The Lives of Assyrian Christians – Can We Imagine?

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By Sargis Sangari – ASSIST News Service
GARLAND, TX (ANS – May 7, 2015) -ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the shooting in Garland, Texas, was proof of its ability to capitalize on terrorist sympathizers globally who can pull off so-called lone wolf attacks.
This marks the first time ISIS (also known as Islamic State) claimed credit for an attack inside the United States. A White House spokesman said Tuesday that it was too early to determine whether the terror group was directly involved.

Reportedly, a self-styled American jihadist called Abu Ibrahim al-Ameriki said that Sunday’s terror attack in Texas was the work of ISIS and that the terrorist group has scores of “trained soldiers” positioned in 15 states, awaiting orders to kill.

The chilling threat went on record naming five of the states where it claimed that ISIS has terror cells in place.

The reality of the Garland attack is that even with the CIA, DIA, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, local police, the U.S. Border Patrol, and other agencies and individuals involved in the security of this nation, the operation was only foiled when the gunmen encountered a police officer with a basic service revolver and good training. There is much we take for granted here in the U.S.

Imagine being a Christian who does not have this basic security apparatus that protects U.S. citizens.

Imagine a place where there is no CIA, DIA, FBI, nor any support security agency or network to detect and protect you against terrorists.

Assyrian Refugees Syria Elizabeth KendalImagine that you are a woman displaced from your home after your husband was beheaded, or a man whose wife is raped and shot, or a parent whose child is kidnapped and sold into a harem, or a young mother who has to resort to prostitution to feed her baby.

Imagine that there is no 911 service to call when evil men come to your door; that there is no one who will answer your cries for help.

Imagine that you have no military and or police force to detain bad people or fight back on your behalf and protect you from those hell bent on killing.

Imagine that ISIS is attacking your community on a daily basis with armored vehicles, 120mm mortars, 81 mm mortars, suicide bombers, and using drones to scout out your positions.

Imagine that you´re living in the open parking lots of regional “partners” whose children gladly collect and dump scorpions in your refugee camps for their personal amusement so that your sisters and brothers can be bitten and suffer this as well as suffer exposure under the elements and endure pain and disease.

Imagine when you have to walk a mile up a hill just to collect fresh water since non-Christian neighbors defecate and urinate in the only water source up stream from you. Imagine having to suffer from Hepatitis’s A and other diseases since you lack access to clean water.

Imagine that you are not granted visas enabling you to escape the crisis region and, further, that you are forced to stay in refugee camps with no access to schools, healthcare, and jobs.

Two Assyrian boys released by ISIS

Imagine your uncles and cousins have been captives under ISIS hands since February 23rd plus all the other misfortunes mentioned. Imagine this litany of pain and then you´ll know what it´s like to be a Christian Assyrian in Iraq and Syria.

Imagine that a nation that you´ve always regarded as a bastion of decency, in its concern to avoid offending a regional partner, will not name that partner or its other allies as the perpetrators of a genocide against these same Christians ancestors 100 years ago.

Imagine that the government of that esteemed country will not, for much the same reason, recognize that these vulnerable people are currently undergoing another genocide scrubbing the word “Christian” at every opportunity so that people won´t realize that it is a war of killing for religious reasons to subjugating these followers of Christ.

Imagine all these sufferings … and then know that this is what it is like to be a Christian Assyrian in the Middle East.

The reality for the Americans who are today fearful for their life given that ISIS is operating in their country is that they are still among friends and living in a Christian community that cares for them and has the means to fight back to protect its community.

The reality for the Christian Assyrians in Iraq and Syria is that they are not armed, not supported directly, nor cared for by either their own governments, regional players, the global community and worst of all our government that funds their enemies or competitors to tunes of billions while it gladly accepts 2nd class status for Christians as a given.

Imagine when this government funds $68 million in donations to humanitarian efforts in Yemen but yet has given not given a meager $5 million to support the Assyrian military in Iraq and Syria to protect their people.

On behalf of these suffering Christians who are fighting ISIS and their regional competitors daily to support your strategic efforts of a western style democracy in the Middle East I would like to apologize for their death and genocide becoming a nuisance to your political and economic agreements which you are striking on a daily basis in the region with Islamic Republics that hang multitudes of their people daily and/or other so called secular non-Christian allies who have established their own spheres of influence in these Christians´ historical homeland, which you have facilitated using the U.S. tax payer money trying to win their favors and secure a footprint in the region.

Photo captions: 1) On the scene of the Garland attack. 2) Assyrian refugees. 3) Two Assyrian boys said to have been released by ISIS.

About the writer: US Army Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Sargis Sangari is Founder of The United Assyrian Appeal  and CEO of The Near East Center for Strategic Engagement LLC and had six years of continuous combat deployment in the Mid East. While in theatre he conducted 144 combat patrols, 22 Special Forces missions and survived 7 IED attacks. Born in Iran within an ethnic Assyrian family, Sangari has a deep skill set in Middle East languages and cultures and understands the plight of Assyrian and other Mid-Eastern Christians. He now uses his 20 year military experience to advise Assyrian Christians in their struggle against ISIS and in the region.

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