The theoretical driver of the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project's (ISDP) research and policy analysis maintains that ChaldoAssyrians and Iraq's other, real minorities (e.g. Turkmens, Shabaks, Yezidis, Mandaeans and others) are the best variable for leveraging the development of a genuine and sustainable democracy over the long term.
ChaldoAssyrians are effectively the lowest human rights common denominator of Iraq. They have endured ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide and religious-based targeting since Iraq's creation. If their most fundamental rights and basic needs can be secured, those of all Iraqis will be guaranteed.
For the United States, the importance of these minorities relates directly to its national security. The National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terror (NMSP-WoT), “constitutes the comprehensive military plan to prosecute the ‘Global War on Terror’ for the Armed Forces of the United States.” That plan states clearly, “in the Global War on Terror, violent extremism – in its various forms – is the primary threat to the United States, its allies, and interests. […] The term ‘extremist’ and ‘moderate’ are used in the (NMSP-WoT) as follows: ‘Extremists’ are those who (1) oppose – in principle and practice – the right of people to choose how to live and how to organize their societies and (2) support the murder of ordinary people to advance extremist ideological purposes. ‘Moderates’ … refer to those individuals who do not support the extremists.”
Iraq’s real minorities are distinguished from Sunni Arabs and Kurds (who are the only minorities that do receive sufficient attention in policy-making) on the basis that the latter possess a ‘violence veto’. When their fundamental interests are threatened, Kurds and Sunni Arabs can and do use force. ChaldoAssyrian Christians, Shabaks, Yezidis, and others do not and as such are seen as Iraq’s real minorities. For the United States, they are also Iraq’s truest ‘moderates’ and their future in Iraq should be prioritized accordingly.
On March 1st, 2003, the President of the United States made the following commitment to Americans: “The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq’s new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected.”
It is the mission of ISDP to help the President and the United States to realize that goal by properly addressing the relevance of Iraq’s ChaldoAssyrians and other vulnerable minorities in policy-making.
Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project.