February 11, 2015
The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington DC. 20520
It was brought to our attention that 17 members from the United States Senate have addressed a letter to you dated January 27, 2015 in order to help the vulnerable Native Iraqis/Chaldeans and other minor components, i.e. Mandaeans and Yazidis.
However, despite the noble call to save the vulnerable minor Iraqi components, that letter, for unknown reason, has designated the majority of Iraqi Christians as Assyrians, which is not only incorrect but it is insulting.
Chaldeans are not only the majority of Iraqi Christians but they are the indigenous people of Iraq. Their percentage prior to the 2003 invasion was around 85% of all Iraqi Christians, while the so-called Assyrians, which is an imported group from Turkey and Iran in 1918 constitute barely 4.3%. Furthermore, this group was not recognized as Iraqi citizens until the Ba’th regime created a church for them in 1968 and granted them Iraqi citizenship in 1972. The question is: if those honorable congress members do not know this simple fact, how on earth could they be able to fix a much larger problem, such as the ongoing genocide of Native Iraqis by ISIS, the GoI and KRG, not to mention the regional and international political games?
We at the Chaldean Educational Center of America (CECA) strongly believe that some source has intentionally mislead those honorable Congress members. Their statement with respect to our identity, “Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs”, is not only untrue, but it is also quite offensive to the majority of Iraqi Christians.
As the president of the Chaldean Educational Center of America, one of the few leading Chaldean organizations in the USA since 1974, I am sorry to tell you that the Congress members’ letter was another phase of an ongoing campaign to hijack the position of the real indigenous people of Iraq, the Chaldeans.
This campaign was implemented by the British in 1884 when Rev. William Ainger Wigram approached the Nestorians of Qochanis (Turkey) and successfully bought the approval of their religious-tribal leaders of Hekkari for 7,000 GBP and an illusion of assisting them in creating their own "autonomous entity" in southeast Turkey, where they belong.
For many, well-documented reasons, the British could not fulfill their promise. Then, another well-documented scheme was conducted by Wigram, Captain George F. Gracey (D.S.O.), of the British Intelligence Service, and the Kurds' tribal leader, Isma’il Agha Simko (Shakak tribe).
In the end, the Nestorian Patriarch, Mar Shimun Binyamin, was assassinated on March 3, 1918.
Soon after, the Nestorian tribes of Qochanis were relocated to Iran then to Iraq in 1918 under the new, made-up name Assyrians, according to an agreement between the assassinated Patriarch’s sister, Surma Khanem, and Rev. Wigram.
The latter settled those imported groups in a refugee camp in Ba’quba, east Baghdad. The number of those tribes did not exceed 40,000 with another 15,000 Armenians who fled Armenia, and were later on moved out of Ba’quba to another camp in Basra. While half of the Nestorians were moved to the Mandan bridge camp by Maqloub mountain, east of Mosul, the other half was divided into three groups; the first settled in Kirkuk, the second in Habbaniyah (Anbar), and the third in Baghdad (Dourah and Camp Sarah).
With pressure from the former dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, that imported group was granted Iraqi citizenship in 1972. Today, the Nestorians of Qochanis/Hekkari continue pursuing their illusion about having their own country by misleading the United Nations and other worldwide decision-making institutions. Yet, their major problems are:
1- They are not only not native Iraqis, but, in fact, they are just an imported group from Turkey and Iran. That is why, out of close to 350 Christian towns and villages in northern Iraq, there are only four tiny villages that are inhabited by the so-called Assyrians (Dashqotan, Berozafa, A’mbaqri, and Naseeriya), as well as half of Sharafiya village by the famous Chaldean village of Alqosh. These five tiny villages were not affected by ISIS's barbaric invasion.
2- To legitimize their demands they need to:
a- Contain the majority of Iraqi Christians within their group with help from the political leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government, in particular, Mr. Masoud Barzani. (The so-called Assyrian minority is 4.3%, while the majority of Iraqi Christians are 92.5% Chaldeans (including our Iraqi brothers and sisters who follow the Syriac rite).
b- Use the made-up name Assyrians instead of their actual name (the Nestorians of Qochanis) to convince the UN and other decision-makers that they are native Iraqis in order to receive their support. While Nestorianism is a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428–431, it is considered heresy by the Catholic church, which most Iraqi Christians practice. Around 95% percent of Iraqi Christians are Catholics.
Your Honorable, any Near-eastern scholar knows that names such as Babylonians and Assyrians refer to State inhabitants and not to ethnicity, while the term "Chaldeans" refers to the descendants of the Proto-Kaldi 5300 BC - Present.
Your Honorable, as you can see, the entire statement is misleading and full of deception, i.e., the political quota in Iraq is recognized as a Christian quota, not as Assyrian. The five seats in the Iraqi Parliament represent Iraqi Christians not the so-called Assyrians of Iraq whose percentage comparing to other Iraqi Christians is only 4.3%. However, because of the legitimacy of being Native Iraqis applies only to Chaldeans and their related groups “Mandaeans” as well as in part to “Yazidies”, the Kurds created their own Christian party “Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Council” in order to take over the Chaldean lands, i.e., Nineveh plain and Dohuk.
Your fully equipped DoS has all the resource to double-check the information included in my letter. Your advisors can also examine the included information through the right channels such as Yale University and the Vatican documents.
Chaldeans, including our brothers and sisters, Iraq Syriacs and Mandaeans, were and still are subjected to a very vicious campaign to eliminate their identity as the only indigenous people of Iraq. We need your help to stop this unfair campaign against the indigenous people of Iraq (Chaldeans), as well as to stop the ongoing Iraqi Christian genocide.
Your Honorable, by designating us under the improper name Assyrians you are not only supporting this imported group that assumes our identity to be treated as the true native Iraqis, but you are intentionally jeopardizing the noble call to save the indigenous people of Iraq, not to mention, allying with the power that is intentionally trying to spread hate and injustice against our people.
We are, according to the tangible antiquities and Biblical evidence, the descendants of the proto-Chaldeans 5300BC - present, the founders of the ancient states in ancient Iraq, Sumer-Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria. We have all the right to appeal to you, to not be mislead by the incorrect term that was used in the Congress members’ letter.
Once again, the native Iraqi Christians are ethnically Chaldeans, not Assyrians. We urge you to investigate this issue carefully, and grant the correct people their rights to be recognized by the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America, as the true indigenous people of Iraq. There are close to 300,000 thousand Chaldeans in the State of Michigan alone and their voice is essential during the elections, and we strongly believe that our voices must be heard by the Congress members and other U.S. officials.
We would sincerely like to thank the seventeen honorable members of the Congress, who addressed you with this crucial message. However, we would also like them to understand that we are Chaldeans, and we are the indigenous people of Iraq, “Ancient Mesopotamia”. Therefore, our Native Iraqi brothers and sisters must be recognized and protected by the international community, being the descendants of the nation that our forefathers, the pioneers of human culture, founded almost 7314 years ago. It is your call to help Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, and its true descendants, who established the most ancient and sophisticated civilization which created the blueprint of today's culture.
Your prompt response is highly appreciated. May the LORD always bless you and speed the USA.
Amer H. Hanna, CECA President
Visual Artist & Historian
Former Senior Adviser for the U.S. Army on Middle East Ethno-religious Affairs
235th U.S. Army Birthday, Strength of the Nation Award Nominee
P.S. With your permission, I am eager to provide you with my latest released 550-page academic book entitled: The Untold Story of Native Iraqis (Chaldean Mesopotamians 5300 BC - Present). The book Press Release is available at:
P.P.S. This unclassified letter will be made public via local, national, and international media.
- United States Senate:
The Honorable Senators: Mark Kirk/ Richard J. Durbin/ James M. Inhofe/ Roger F. Wicker/ Sherrod Brown/ Ted Cruz/ Pat Roberts/ Dianne Feinstein / Garry Peters / John Boozman / Jeanne Shaheen / Deb Fischer/ Orrin G. Hatch/ Debbie Stabenow/ Roy Blunt/ Tim Scott/ and Rob Portman.
- His Excellency, Bishop Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo, Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Saint Peter the Apostle
Mrs. Nazek A. Gappy, Esq., Chaldean American Task Force
Prof. Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Genocide Watch