If I were Anna Eshoo, Mark Steven Kirk, Gary Peters, and Frank Wolf, I wouldn’t be holding my breath. “US Lawmakers Send Letter to Obama on Assyrians of Iraq,” from AINA, March 6:
March 2, 2010
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
As you know, a number of Assyrians and other Iraqi Christians have been killed recently in the city of Mosul. This tragic pattern of violence and deliberate targeting of this ancient community is responsible for fueling the flight of thousands of Christian Iraqi families in recent years. As reported by the UN High Commission for Refugees, about half of the Christian population of Iraq has fled the country since 2003.
Moreover, if recent killings are any indication, we fear that violence against Christians will further intensify prior to the March 7 elections. As a US Senator, you joined your colleagues in September 2008 in asking the Secretary of State to take action in protecting the Assyrians and other minorities in Iraq. As President, you now have the opportunity to prioritize the protection of these vulnerable minorities. We therefore ask that the Administration undertake all such actions it deems necessary to protect the Iraqi Christian community, including working with the Government of Iraq to significantly increase minority protection in Mosul and bringing the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice.
As you know, the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (p.L. 111-117), which you signed into law on December 16, 2009, requires the Department of State to provide a report to Congress “detailing the unique needs of minority populations in Iraq, including security” within 90 days of passage, or by March 16, 2010.
It is our hope that the content of this report will serve as the foundation of a comprehensive policy to address the needs of Iraq’s religious and ethnic minorities and will propose viable solutions to ensure that the already decimated Christian community is not completely driven from its homeland.
Mark Steven Kirk,
Members of Congress