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tv   Combating ISIS and Protecting Minority Groups in Iraq  CSPAN  August 7, 2017 6:12pm-8:01pm EDT

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the hospitals are being attacked almost daily pick the federal government the banks are being attacked almost daily now. we are not going to eliminate this threat. we have got to learn to live with it. we have lived with millennials with a flu virus. they never eradicate the flu virus. you do certain things when you know you are exposed and you know the flu is going around. you get a shot and you isolate yourself from folks who have the flu. the hygienic steps you take in the physical world. the u.s. institute of peace hosted a panel discussion on combating isis in iraq and what can be done to protect minority communities in the country. before the panel discussion began iraq's ambassador to the u.s. gave brief remarks.
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this program is one hour and 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen let me welcome you to the united states institute of peace. we are very pleased to welcome you here this afternoon. my name is phil taylor on the executive price -- vice president of the institute of peace, very pleased to be able to cohost this was with our kurdish friends. we will have an opportunity to introduce everyone at the right time. the kurdistan regional government special
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representative bayan sami abdul rahman is here and we also have the ambassador from iraq ambassador fareed yasseen. welcome, glad to have you here. both will have an opportunity to speak to you before the panel discussion. three years ago this month isis targeted many of iraq's minority groups christians have cds pokemon and others to this assault on northern iraq. isis also targeted arabs and kurds in many more areas. last year the secretary of state and the u.s. congress and just last week the administration labeled as genocide the attacks on the chaldeans syrians and other groups by isis so the last administration and this administration are in agreement and have made it very clear.
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over the past three years these communities have faced unspeakable atrocities including mass murder, sexual enslavement and torture. through the efforts of the iraqi government the k. or t., the u.s. government and the international community important progress has been made the liberation of the nineveh plain mosul are important accomplishing is for the religious minorities to be able to return home. however despite this thousands remained displaced from their homes and many have seen the nice -- isis exploit fissures between members of individual communities themselves creating distrust division and insecurity. these groups have not only suffered at the hands of isis but under the rule of saddam hussein and intern med conflict with other iraqis continue to fight for their rights as citizens to work to ensure a
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safe future for all iraqis. over the years the institute of peace has supported iraqi minorities to advance their rights and emphasize the vital importance of their voices in local and national governments in ensuring their safety and security for all iraqi's. the institute works to find practical solutions for preventing and resolving violent conflict, that's what we do. he did this by working on the ground in iraq and other countries around the world with local partners so they can become catalysts for peace in their own communities. we have been in iraq and a director since 2003 with offices in baghdad and erbil. our programs in and a wreck focus on improving relations between and among local communities in various parts of iraq including areas recently liberated from isis with dialogue fostering inclusion facilitating joint problem-solving. we support the alliance of iraqi
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minorities the coalition of civil society organizations that provide the voice for minority groups that works on their behalf. aim was formed in 2011 and is made up of 13 nongovernmental organizations to advance the rights of christians yazidis kurds and other communities. aim also serves as a critical voice for iraqi minorities and the international and stakeholders including the u.s. government the u.n. and the iraqi and kurdish national regional governments. in 2014 and worked with the u.s. to convene a national conference on the rights of iraqi minorities which adopted a declaration on the basic rights of fundamental freedoms of iraq's diverse minority communities as well as a roadmap for implementation. currently the u.n. consultation is supporting the drafting process of the law on equality and antidiscrimination in iraq based on the roadmap of the 2014
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declaration. aim has supported initiatives by its members to respond to and raise awareness of humanitarian crises in iraqi minority communities following isis assaults. currently the alliance is working to promote the purse at the tory budgeting initiative to increase minority participation at the provincial level and then about erbil and -- also working to alleviate tensions between christians and chabot through dialogue by detailed assessments complete with the extensive input from both communities. in addition to the work of the alliance lines i want to acknowledge many organizations especially those who work in the minority groups too many to name they have done commendable work to bring attention to the needs of majorities as well as support to address the needs needs but we all know much more needs to be done.
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this afternoon we want to focus on the future. our panel will discuss ways that the united states government the iraqi government and the international actors can support minorities at this extraordinarily difficult time for all of these groups with a diverse set of speakers are here today to discuss the complex pieces involved in addressing the future of these communities which form iraq's unique historical and cultural mosaic. it's going to be an interesting conversation absolute necessary at this critical time for minorities and iraqis. before the panel discussion as i mentioned we will have remarks from the ambassador and the representative from both iraq and the kurdish republic and ambassador has served through purchased an acer does iraqi ambassador to france and filled a number of positions in the government of iraq.
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please join me in welcoming fareed yasseen. [applause] >> the kurdish republic was in 1941. the regional government which is part of the federal government in iraq. this is a topic that is hard for me to talk about because i have lived it from afar and when you live a tragedy from afar you sometimes feel it even worse. i have reasons to feel it more than others because my mother is from mosul and i had members of my family there. i remember in 2008 eric schmidt came and asked us what is the worst thing that has happened so some of us answered it was -- and others said it was the
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uprising in 1991. i think the worst legacy of saddam was that we had a choice in these things. which one to choose? he if he had asked us that question 2014 or 2015 we would have one answer, what he did to the yazidis. this isn't the worst thing that's happened in the 21st century so far and i hope it will be one of the last such events of its nature. this is a sad thing because iraq is a place of minorities. there's a good documentary running around based on the letters. she gives a very vivid description of what she sees and it is really minorities. bad bad that the turn-of-the-century had plurality's to choose.
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who would have known that yet they have left their mark on the united states. and that this is something we have taken into account when the drafters of the constitution in 2005 started working on the job. if you look at our preamble the elements of plurality and the multiple nature of the iraqi's it's imprinted their so this is something we have to look at and we have chosen as a result of federal structure that can taken to account all of our diversities. iraq of 2017 is not the iraq of 2014. the iraqi army of 2017 is not the iraqi army of 2014. the government is not the same and the people are not the same. i was recently at a workshop, conference in aspen where people
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talked about relationships between the united states. i have to tell you for me the real work began in 2014 and its consequence was that it really brought all iraqi's together. one of the most emotionally charged images is iraqi officers in the prime minister standing side-by-side greeting the rest of the areas that have been captured by isis and it hasn't been easy. it is hard and i have to tell you i think the road ahead is even harder because we still haven't finished the liberation of iraq. we still have to deal with tall afar and is isis morphs into a
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successful organization we will have to still keep on fighting and we have to stand together. on the issues that we will have to face that the ambassador just raised on the status of where minorities are in iraq simply put for most iraqi's and certainly for the iraqi government iraq is not iraq without its minorities. we are not north korea. and their preservation and their active preservation as vibrant participants as members of society is recognized by the constitution. this is why we have parliamentarians representing minorities by constitutionally mandated law in iraq and their
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belief have to pay tribute to a person standing here when she raised the issue for people for our people and forced us into action and unfortunately the world was kind of late. had the international community intervened in 2014 i don't think we would be there, so as we move ahead we will have to contend like i said with the integration of the rest of iraq and in parallel all of these elements will have to carry out humanitarian work. we will have to carry out the stabilization to enable people to go back to their homes and villages and then we will have to engage in reconstruction. stabilization and the humanitarian work is calling on
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remarkably well. these are not my words. these are the words of united nations humanitarian coordinator who is an incredible lady. she actually has recently in washington stated what is being done in iraq is really an exemplar model to be applied in later humanitarian action. one of the things she said really affected me because for a long part of its history the first victims of the iraqi army were the iraqi people. she said for the first time in her long experience of humanitarian work had an army put into its strategic and tactical objectives and priorities, that is really remarkable and this is one of the reasons why i say the iraqi army of 2017 is not the iraqi
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army of 2014. anyway we have to complete our stabilization of the liberated areas and then we will have to engage in construction and their the demands are humongous. nobody think has really come up with a definitive figure but i look forward to the conference that our neighbors are planning to hold beginning in 2018 to try to help us do that. and we look beyond that to all of our neighbors because our stability and the well-being of iraqi's is part of the stability of this region. but then beyond that people have to look at the issues of governance and for that the trend of the politics that you see in an iraq have the attention of the government are quite distinct. first of all there's a genuine
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goal towards decentralization not only because it's the right thing to do but also because it's the efficient thing to do. nobody has governed better than the people who govern themselves and so this is what is planned. we intend to have elections in the beginning of next year. i am looking forward to you sending observers. i have to say that iraq has two contradictory expertise in the region. one is the iraqi counterterrorism services special forces and honestly american officer said this, not me. and i have to give tribute to them because the casualty rate of these campaigns has been unheard-of. but the other one is our electoral commissions. the elections in iraq and a lot of people recognize this, have
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been fair and free and with an outcome that is not always known. it's a rarity in the region i would say. so we will have to deal with the issue of governance and that will be done but beyond all of this one issue that is of prime importance for us to deal with is the issue of justice. people have been wronged and i remember barzani came to visit france in 2014 and i asked him what was the thing that was prime on his mind and he said the problem that i have is preventing young yazidi men from seeking revenge and god knows what happened to them. and they were justified but this
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is the prime thing that we have to deal with. this is one of the reasons i particularly commend the work that the usaid has done to help prevent -- and iraq. but i have to note that there have been efforts, iraqi efforts geared towards this. of particular note is a project by a parliament member from mosul, who decided to look at what has been done in terms of conflict resolution and means to establish social justice in the world. ..
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>> >> i hasten to say that
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there is 29 percent of the women members. it is a transitional justice it is not easy to do and we need your help to do that. but beyond that we will need a massive effort that all iraqis are subject to ups -- ptsd and i am a model in and if you allow me i will read to you that the international community can do to help iraq.
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of iraq needs the help of experienced human rights organizations and human rights groups must we formed the process and mechanisms for documentation should be formulated and implemented. and how to do follow-up and they should be trained of how to prosecute the psychologist and psychiatrist to learn how to counsel survivors in the iraqi government can establish the institutional framework. this cannot happen without an effort but the sad thing is this was 2003 and we're still at point o as opposed
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to what happened earlier and if not dealt with quickly that will fester. thank you. [applause] >> the next speaker is from the kurdish regional government and the governor iraq since 2015 and was the high representative to the united kingdom and also elected to the of leadership council of the kurdistan party. please welcome her to the podium. [applause]
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[chanting] [chanting] >> i have no idea what that was about to so good afternoon ladies and gentleman ambassador taylor and ambassador yasseen and distinguished speakers ladies and gentlemen, i am please the care jeep to be at the institute of peace with this discussion as we honor all those that were
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killed or raped or injured or in any way harmed by isis. you must never forget the crime they committed three years ago with the rampage across iraq when it targeted parts of the benevolent to do all we can to help those victims to restore their homes and livelihoods for those criminals that committed those crimes. when i struck what made up the iraq passaic not a single community was left unscathed especially the christians. the krg was taken several steps the kurdistan regional government was the first to
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recognize isis as genocide in 2014 the krg site committee for gaining international recognition submitted the genocide to the international criminal court to. sadly the icc prosecutor and we encourage you to those other member countries to open the investigation and create the international or highbred tribunal. the prime minister and the security forces rescued 3,092.
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but those are remain in captivity. and with that rape victims center and with that social psychological support to be victims of those victims of rape. and those muslims and kurds to provide resources with those christian in churches and communities. en to liberate those thousands on the territory more than 1,750 peshmerga have been killed and 11,000 injured. kurdistan has passed laws in the draft constitution will
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of all faiths and background. and then to recognize it is not enough. and it is far better than other parts of iraq read to accept change we have a system to allocate to the minority and the kurdistan parliament. for the allocation to be widened. to be carefully considered this is just one example. what about the of broader picture outside of kurdistan with the rest of iraq? what do we need to do do for a reasonable life? since
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trust was lacking even before isis came and now out of reach in the near future. it is more realistic to speak of security and stability and protection the steps that need to be taken are many and i echo those recommendations for go first accountability. we need international community to say never again do not allow the perpetrator to escape justice for the governments of iraq should answer the calls from other united nations members to allow the investigation. the krg was the first to recognize these crimes may commend the government of the united states put the
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question is if we allow that recognition of genocide to be the only step with the for step of justice and then to engage in stabilization with those unexploded devices in they need to be removed we need economic opportunities ready economically neglected but now they are rubble. with those tactical solutions to enable families mania that international community to engage all part
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of the in this effort and we cannot do alone. we need legislation to change the laws that currently with those world citizens what they think of the economic empowerment of women and you cannot help but be skeptical. oh woman lacks the basic right to pass this and shipped to her children and a christian on sri will start again. christian children with a father who converts to islam or a mother who mary's are automatically muslim. there was no choice. there are many laws that
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need to be changed with women and minorities. we need to consider local autonomy many have called for their areas to be protected but the krg has continued to support either within the kurdistan region to have a more decentralized system. we need to build a true army that truly reflects the makeup of the country and not just one component the iraqi military has defeated the enemy. made up of the many people that are encompassed in
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iraq. and so when isis stroke the peshmerga were outgunned we cannot protect our citizens or ourselves and we need to change that. with the united states germany and britain and we hope eventually we could consider that training in a different way. queeney to reconsider education our children need to be education in the way our parents were other religions. as a key component of radicalization. so the ministries of education to change the
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curriculum from the islamic studies to religious studies across kurdistan. in conclusion no one can deny the fact that it is now broken among the community is that used to live together prior to the isis onslaught. to make a coordinated effort to launch a reconciliation to provide economic opportunity to encourage peaceful coexistence and the need to be realistic that this is immense and difficult the load is very deep it is painful to be
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betrayed by your maker to have your loved ones raped and enslaved killed for their fate their language or background. reconciliation and peaceful coexistence even if possible is a long painstaking process and there is no? fix. i look forward to the discussion we will have today with the panel and once again or bike to a thick the panel for organizing this to put -- organizing this event at the time the moment. [applause] >> we admire your place in the face of that interruption and a good job to the security team. now welcome our panel to the
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stage and bail me will be the of moderator today from the center of prevention of genocide and a moderate and introduced the panel. [applause] >> thank you very much it is an honor to be your for all of us with a moment of considerable reflection because we really should not be here for this conversation because three years ago over 700,000 iraqi and religious minorities were driven from their home with only an hour's notice if even but.
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has to be the victims from ethnic cleansing and victims of humanity they should never have to flee to look and international failure to protect them it started decades before it to be in that marginal as they should know that over decades and part of that conversation is looking to the future how we can ensure those eight communities do have a place in the future of iraq not just because we have made a commitment to prevent genocide we have a collective interest because it is very much at the core. i am getting a little bit of feedback.
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we are throaty can join us through skype we will work through the background noise the part of that conversation that they are pawns and a greater political dispute to ensure that these communities many of you know, much of that territory has been liberated and unable to return home from those areas of which they come that militarization with the lack of economic opportunities those are issues we need to ensure we remain gauged with these individuals that we do have a pluralistic and diverse iraq going forward
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is an honor to be joined by the current number of the parliament and because of her courageous stand she took as her community was victimized with the international a community we are joined by an advocate's right from the board member and to represent the iraqi minorities. we're also joined by a wonderful advocate for these communities in washington crediting for the work that he and his office has done serving as special advisor at the u.s. department of state here in washington d.c. and finally the
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director of the middle east program joining in 2011 with very strong remarkable work with the reconciliation on the ground so as to stir this conversation i want to ask if you could talk about that about what are the conditions the minority communities need to return to their home??. >> [speaking in native tongue] translator: i am a member of the iraqi parliament [speaking in native tongue]
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translator: it is a pleasure to be with you today especially now at the university -- anniversary of my people. [speaking in native tongue] translator: three years ago peas that harmony was disrupted [speaking in native tongue] translator: but then suddenly isis cons as the neighbor of the arabs they killed a man and enslaved him and killed brutally their children they killed
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one belsen three henderson's . [speaking in native tongue] translator: after three years 200700 more with the 43 mass graves. we have all these holy shrines they abducted 6,400. [speaking in native tongue] translator: 3,054 people
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and those that are imprisoned [speaking in native tongue] translator: they took 1,060 children between ages four and 10 they don't even recognize their own parents with those christians in the region. because we have different faiths i don't know what
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gives you the reason to kill me just because of my different for a. >> 85 persons ever villages and cities 400,000. [speaking in native tongue] translator: 90,000 of the river from europe and other countries the 560 dozen people are all now displaced
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per kozo what we're asking the air national community -- international community. >> and to begin a new life. and we need guarantees from the international community this will not happen again. [speaking in native tongue] translator: and we need to urge them to recognize these atrocities of genocide. we are in a very bad need
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from these other cities [speaking in native tongue] translator: after rebuilding our cities and villages then to rebuild trust if they have been attacked before?. >> [speaking in native tongue] translator: we know that some of them are neighbors so how do we convince those that have been enslaved to
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say come back again?. >> of course i know this happens to other minorities [speaking in native tongue] translator: and you have to extend for everyone to kill our people [speaking in native tongue] translator: justice is very important
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[speaking in native tongue] translator: and now these people and also with the social peace. >> thank you. they give poor that reminder with over 3,000 women and children but is also a
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national we're investing to rebuild your community that we often forget the these atrocities or neighbors to create those conditions and to address that and remind us of these minority communities and of the committee has not for over 50,000 to the christian community web 1.5 million dead hour at 350,000. that is a very important thing for us with this has meant for individuals and their own minds. you are working on these issues on a daily basis so could you share with us from skype where the top challenges facing your
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communities and others as they attempt to move forward?. >> can you hear us? can you show was those challenges as they envision a future for them?. >> and for everyone so that minority is very critical to
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discuss those challenges in the future of minorities of iraq. so with betty equation and maybe one of the benefits to shed light on the issue of minorities. and i think we have to focus
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for those minorities and the future in iraq. i did not hear all of the speakers and everything that happens. but if you would like to speak about the future that this is very important how we secure those people.
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[inaudible] and then and this is very important with those identities and to control those people and those non state actors and how to make
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them involved and new grants that security of the krg and this is the question. and from the government and for international protection and speaking about civility
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and intervention because i know that from the international society that they could take all these areas so to ask for help and they think the baghdad government that the minority are living in that area.
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so they scare because of that area and also with those different kinds of forces and some of them are krg so this type of different sources. [inaudible] but the other issue is we
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are working with the issue of the legal reforms to the area to have social cohesion so who would do that? so who does that conversation?
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so in this kind of situation so with that situation of iraq there are all kinds of challenges that we should speak about between the people in their government in this is amazing because those governments and also
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those people but they are part of the people so this is many issues the we're fighting for a solution for that to create better administrative unit because
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that area was neglected this is the main issue they are aware this situation. because now we are encouraging people because of these families but now we should work on those many issues to get those from a
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political issue. >> think the for that if the kid a remarkable job to cover the challenges in detail and the wish we could have you here to share your experiences and concern because this is how we're hearing from the communities they thank you highlighted a couple of points that were critical or how to protect these committees first and foremost, to remember they're primarily in enough
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of that is contested to reform that sense of security and exacerbated the of of their ability and from that you talk about the importance that a guaranteed for physical protection not just us neighbors but the government themselves the importance of protecting indemnities of legal reform to make sure people can reclaim their properties that the identity is preserved with the need to build greater social cohesion so thank you for testing on those points and there will be questions from the audience so all that leads to an important question around how we regard the of protection as
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part of the national security conversation as governments at their praise what that should be based on the perceived search for national security so how does the u.s. government understand the issue thinking about the strategy for protecting these communities?. >> thank you for hosting this discussion where we are pausing to remember selling to isis three years ago also to the women and children the point of the conversation into day is
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well reflecting on the recent past thinking what can we do as a government during a community of values to assure the religious minorities have a future in the industrial homeland of iraq. so the question is our front and center about the future of iraq posed isis. u.s. seen vice president pence on two occasions that the government will work to assess anywhere around the world we have seen president trump violate those vicious attacks perpetrated against the others just because they are the wrong faith and we recognize that genocide with
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a spokesperson saying last week to believe that genocide had been so what do we do? so with those atrocities what can we do to insure that future for minorities? it is difficult but we have an effort under way first and his that issue of security how do we empower minorities to play a role that they are recruited and inc. to ensure equal treatment of minorities and concerns about stabilization what can we do for those communities that isis destroyed so people can go home? the with this
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rebuilding a structures is also the rebuilding of relationships how do we encourage communities to come back together with those communal bonds ripped apart and then of course, the issue all iraqis want and the last element is accountability how do we make sure those who'd perpetrated those unimaginable evils against innocents are held accountable? i could go one but these are areas we are pursuing round united states is a key player we're working closely with the government if you've heard those excellent presentations earlier
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working with the allies to help bring those resources also working with european friends and allies into focus i'm promoting religious freedom around the world but also working with the french and the spanish that we have heard are distinct from the majority so i would conclude by saying that there is a moment of great opportunity and peril that we have an opportunity to see these conditions recreated rawl iraqi minorities or different denominations can
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live together to protect this one for what it was was we're committed to do what we can at the state department but happy to have representatives in this room today. >> two underscore one of those points so any time news speak as a member of a minority member in iraq it is the reiteration of extremist attacks so we can defeat isis as well they are waiting to see what will come next for a the christian kennedy over the
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last few decades that is what forms their sense of insecurity to create militias with a general sense of insecurity for what has come before so when we talk about the language of genocide that there is actual action in accordance with that to ensure that that governance that is what we shed be talking about genocide so what are those obligations going forward? suss to engage the hill and the administration so what i am concerned about enough
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attention for what needs to be done with the reconciliation in stabilization the iraqi government to step bin -- two-step been to look at those challenges in the international community to get that rubble of attention and what is needed. so talking about how you make the case with the a importance of supporting reconciliation to build that trust again to build a more stable iraq and the nevada as well. >> reconciliation is the
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concepts and words i am glad is repeated the data is more in the concept of the framework of iraq of the top leaders but today isis has changed and especially the minorities and the victim's of genocide it creates reconciliation with the of perpetrators of the crime so that sequence of a reconciliation that will come later after you have liberated the land and the relationship. that also is not applicable
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as they spoke about the errors that we cannot do about that sequence speaking of these communities this is the reality of iraq but recently we did research but then to work in partnership and to ask the communities what do they see as a source of conflict? and what does reconciliation read to them?
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the sow to define those issues differently. subtler get this problem just from the perspective of isis. that is one of the many with the recent future working at this issue from two layers. so i see iraq as a ship in a turbulent sea and it has many damages on that ship and as you try to address those issues focusing only on the minorities issue will
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not prevent the ship -- the ship from sinking to address that totality to vote minorities to fix this so there are about those tensions and conflicts wears -- layers. and for there zero reconciliation it is practical it no more context that that international community supports you. that is the question.
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to approach them from their needs. and we don't see them not because we don't value the but they are at different levels. so that is a loose term for them to go home so to present that battle with up preventive measures to secure the perimeter but in the first page and house you build on that? and to restore those trades i know others as one citizenship
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this is all important in the context of the country. so to d impractical terms with that iraqi security checkpoint. m i being treated differently with the practicality so when money comes in for reconstruction because of the tensions that we have there is a grand scheme of changing demographics it is very complex so the look for the research coming down gradually and everyone to enable them to go home in with that budgeting so this
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is the role of civil society. and how to engage a the community because of the of lack of resources in those the received assistance. and to manage those resources and we have a number of flashpoints. and christian tension from the internationalized with us sensitivities of the minorities so this is where
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we really have to go to a new wants to approach and to help manage those conversations. >> and with those pre-existing tensions that are within communities in between communities and those minority communities as well. and then to identify the flashpoint tuesday escalate those tensions so thank you for your incredible work this is a practical contribution so we have some time to open for questions and there are microphones
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underside. >> if you could keep them quite short and we will go to read a time. . .
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the replace with another kdp member. so i'd like to ask her to respond to that removal, forced removal of him and is this the plan to annex the plain into the krg? the first step? should we be worried about other towns of syria? we have severed hundred years of genocide, and we continue to suffer genocide and our people are indentallous people. we were there $7,000 and that was syria, and today we don't even have the plains we're trying -- ancestral homelands
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destroyed by isis and an tuck -- antiquities and everything. >> there's one more question in the back. >> i'm from the natural endowment. i wanted my friend to come but she said it would be another dog and pony show. i'm from sinjar. i know what is going on. but thank you for raisings all the issues-everybody else, but my question is, how do you -- this question to next one, too. do you have any strategy when you can point out that says give people, young people like me, yazidi young people, that i would -- but a what i am seeing there is all injustice in applying the justice.
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part of it is a correction. think william is aware that two days ago the head of the committee of documenting the genocide came out and said the whole process of documenting is total corrupt. how can you do that? the other -- nobody young, boy, sunni, muslim, young boy, who father join isis will not -- will stop thinking about his father. he was a hero and he was killed for a coat. he -- betray his country. thank you. >> thank you for the two questions. one was posed to someone who is not on the quantity but i'll -- could a microphone be -- the question about political representation in areas that have been liberated? >> thank you very much. and thank you for the question. my understanding is that the
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mayor of the city, who was removed, was removed by the local council. it wasn't a political party's decision. it what's couple's decision. -- the council's decision. understand there had been a long running investigation into that mayor, and there had been protests against him. so, this is my understanding of the situation there. more broadly, i would like to ask a question of this young man who rightly is very concerned for his people. if the kurds if the kurdistan regional government is and the people of kurdistan are toward the clip the way you describe, why is is almost every christian left in iraq has taken shelter in kurdistan? they have chosen to go to kurdistan. i'm not saying kurdistan is perfect but it's the safest place for your community for
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other communities and for many others, even people who are muslim, feel safer in kurdistan than they else where, it's an important conversation but if we can get to the other question. [inaudible] >> okay. okay. if i can just quickly summarize. we're -- >> have a right to be there. that is our ancestral homeland. >> thank you nor point. we'd like -- >> are humans. >> i think you're underscoring that is of critical importance. >> who is today? that is our ancestral homeland and we have a right to be there. >> i would like to ensure -- it is a very, very important --
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>> misinformation and this is -- for the people -- >> way can have this conversation. >> i think it's important to have the conversation i ask we be able to move on to next question -- >> anybody, they did not disarm the syrians. nobody said at the time. this is something that lobbyists are raising. >> it's not working. >> thank you very much for your comment. >> direct i heard every single word you have said and i'm happy to answer but i think the conversation is bigger than your little -- not your little -- is bigger than the dispute that you're raising. there are yazidis here, turkmen, many christians who disagree with you. the majority of christians disagree with you. please let the others have the conversation. >> i used to employ water polo competitively, never thought i would play the role of goalie and never watched to because it was all the hardest position. being the moderator of any
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discussion is hard, especially issues like this but i want to thank you for raising your concerns and thank also those who left earlier for expressing their concerns. i think it is important to try to identify and find a solution going forward to ensure that these communes are protected. they have legitimate concerns. there's no one voice that represents any particular community, nor one voice that represents a democrat or republican in this country. thank you for expressing that. there was an important question that touched on how to create conditions for people to feel safe to return and provide opportunities and that was posed be the yazidi colleague, directs towards sarhang. >> i think it's a great question, and a strategy to deal with that will he multifolds. some things require international community support, some require the iraqi government support, some require some decision biz the commune themselves and through the work of the usaid, i know that there
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are leaders in each community, they are trying to deal with those issues and they are -- the context is different from someone village to another, and to convince the young man to go home, it has several layers of -- have some of those discussions. they do want to feel secure. but security is an important one they want to provide their own security so someone from -- they want to provide their own security, want to prevent what happened. at my -- i think that's a right. that's an important point. there are other actors in this conversation that may see that as a threat. so the -- this is why a conversation is necessary to say, okay, how do we -- how each community, each actor, where you can deal with them and address
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the mutual concerns and find a mechanism to deal with them. and to the question about somebody whose father was killed or was a hero to him from another community, that's -- what time i would have explained my imagery a little bit more because for the minorities, isis came from elsewhere, not within the community. so to protect the minority, you have to put safeguards, preventing another isis to come again from another source that will attack the minorities. that's a difficult conversation. we're looking on local reconciliation and working on -- we are working on the christian -- we are working on other places, but more needs to be done. it's a very legitimate question,
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and many actors struggling with this. unfortunately there's no clear, crystal answer to that. , in. >> i think we need to wrap up. there is time for one more question? >> we'll take a few more questions, then. >> this gentleman right here in the front. there's a woman in the middle. >> i'm robert olmos, and in 2015, because of what i saw in the yazidi community in sinjar i went to fight isis mitchell basic question for you -- i respect everything you have done in iraq with the yazidi community but neuer all of yazidis fled to sinjar but to iraq. a lot of them flowed to syrian kurdistan and they don't have the services that they're provided in iraq. in fact, due to the blockade, a
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lot of needed humanitarian aid has not been brought to camps and other places like that, and they're still in deplorable humanitarian conditions. me question is what have you done in syria to help the community there that is still suffering and does not have any relief from the situation? thank you. >> take one more question. my name is joine and i'm asking this from the american perspective, although i have worked in the middle east. thank you all for having this, by the way. i think it's sorely needed. my question is, what you just got through saying. you've got isis out of there. if there isn't some form of
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governance, we'll be fighting them again and again and again, and my perspective on isis is just like any dictator or people that the nazis, it's not about religion. it's about money and power. what is the trump administration going to do to bring in some sort of governance or this will not happen again? thank you very much. >> thank you for the question. [applause] >> do know is -- [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: thank you for question. you have two different communes of yazidis. one of them has been the yazidi
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people have beening abducted by isis and taken to rafa and those who need to the camp. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: of course both of them are occupied and we have to work to save both of them. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: we know that there's a marketplace in raqqa where yazidi women are assault so we try to save them. [inaudible] foreign. >> interpreter: kurdistan regional government has stop up in -- buying these yazidis in
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the marketplace and save them but unfortunately, iraqi government hasn't helped any in this regard. >> i'm sorry, ambassador. >> interpreter: i apologize, miss ambassador. they didn't help news buying these yazidis. [speaking in foreign language] >> interpreter: you are right in to 2014 when our people fled, yazidi people-most of them went to syria and then most came back to the region, some left the camp and some of them left.
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of course for me and for every yazidi and every camp needs help. >> thank you. we're just highlighting the fact there are large populations in syria who have south refuge outside of the realm of international help. knox, would you be able to respond to the question about some of the american perspective, what is being done? >> we're taking actions in a number of different fronts. the overarching question we all need to ask ourselves it what drove iraqis to support isis? the issues of governance, human rights, other complicating factors. i think right now we have a very good partner with the prime minister of iraq, who it committed to -- as you heard the ambassador say to an agenda that inclusive, insures all of iraq's diverse components have a voice, a role in governance.
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we have seen with the iraqi security forces and their battle against isis, a really remarkable commitment to civilian protection, to ensure that in liberating areas they're not destroying the communities they're trying to save, so they can be rebuilt and have confidence in their government that is protecting them. also the question of how to defeat the ideology of isis, encourage the voices who say, this not the right way, this is not my faith? how do we partner with them to see those perspectives amplified tease are debates that iraqis need have and we can't enter them, but we want to ensure there's a framework where they can occur. it's going to be difficult. the fight isn't over. we need remember that as well. and we are committed, though, to continuing to partner with our iraqi friends to help ensure that not only through the
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minority but for all iraqis that tomorrow is brighter than yesterday. >> thank you. i want to just very quickly see if william, you wanted to respond to any of the questions or comments that have been made. >> i would like to add something that is very important to think of the challenges now and also to think about how to find solutions. one of the main -- how to find a solution for administrative issue in the area, the area of
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minorities. this is a kind of -- solution and also to think about those now from different groups, even [inaudible] -- part of -- but they have different loyalty, political loyaltiment i was thinking and it's a kind of the recommendation, how we could find another leadership for them, like there race leadership operation for -- we can try to get for all these groups whether they are yazidis or shabbat.
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to find leadership for them to be leadership of the plain. otherwise, we will see conflict between these forces. weeks ago i was in the area. there was a confrontation when two groups, christian groups. this is what expected because these forces are from different political loyalties. this is one of the problem that we will face. people are scared to tell because we should work hard to both people in that area and help them between groups. that's what aim and usaid's
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working and we would like to fight enter [inaudible] to help people how to see it in that area. also, to help the iraqi government and -- how to normalize this area from the tension between them. this is very important issue that i would like to raise because otherwise people don't like again to listen to conflict. they are very eager to see peace. that's why now, next september, people should prepare them because here they govern -- the government from baghdad -- baghdad government will start all the administration function
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through the area, and every person or officials will not return -- face problem, maybe he will fire from his position. so the people that are not -- forcing people, affecting them and even they are not convinced that [inaudible] because of the point of conflict between the groups. this is what i would like to raise, is to urge iraqi government and -- to help organization and themself, they should work to help people in this area to enable people to repair and live in peace. >> thank you so much, william. it think that it is an
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appropriate place to perhaps start to wrap up the conversation. i want to give an opportunity to ambassador to give comments and i understand there's a desire to do so, and in light of the conversations so if i might just turn it over, if there could be a microphone given. >> compared to humpy dumpy. in 2014, michael crowley had a cover page article in "time magazine" entitled "the end of iraq." one thing that people will be surprised by -- this is a prediction of mine -- in a few
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years from now people will start writing articles on the resilience, how it will have weathered the storm, and -- [applause] -- and what we achieved is nothing short of miraculous. three, four years ago, three years ago, we were worried. i mean, baghdad was almost about to fall. but here closing in on isis and the objectives we have is not to defeat isis. out to make sure they'll never rise again if want to close by one thing. where is this one mant who wanted to know what argument is could give him to go back to iraq. where are you? don't fear fear. okay? there are many psychological
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barriers put against us to go back and help. one of the most heart-warming things i've seen in the last two or three weeks was a conference organized by the world bank on the reconstruction of liberated areas, and one of the things that, like i said, give me a lot of hope was the representative of chaldean americans who were very fortunate and very successful, came to see him to see what they could do to help rebuild their ancestral area, now there's a very cavable -- capable iraqi community in the united states. think what you can do to help us rebuild. think of the villages where your grandparents came from. you yourself, sir, think what can you -- this has been said before. what can you do for the country of your parents and your country? please come back and help us. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i wouldles like to thank usip for hosting this if think the nature to the discussion, some of which was heated, just reflects the problems that we faced in iraq, but it's good to have a conversation. that is where dialogue begins and long-term negotiations begin. would like to remind everybody that's 3rd of august is the everywhere of the in the idea genocide of the ya did -- yazidi. and i encourage you to come and show solidarity with the yazidis and others who suffered genocide at the hands of isis. thank you. [applause] >> thank you.
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i think just to maybe sum up,'ll just take a point that ambassador yasseen mentioned about resilience. i think in this particular context, as we approach august 3rd, and for those who aren't aware, august 3rd is when isis attacked sinjar and then moved up and attacked other christian communities. we could follow that as it was happening. we could follow it on social media. on twitter, and see these community being imperiled. they were calling for international assistance and none was forth coming. when it was, and the u.s. government did do air strikes, thousands of people's lives were saved, tens of thousands of people's lives were saved. the resilience i ammar veil it is the communes. the fact they try to seek ways to return home particulars fact they do have a desire to remain in their own countries. that's a resilience we need apply, the resilience we need to do everything we took support
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and right now at times were failing those communities and we fail them when we don't also have the conversations about the realities of the situation on theground, when we don't acknowledge the pick minutiae of the tensions that exist between different communities and ignore the fact this particular community and these communities were made vulnerable in part by the fact that there is an ongoing political dispute that we need to seek a resolution to. that these communities need to be very much at the foreof our thinking about the future of iraq's strategy for the u.s. government and others, otherwise we will be book here talking about genocide again in another decade in a decade after that, and i would like to thank ambassador yasseen and also representative raw rahman for being here and i hope they can continue to work with usip on the remarkable work on the ground because thy communities deserve more than they're receiving in terms of support
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from the international community. i would just like to end by saying that these are very painful discussions. the crimes that happened were simply absolutely here rick. i'm the grand jury of hole cause survive -- holocaust survive yours. cannot imagine what these communities have had to endure. they do fester and they need to be addressed. we need to dress concerned raced here and expressed on the phone from our colleague, william warda, who was calming from iraq. thank you for participating and hopefully we won't have to be here again in the future and talking about iraq and genocide the future. thank you.
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sunday night on q & a. >> when you look at everyone major civil insurrection that hat risen up in the united states, when black people have abandoned peaceful protests and taken it to the streets, in newark, in baltimore, in ferguson, and los angeles, it has always been because of something the police have done. >> georgetown university law school professor paul butler takes a critical look at the u.s. criminal justice system and the impact on african-american men in his book "chokehold: policing back men." >> we we look at who ought to be afraid of black men, the number one victims are other black men. if a white person very concerned about being a victim of crime, the main person she august to -- taught be concerned about is her intimate partner, her husband, because statistically that's the person who is most likely to
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cause her harm. >> sunday night on q & a. >> here on c-span2 2 the communicators next with a look at how businesses are responding to cyber security threats. our guest is moulton. after that it's booktv in primetime, with books about the oval office. tonight's lineup includes:


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