As an Assyrian, I could have been one of those unfortunate Assyrian sisters in Iraq but by the grace of God, I was destined to be an American. I have witnessed my country’s history of unparalleled compassion towards the ill, the fallen, and the persecuted. Sadly, that history is not being played out for Assyrians. This isn’t because Americans have grown callous of worldly sufferings. No, not at all. The DNA of the magnanimous American is still intact. Rather, it is our new age president and his administration that have misplaced the age-old American altruism.
To our president, a child in pain is the one whose Honduran parent paid thousands of dollars to have him adopted by America. A child in pain is the one who uses his tattooed and pierced body as a weapon in a street "knockout game". A child in pain is one hoodied if-I-had-a-son trouble maker capable of breaking a grown man’s nose bone.
The Assyrian Christian kids are not even worthy of being honored by Michelle Obama’s hashtag graphics campaign. No doubt the kidnapping of 200 kids by Boko Haram being forced to convert to Islam was a tragedy. But equally tragic, if not more, is the forced flight of at least 200,000 Assyrians from their homes.
And where is the outrage by the Spanish bleeding hearts: Mr. and Mrs. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz? In their delicate artistic mind, does a Palestinian child have more right to life than an Assyrian child? One needs to read to these Spanish-Hollywood couple the bloody history of the 700-year conquest of Spain by Muslims and the forceful conversion to Islam of the Christian Spaniards.
And where are the moderate Muslims in all this? An anti-ISIS demonstration and a fundraiser benefit by many of the alleged moderate Muslims who’ve done pretty well in the West will go a long way in legitimizing their claims of moderation. They cry foul only when Islam is under attack but when Christianity is under assault, they see no evil, they hear no evil.
And where are the petrodollars of the Saudi’s and the Kuwaiti’s, who express their fear of ISIS? A few gold bath tubs and sinks in their villas could buy water to quench the thirst of 40,000 Yazidis trapped in Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq. But would charity to persecuted infidels constitute a betrayal to the Muslims?
The world seems to be conflict-fatigued dealing with other people’s problems, especially if it means some military involvement.
In the meantime, one of the oldest race of people, the Assyrians, the recipients of the 21st century’s first genocide award are dying a slow death on our big screen TV’s. So far, they’re just a news story till we find something newer to cover because advertisers know fresh stories are what keep the consumers’ attention and prevent them from switching the channel. By the time, the media and the administration buries the story of the Assyrian genocide, Assyrians will be buried too, by the tens of thousands- likely without a funeral.
For now, Assyrians have an ISIS style freedom — the liberty to choose their death by beheading or starvation.
Ironically, the freedom they didn’t have in life they get in death.
I wonder if the president and his family will discuss over the dinner table "this Assyrian choice" in their upcoming 16 day vacation. Perhaps they’ll rest knowing the media will portray some other entity as the responsible agent in the Iraq crisis. The media plays the political god in our country of late.
I hope this saga will be written by God fearing historians and the truth of this Holocaust will be told in its entirety, word by word, picture by picture. That may be the ultimate choice for the Assyrian martyrs.
By Rebecca Simon