and principled reflections on such mostly forgotten but still mutually helpful common roots as can be found notably among the Assyrians, their monotheistic traditions and the Holy Scriptures of all those who have submitted to God;

    Whereas the Holy Quran says of Idris (Isaiah): "surely he was a truthful man, a prophet" (19.65), and the Old Testament mentions his prophecy as follows (19:23-25):
"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.";

    Whereas Ayatollah Khomeini embraced Persia's ancient monotheistic and other traditions, with Nawroz, the ancient New Year festivities, taking precedence over more recent traditions;

    Whereas the study of the roots of monotheism, particularly those preceding Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions, has been welcomed by Al Azhar's Imam Tantaoui"for the sake of sincere worship of God, to follow the good moralities, to spread the kind virtues among people and to declare the spirit of Brotherhood, Tolerance, Freedom and Peace among all the members of human society. Besides that, Al Azhar thanks those who assist in building such kind of institute and preparing it for the good aims and purposes mentioned above";

    Whereas the One God religions of the Egyptian, Persian and Assyrian empires have been built on the eternally and universally valid principle of "good thoughts, good words, and good deeds";

    Whereas the Assyrian people, now numbering over 3 million persons worldwide, have had an uninterrupted presence in Mesopothamia for over 4000 years, who, while deriving their identity, inspirations and aspirations from this obliging history, had sent their sons into battles on the side of allied troops in the First World War, and who thus gained not only recognition and official pledges for autonomy, but, in the run-up to the admission, on 3rd October 1932, of the independent Kingdom of Iraq to the League of Nations, were also given international guarantees on minority and private property protection;

    Whereas notably the Arab, Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkoman, Yezidi and other ethnic, language or religious communities residing in the Mosul Vilayet (Northern Iraq) were formally granted international guarantees with Iraq's constitutive Declaration of 30 Mai 1932;

    Whereas Iraq joined the United Nations in 1945 without any changes to those international guarantees, and without diminishing the "obligations of international concern" which Iraq incurred as a condition of its independence;

    Whereas the United Nations General Assembly resolved that it "will itself examine, or will submit to the appropriate organ of the United Nations, any request from the parties that the United Nations should assume the exercise of functions or powers entrusted to the League of Nations by treaties, international conventions, agreements and other instruments having a political character"  (Resolution 24 (I), 12 February 1946);

    Whereas the International Court of Justice, in an Advisory Opinion of June 1950 concerning the analoguous Namibia case, expressed the opinion:
"These [international guarantees and minority and private property protection] obligations represent the very essence of the sacred trust of civilization. Their raison d'être and original object remain. Since their fulfilment did not depend on the existence of the League of Nations, they could not be brought to an end merely because this supervisory organ [i.e. the Council of the League of Nations] ceased to exist.  Nor could the right of the population to have the Territory administered in accordance with these rules depend thereon."  ( I.C.J. Reports 1950, p.133);

    Whereas the Representatives of the Mosul Vilayet's constitutive Arab, Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkoman and Yezidi communities, mayors, universities, political parties and main professional associations, by way of their joint Declarations of 1992, reiterated and amplified notably by their Unity Declaration of 31 May 1994 and in line with the above fully valid international guarantees and obligations, called on the powers to "take such measures and give such directions as [they] may deem proper and effective in the circumstances";

    Whereas the Representatives of the Mosul Vilayet's Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkoman communities in particular have taken the lead to provide both for effective dispute-settlement, reconciliation, power-sharing and land-registry measures as well as for practical and mutually helpful initiatives designed to avoid religious and other conflicts and to provide for individual security, recovery and well-being;

    Whereas the Assyrian communities in Iraq and in the Diaspora in America and elsewhere, for the common good of not only their co-religionists in Iraq but also for that of their brethren in One God here and there, have labored hard, competently and with a commendable clearsightedness, vision and determination, as is evidenced, for example, with their Amsterdam Resolution of 27 April 2003, which has been supported by representatives of all existing Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac associations worldwide, thus:

Assyrian Universal Alliance
Assyrian National Organization
Assyrian Liberation Party (GFA)
Shuraya Party
Assyrian Democratic Party
Bethnahrin Freedom Party
Patriotic Union of Bethnahrin
Assyrian Liberation Movement
Assyrian Patriotic Party
Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Union
Dutch Union of Christians of the Middle East
Syriac Assyrian Federation
Syriac League of Lebanon
Babylon - Institute for Assyrian Kultur – Eu
 Atour Assyrian Association of Armenia
Assyrian Federation of Russia
Assyrian Australian National Federation
Assyrian American National Federation
Dutch Assyrian Society
Assyrian Youth Federation of Middle Europe
Assyrian Youth Ferderation of Sweden
Free Women of Bethnahrin (HNHB)
Svenska Kommitten for Assyrier (SKA)
Assyrian-Syriac Union - Germany (UASD)
International Assyrian Congress of Georgia
CaldoAshor Organization Communist Party of Iraq
Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project (ISDP);

    Whereas the House Committee on International Relations has received for consideration a resolution "Expressing concern for the status of the Assyrian people in post-war Iraq" (H. RES. 272, June 12, 2003), specifying "Assyrians should be entitled to freely practice their religion and customs, speak their language, and celebrate their culture in Iraq";

    Whereas the signatories of the Amsterdam Resolution, "noting that for Iraq's Assyrians, too, religion and language are so intertwined that to suppress either one will effectively mean the destruction of the Assyrian identity", also "invite the representatives of the Arab, Kurdish, Turkomen and other constitutive parts of Iraq's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-language society to jointly explore suitable avenues for contributing to the regional stability as well as to the internal and external security, e.g. by creating a Truth Commission for examining and overcoming the effects of Iraq's recent past"; and

    Whereas the Swiss Federal Pact of 1291 laid the foundations for Switzerland's successful culture of genuine respect, cooperation and power-sharing among its constitutive language, religious and political minority and majority communities, for its steadfast rejection of all foreign judges, and for staying out of disputes among foreign powers, all under the heading "In the name of God, the Almighty, amen", and with universally appreciated achievements, such as the watershed meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Chairman Michael Gorbatchev in Geneva which gave rise to the Joint Declaration of the United States Congress of 8 November 1985 to "commend the people and the sovereign confederation of the neutral nation of Switzerland for their contributions to freedom, international peace, and understanding":
Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled,
    That it is the sense of the Congress:

    To commend the Assyrian people and their leaders for raising the awareness of all those who submitted to God of their important roots which also are shared by all Iraqis and their friends at home and abroad, for the Assyrians' willingness to avail their good offices, particularly in the religious domain, for helping to bring about early, effective and lasting reconciliation, recovery and well-being among all Iraqis, and for providing effective leadership towards these universally cherished goals;

    To support the establishment, in the Mosul Vilayet as the core of the ancient Assyrian Empire, of such homesteads, centers and services which will be secure, which may enlighten all of us on the roots of monotheism, particularly prior to Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions, which may help all Christian Assyrians, all Sunni and Shia Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans, all Jews, and all Yezidis to recognize and respect each other, and to regain trust among themselves, not least on the solid basis of their One God brethrenship, and which, by giving meaning to existing treaty rights and obligations, may also firmly set these communities on their own road to genuine successful power-sharing, cooperation and fruit-sharing and, as such, again make them a source of security, stability and inspiration radiating beyond Iraq's fully preserved borders; and

    To call particularly on the governments signatories of the Lausanne Treaty of 24 July,1923 (France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Romania, Serb-Croate-Slovene Kingdom and Turkey), as well as on the governments of the observer countries Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the United States, for appropriate, determined and immaginative initiatives which are incumbant on the powers that be, such as a follow-up to that 1923 conference, and an Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice on the current status of the above international guarantees and obligations; and to invite all governments concerned to desist from any action which be detrimental to the objectives thus pursued.

     (url: ¦ draft 9)