Two of my favorite Catholic bloggers/writers have must read items related to events in Iraq and Obama's handling of same and both include questions that beg for answers.
First up, Elizabeth Scalia, who notes the juxtaposition of Bishop Richard Pates' asking Susan Rice for humanitarian aid for beleaguered Christians in Iraq and Ms. Rice's asking Congress to repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country.
Writes The Anchoress:
The repeal will also go far in giving ISIL confidence that ground forces will do nothing to impede their progress as they rumble through Iraq, then Syria, then…who knows…destroying ancient artifacts or any evidence of the people, themselves, and installing the new caliphate they have announced.
I choose to draw no conclusions at this time. If I permit myself to, they will be shameful ones I’d prefer not to entertain or give voice to. Perhaps our Kobe-Bryant-level-President has some very clever plan in store, one that is meant to check the progress of what he calls these “Junior Varsity” players, but first requires a public declaration that our military will not come to the assistance of anyone being brutalized and purged from the region of their ancestry.
That could happen, right?
Highly doubtful Elizabeth. Sadly, this President's cleverness is saved for fundraising speeches purposed in maligning his opponents or in finding ways to bypass the will of the American people.
More sadly however for Christians in Iraq is the fact that they've yet to be mentioned in any meaningful way by this President despite his many flowery words delivered in the past on behalf of those in Darfur, Rwanda, and the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, words noted beautifully by Tod Worner in this thoughtful piece asking why Obama is slighting the Christians in Iraq:
Now this piece is not written to say that the situation in Iraq is easy to solve. It’s not. It is not to advocate for a full-scale re-invasion of the country. And it is not to pick on Barack Obama. The foreign policy conundrums of Russia, Israel-Palestine, Syria and the Mexican-American border are enough to make even the brightest heads spin.
But let’s return to the original point: Where is President Obama’s excerpt on the plight of the Iraqi Christians?
There is none.
Or I have had a heck of a time finding it.
You see, for a man so gifted in oratory (see his 2004 DNC speech or the 2008 Iowa Caucus Victory speech), so interested in local injustices (consider Henry Louis Gates and Trayvon Martin), so attuned to the rights of women to employer-funded birth control/abortifacients, and so intent on smoothing over rough feelings (consider the “reset button” with Putin or the Cairo Speech), it is curious that he speaks of Iraq and its turmoil without clearly describing the blatant targeting of the Iraqi Christian community. I have read his comments and watched his press conferences. It. Just. Isn’t. There. And I don’t know why.
To truly understand a problem, it is important to articulate it. ISIS (aka the Islamic State) is one of the most ruthless movements on the world stage today. But to combat them with prayer, ideas and perhaps even might, it is important to know who they are and to speak very clearly about what they are doing.
To regain stripped dignity, we owe at least this one simple thing - the simple but irrefutable truth – to these victims. To the Jews, Rwandans, Darfurians and, yes, the Iraqi Christians. Yes, we are to never forget. Never. But first we must accept the truth that is worth remembering.
That’s not too much to ask.
For this President, yes... yes, it is too much to ask.