Regular readers will know that I think highly of Tony Woodlief. His soul piercing insights, especially in the context of tragic personal loss, have always been moving, inspiring and heart wrenching. So it makes reading something from him that I strongly disagree with more than a little surprising:
I’ve been thinking about what responsibility Americans, as instigators of the war in Iraq, have to hundreds of thousands of refugees from that conflict. More particularly, I’ve been thinking about what responsibility we Christians who supported the war have to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians now being systematically targeted for robbery, rape, and murder by Muslim thugs.
I also have been thinking about the shameful response of the politicians who led us into this war, who despite numerous warnings that toppling Saddam Hussein would lead to wholesale slaughter of Christians, and despite several years of reports detailing that persecution, allowed less than 5,000 Iraqi refugees into the United States during the first five years of the conflict. “If you want to make war, you have to protect the people,” were the words of chastisement a Lebanese bishop issued to the United States after failing to win much American political or private support for Christian refugees in his own country.
Roughly 45,000 more Iraqis have been granted asylum in the United States in the past two and a half years, most of them under the Obama administration, but we are now witnessing a mass exodus of Christians from Iraq, and nobody seems to know what to do. The Iraqi prime minister urges Christians to stay, for the sake of diversity. A Christian leader in Britain urges them to leave while they still can. The French and Italians welcome victims of Muslim attacks; the Swedes take a page from the Chinese policy toward North Korean refugees and send them back.
I’ve seen the former president hawking his new book, but I’ve not seen any announcement that he’ll donate the profits to Iraqi Christians who suffered greatly as a result of the actions promoted–and inactions tolerated–by their fellow Christian. Every foreign policy omelet requires broken eggs and so on, but it would certainly be a nice gesture, akin to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s commitment to donate the profits from his forthcoming memoir to injured British troops.
I’m trying to get my head around this especially since it’s coming from Tony. He can hardly be called a leftist or a liberal but he’s certainly sounding like one.
If, as it seems he’s suggesting, Bush is to blame for the plight of Iraqi Christians, should Roosevelt be blamed for the plight of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in WWII? If there’s cause and effect in Iraq as to these Christians, wouldn’t there also have been a similar cause and effect in Nazi Germany?
I can’t imagine Tony suggesting that the Iraq war, which was predated by many UN sanctions and resolutions and Saddam Hussein thumbing his nose at all of them, should not have been fought because Iraqi Christians would be put at risk. I just can’t. After all, wouldn’t it then be just as relevant to state that the plight of the Iraqi people, who were being ruled brutally and heinously under Saddam Hussein, paled in comparison to the plight of Iraqi Christians who would be put at risk should the world do anything about it?
I cannot embrace the mindset that suggests that the killing and maiming of Iraqi Christians in the post Saddam Hussein era is somehow more horrific and gut-wrenching than the killing and maiming of Iraqis that took place during Hussein’s reign. And that, it seems, is Tony’s thinking.
The blame for the murder of Iraqi Christians falls squarely on the shoulders of the Islamists who carried out the heinous acts.
Those who believe that the most effective way to deal with them is to embrace the Islamist tactic of blaming everyone else do nothing but fuel the jihadists.
I’m more than a little stunned to see Tony Woodlief counted amongst the latter.