Commentary: Fight Back with the Five R's!!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Washington DC/The Hague -

I. Fight Back!

 Over the past months as the Baghdad Airport has been closed and I have been unable to return to Iraq I have been engaged in what could best be termed `Shuttle Diplomacy` working with our partners throughout the world.

Amman/Frankfurt/The Hague/London/New York/Washington/Tokyo the schedule has been crazy but we are making progress.

 Meetings have been held and our strong demands conveyed to the United Nations, the Iraqi Government including the major ministers, Prime Minister, President, the European Union, Chairs of the International Relations Committee, The Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committees of each side of Congress, The Iraqi Donors Fund, The Japanese Government, The National Republican Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, IRIF, CNN, BBC, FoxTV, ITN, The Christian Broadcasting Network and dozens of talk shows, every major Assyrian Christian organization and many, many others.

 Each meeting is simply a demand - not a request or asking a favor, but a demand that the `Five R`s` be implemented and implemented immediately.

These are: Reconstruction, Resettlement, Regional Administration, Regional Security and Registration for elections.

II. Coalitions

The first priority now is to build coalitions with those who support us. This we can see in three main areas.

First, a joint declaration from the US and EU regarding the `Five R`s` and in particular aimed at the election. 

Second, a joint declaration from the various Christian Organizations worldwide regarding the `Five R`s` and the election.

Third, a joint declaration from the various Assyrian Christian organizations regarding the `Five R`s` and in particular the election.

The groundwork has been done, the parties are in agreement - the next step is to implement and get the signatures of the parties and announce the results so that the international community, the Iraqi Government and all parties involved are served notice that if the Assyrian Christians are not treated properly and the `Five R`s` implemented the funding for Iraqi development will be stopped.

III. The Electoral System

In careful consultation with all the involved parties - the Iraqi Government, the United Nations, The European Union, Japan, the State Department, The National Endowment for Democracy, the National Republican Institute, IRIF we have come up with a comprehensive outline of the election and a strategy to implement our goals within the framework of the process.

It is absolutely essential to work on two fronts concerning the election. First, to oppose and do all we can to change not the date of the election but the system.

The `Proportional Representation System` of election must be changed to a `Constituent Based System`. Simply put the system currently in place by the UN is designed for an `electoral coup de etat` - to by a fraudulent electoral system turn Iraq into a moslem state.

We must oppose this on every front and with a weakened UN it is still possible to accomplish this. While the debate is on the date of the election, while our main concern must be on the process and fight strongly to see it changed. All experts agree that is is a fundamentally flawed system and not suited to bringing democratic change to Iraq.

IV. The Electoral Procedure

In close consulate with all the relevant organizations involved a website, has been set up to provide all the information for registration and voting and to assist all those who need help in doing so.

Each agency involved with the election will be sending updated information directly to so that all the most important information information concerning the election will be in one place.

After extensive discussions with all the parties involved in the electoral process we have come up with the basics of the election as best as can be ascertained from the parties involved keeping in mind that there has not been a final decision by the Iraqi Electoral Commission yet.

There are three main groups which to varying degrees should be allowed to vote.

First, those with any form of Iraqi Documentation. This can be an old Iraqi Passport, ID Card, ration card, local village paper or any form of documentation issued by any Iraqi government for any purpose.

Second, are those without any Iraqi Documents, but with official documents from any country that show that they were born in Iraq. This can be a Passport, immigration papers, UN Documents, birth certificate - any official document that says `born in Iraq`.

Third, are those without any documentation of their connections to Iraq. For these it is necessary to have a relative as soon as possible go to the local village, city office and request paperwork certifying that the individual is from Iraq either by birth or by parentage.  While this cannot yet be confirmed official there is reason to believe this can be donít to the third generation if family members can obtain certification from the local government that the individual has ties to Iraq.

VII. The Election

The election will take place tentatively on June 30, but there are strong indications that it will be delayed in some form.

Those overseas will be able to vote in the capitol cities of 14 countries - essentially the European Union, Australia, The United States and Canada.

Those living overseas will be able .to vote for the national slate but not for the local slate from overseas. The voting will take place at the local office of The International Organization For Migration which has been retained by the Iraqi Election Commission to operate the election for those living overseas.

VIII. Fight Back!

While the above information is still tentative, all Assyrian Christians worldwide and in Iraq are urgently requested to immediately begin to prepare documents to be able to qualify for the election and for those without documentation immediately contact family members to apply for local government documentation and either by mail, fax or email send the document so it can be taken to the polling place for registration.

As with all elections every vote counts. Those with questions about their documentation, about where to vote and any other question relating to the election are asked to contact and fill out the question application so that their individual problem can be researched and an answer given as soon as possible.

Questions will be passed on to the organization concerned for a direct answer from them.

Assyrian Christies worldwide are urgently asked to pass the site to as many as possible so that the maximum number of Assyrian Christians can prepare their documents, successfully register and vote.

Legal Experts, Government Agencies and the media is all on standby to assist in any case of discrimination or perceived discrimination, refusal to accept documents or any problem whatsoever.

The rest is up to you!


Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is writing a book about his experiences in Iraq entitled "I Was Wrong"

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