The indigenous Assyrians, Yezidis and the other smaller groups in Iraq were jubilant listening to United States President Bush explain the objectives behind the 2003 war on Iraq, promising to end the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein and securing freedom for all Iraqi people, regardless of their ethnicity or religious belief. It did not take long before the Assyrians began witnessing a genocide and yet another betrayal (the first was that promise made by of the British post World War I) when the US deserted the indigenous Assyrians and Yezidis and surrendered to the demands of the Shi'a Arabs and the Kurds. The continuous attacks on the Assyrian Christians in Iraq and bombing of churches started in 2004 and intensified through 2011. In 2014, ISIS invaded the Assyrian and Yezidi towns in northern Iraq (and in Syria) and caused a new tragedy and genocide while the Kurds and Shi'a strengthened their positions in the new Iraq.
Mr. Aprim provides in his book, The Betrayal of the Powerless: Assyrians After the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq, a lucid outline and analysis of the events after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the rise of the ambitious Kurdish power in the region inhabited by Iraq's indigenous population of Assyrians. According to the Author, the American policy in Iraq after the two Gulf Wars brought no end to their marginalized political power. In fact, it unleashed other internal and external actors who further deteriorated their status as the oldest inhabitants of Mesopotamia. This is an essential reading in order to fully understand the condition of the Assyrians under Kurdish, Arab and Islamic rules and the challenges faced by Assyrians in Iraq, Syria and perhaps soon in Iran. Mr. Aprim, with this work introduces the reader to the historical and current reality told by a person who knows the socio-ethnic-cultural environment of the different ethnic groups of Mesopotamia and their neighbours. The concise description of the events reflects a deep knowledge on behalf of the author of the modern history of the Assyrians.
Professor Dr. Efrem Yildiz
Vice-Rector for International Relations
University of Salamanca, Spain
In his new book Frederick Aprim offers a detailed survey of the plight suffered by the Assyrians of Iraq in the 21st century. It details how the American invasion in 2003 stirred up renewed hope for liberation, resettlement and even self-determination among this indigenous minority, only to be crushed once again as discrimination and the horrors unleashed by ISIS in 2014 caused renewed waves of emigration. Today, fewer Assyrians than ever before in history remain in their ancestral areas. Aprim's work offers an important insider perspective to anyone who wishes to understand the current state and future outlook of the Assyrians in Iraq and the Middle East.
Professor Aryo Makko
Professor of History and Director of the Hans Blix Centre for the History of International Relations, Stockholm University, Sweden