Too Little, Too Late for Iraqi Christians, Mr. Obama! By Laurie Sterling
On August 8, 2014, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama finally responded to the violence being perpetrated against indigenous Christian groups in Iraq by the terrorist group, ISIS. Obama stated the following in his prime time address to the nation. “First, I said in June, as the terrorist group, ISIL [or ISIS] began to advance across Iraq, that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it.” Now that countless Christians and other members of minority ethnic groups have been brutally murdered, Obama’s actions indicate that the “situation indeed required it.” Unfortunately for those who have perished, it is too late. Speaking of the terrorists advance into the city of Erbil, the president stated, “To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city. We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad.” Obama further stated that, “The United States will not be dragged into a new Iraq war.” http://video.foxnews.com/v/3720259627001/president-obama-delivers-statement-on-us-mission-in-iraq/#sp=show-clips
Although some humanitarian relief has already been provided to the region, one must wonder what took the president so long to take action and how he sat by while the situation escalated to such dire conditions. The intervention that Obama is taking is minimal and begs the question,“Is it too little, too late?” Countless numbers of Christian Iraqi’s and other ethnic groups who do not subscribe to the radical Islamic ideology of ISIS have already been brutally slaughtered by the group. On August 6, 2014, Mark Arabo, a spokesman for the Christian Chaldean community in Iraq told CNN reporter, Jonathan Mann, “This is truly a living nightmare that’s not going away. Christianity in Mosul is dead and a Christian holocaust is in our midst.” He further stated, “Seven weeks ago we went to Washington D.C. and we were actually calling this a Christian genocide and since then, day by day, it’s getting worse. More children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, fathers are being hung. Right now, three hundred thousand Christians are in Iraq living, fleeing in neighboring cities, just wanting a chance not just to survive but to live.” http://news.msn.com/world/video?videoid=2bfdecd8-28d6-bd10-3bdb-9fe0cecfe467
One must ask how Obama let the crisis escalate to the point of utter chaos and impending genocide for thousands of Christians. The president knew about the threat of ISIS months, if not years before the invasion of Mosul. On June 22, 2014, Richard Spencer of “The Telegraph” reported, “Five months ago, a Kurdish intelligence "asset" walked into a base and said he had information to hand over. The capture by jihadists the month before of two Sunni cities in western Iraq was just the beginning…”
Apparently, the “Kurdish intelligence asset” knew exactly what the plans of the militant group, ISIS, consisted of and the source was highly reliable. Spencer reported, "We had this information then, and we passed it on to your (British) government and the US government," Rooz Bahjat, a senior lieutenant to Lahur Talabani, head of Kurdish intelligence, said, "We used our official liaisons. "We knew exactly what strategy they were going to use, we knew the military planners. It fell on deaf ears."
Talabani, further lamented, ‘"I have completely lost hope in America after listening to President Barack Obama,"…"I blame him personally for what has happened in Syria, in the Middle East, in Iraq at the moment. I have no hope any more.”
On Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Show, Col. Jack Keene told guest host Shannon Breem, “…My concern is… is that, listen, let’s help these people for sure and we [gotta] get after it quickly, but that does nothing to stop this growing menace that we see in the Middle East. On this weekend they have moved into Lebanon, (this is Isis) and now they’re in Kurdistan and that…both of those things are very dramatic and very telling to us and we have to develop a comprehensive strategy with our allies to get after this thing.”
There is growing speculation out there that Obama could actually have contributed to the rise of ISIS by arming Syrian rebels. Rand Paul told Candy Crowley of CNN, “I think we have to understand first how we got here and then we have to decide as a country where we’re going. I think there’s chaos in the Middle East and I think the chaos is because we’ve created a vacuum. Before the Iraq war, I think there was somewhat of a standoff between Sunni and Shiite, had been for maybe a thousand years off and on. But now we have a chaotic situation, we have a vacuum. And I think one of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we’ve been arming their allies. We have been allied with ISIS in Syria. They have had a save haven because we have been arming the rebels to keep Assad away from them and now they go back and forth. So, I think our intervention in Syria has led precisely to (Paul’s words were blurred and interrupted by Crowley)….in Iraq.” http://www.storyleak.com/rand-paul-us-arming-isis-in-syria/
Whether or not the United States inadvertently or willingly contributed to the threat of ISIS is an issue than can be investigated over time. The key issue is that Christians are caught in the crossfires and are being brutally massacred in a heinous genocide. Will the Obama administration dare to play politics while entire civilizations are brutally slaughtered? Did he finally provide aid because his coveted approval ratings had dropped? One cannot help but wonder.
So, what can we do as Americans to help these innocent civilians in Iraq? It is difficult to sit by and watch the unfolding events when one feels powerless to help. What we must do is expose the evil. The Bible says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things, which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:8-14, NKJV).
It is our moral responsibility to speak out and shine a light in the darkness. More importantly, we must pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way, regardless of our political persuasion.