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An Open Letter to Save Tareq Aziz

Felicity Arbuthnot

An Open Letter: His Holiness Pope Benedict xvi, His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster, The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon., David Cameron, The Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt., Hon., Nick Clegg, The Foreign Secretary, The Rt. Hon., William Hague.


Your Holiness, Your Graces, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary,

I apologise for this multiple sending, but time is of the essence. So much blood has been spilt in the illegal invasion of Iraq, that it is hard to comprehend, with the upper figure of deaths, since 2003 being estimated at 1.4 million. Nearly five million souls (4.7) are displaced, internally and externally, according to UNHCR, a million widows and five millions orphans have been created, according United Nations Agencies.

Now, after the sickening lynching of the country's legitimate President, and close colleagues, a country whose: "sovereignty and territorial integrity", was guaranteed by the U.N., his Deputy, Tareq Aziz, a Chaldean Christian, is to be executed, it has been announced today. This on top of the invasions's blood letting, on a Biblical scale -- and in the light of the appalling revelations of "liberation's" realities, in last days, by Wikileaks.

Wikileaks, of course also revealed the terrorism rained on the people of Iraq by the imposed "Vichy" government's forces, "mentored" by U.S., and U.K., troops.

The charge against Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is religious discrimination. Ironically, half a million Iraqi Christians have fled due to persecution since the invasion. Uncounted numbers have been murdered. They had lived side by side with the majority Muslim population, since, seemingly 33 AD., when it is believed, St Thomas founded Christianity in Mesopotamia.

The charge relates to an assassination attempt on Aziz and Saddam Hussein, in Dujail, Iraq, by affiliates of the Iranian backed Dawa party, in 1982. The same Dawa Party to which Nuri al Maliki adheres. (I have not put "Prime Minister", since he no longer is, in rudderless Iraq.) The retribution in Dujail was certainly woeful, but it was a decision made by the President. In context, it pales, however, against the massacre meted out to the population of Fallujah, in 2004 by America's forces, in retribution for the murder of four mercenaries, and reaction against U.S., troops, who had been killing men, women and children unaccountably since the invasion.

The blood-shed in Iraq is on the hands of all the citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. We live with it wherever we travel, with the shame and disgrace of our governments' actions. Further, there was no Presidential immunity for Iraq's illegally overthrown government, a usual legal norm, yet the occupying forces could have halted their murders. As the dominant, remaining occupying force, America is now responsible for every human rights violation.

Mr Aziz was part of a government that far from religiously discriminating, gave annually, proportionately, equally, to all religions for upkeep of their places of worship and related offices. Punishments were meted out not on basis of religion, but for crimes committed. Harsh they indisputedly were, but it is shaming to reflect that they pale in comparison to that which has occurred, and continues to occur, under the occupying powers from the day of the invasion.

Tareq Aziz gave himself up the United States authories, in good faith. That faith was ill-founded and abused. He is an elderly man and was in poor health long before the invasion. His days are, anyway, surely numbered. I beg you to take at least this chance to save just one life. Mr Aziz is a nationalist, as all his government, they could have fled. They chose to stay in Iraq, because they are Iraqis through and through -- unlike the current government, with their foreign loyalties and passports, largely.

Tareq Aziz went to the Vatican, prior to the invasion, to see the Head of the Church in which he had put his faith, all his life, to beg intervention to halt the destruction of his people and the land of Ur of the Chaldees, mentioned, of course three times in the Book of Genesis: 11:28, 11:31, 15:7. His plea fell on deaf ears.

Your Holiness, Your Graces, Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, please do not let him down again. Britain and America may never anyway wash the blood from their hands. "To save one, is as if to save the whole of mankind" is a belief common to all faiths.

Please act now. Time is running out. If it does and you have done nothing, in spite of your collective influence and contacts, his body will lie at your feet, throughout your lives. Further, any lack of action, which results in another lynching, will impose that horror on any citizen of conscience, since we are, so we are told, a democracy. I beseech you to act.

Today we were warned of a real danger of a terrorists attack; we have already committed uncountable acts of terrorism -- please do not let us be a party to another, which, with the will, is wholly preventable.

Yours sincerely,

Felicity Arbuthnot


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