Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Barack Obama to reporters on ISIS: “we don’t have a strategy yet”

The leftist Washington Post reports on the story.

Excerpt:

President Obama said Thursday he has not decided on stepped-up military action against the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, cautioning that he remains committed to a strategy that protects U.S. interests and builds broader partnerships to combat the threat posed by the militant group.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said during a White House news conference, referring to increased military action. “Folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at. …The suggestions seems to have been we’re about to go full-scale on some elaborate strategy for defeating ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and the suggestion has been we’ll start moving forward imminently and somehow with Congress still out of town, they’ll be left in the dark. That’s not going to happen.”

And in other news, Russia has invaded more of Ukraine, and Obama responded.

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama refused to label Russia’s military action inside eastern Ukraine as an ‘invasion’ on Thursday, calling it an ‘incursion’ despite facing a reporter’s specific action about his choice of words.

Following a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama told reporters that the two leaders agree ‘that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. … Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.’

‘And the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see.’

He insisted that the Russian tanks filmed rumbling through Ukraine on Thursday are merely ‘a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now.’

[...]Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republicans’ top dog on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reacted angrily before Obama’s brief press conference.

‘Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine can only be called one thing: a cross-border military invasion,’ he said. ‘To claim it is anything other than that is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.’

‘A sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor,’ McCain declared. ‘This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II.’

Obama’s careful parsing was in keeping with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s lukewarm refusal hours earlier, during an interview on MSNBC, to discuss varying ‘terminology’ related to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military moves.

Oh, I don’t think we have anything to worry about. It’s not an invasion, Obama says it’s not:

Baghdad Obama says: "There are no Russian tanks in Ukraine"

Baghdad Obama says: “There are no Russian tanks in Ukraine”

The nice thing about foreign policy is that when you screw it up, the consequences come quickly, so you know where the failure occurred. With the borrowing of the 7 trillion dollars, Obama’s managed to cloak his economic policy failures so far. But he can’t hide this foreign policy mess.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Robert George: United States has a moral obligation to stop the genocide in Iraq

I found this Christian Post article via a blog post on Think Apologetics. Robert George is one of the best (if not the best) respected Christian ethicists operating today. So it’s interesting to see what he thinks we ought to do in Iraq.

Excerpt:

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, started a petition calling on President Barack Obama, Congress and the international community to destroy ISIS as a fighting force.

In a Thursday video phone interview with The Christian Post (see below), George said he thought the petition was needed because ISIS, also called ISIL or the Islamic State, is committing genocide, similar to what happened in Rwanda in 1994. The United States did nothing to prevent the Rwandan genocide, and that was a mistake that should not happen again, he argued.

The signers of the petition, available at iraqrescue.org, include Democrats, Republicans and independents; conservatives, liberals and moderates; and various religious traditions.

Among the signers are Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Ben Carson, retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon; Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Eric Metaxas, an Evangelical author and public speaker; and Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. (Affiliations are provided for identification only. They are not signing as representatives of the institutions they work for.) At the time of this publication, the petition had over 3,800 signatures.

“Nothing short of the destruction of ISIS/ISIL as a fighting force will provide long-term protection of victims,” the petition reads in part.

The United States “doesn’t have any real moral choice,” George said. It is “our moral obligation” to stop the genocide. George does not believe the assistance necessarily requires American ground forces. Rather, the United States can contribute with air strikes, intelligence, and strategic support for the Kurdish forces and religious minorities who are being targeted by ISIS.

I think it’s very important for us to speak out to our neighbors about this, because in watching the mainstream media cover this, they just want this issue to go away. They know that Obama withdrew our forces in Iraq and set up the conditions that led to this genocide. So it’s up to us to keep the pressure on. Eric’s post on Think Apologetics has some ideas about what to do.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

When the U.S. military retreats: ISIS beheading Christian kids and kidnapping sex slaves

Fox News has the story, I doubt the rest of the anti-war leftist news media will cover this story – because they caused it. They wanted it. They lobbied for it.

Excerpt:

Hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Sunni militants with “vicious plans,” an Iraqi official said Friday, further underscoring the dire plight of Iraq’s minorities at the hands of the Islamic State group.

Kamil Amin, the spokesman for Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry, said hundreds of Yazidi women below the age of 35 are being held in schools in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. He said the ministry learned of the captives from their families.

“We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them,” Amin told The Associated Press. “We think that these women are going to be used in demeaning ways by those terrorists to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values.”

The U.S. has confirmed that the Islamic State group has kidnapped and imprisoned Yazidi women so that they can be sold or married off to extremist fighters, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information came from classified intelligence reports. There was no solid estimate of the number of women victimized, the official said.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled when the Islamic State group earlier this month captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border. The Yazidis practice an ancient religion that the Sunni Muslim radicals consider heretical.

The extremist group’s capture of a string of towns and villages in the north has sent minority communities fleeing for their lives. The Islamic state views Yazidis and Shiite Muslims as apostates, and has demanded Christians either convert to Islam or pay a special tax.

About 50,000 Yazidis — half of them children, according to U.N. figures — fled to the mountains outside Sinjar where many of them remain, trapped and running out of food and water. Late Thursday, the U.S. military cargo jets dropped humanitarian aid to the mountains.

Amin’s comments were the first Iraqi government confirmation that some women were being held by the group. On Tuesday, Yazidi lawmaker Vian Dakheel made an emotional plea in parliament to the Iraqi government to save the Yazidi people, saying the “women have been sold in a slavery market.”

President Obama said the humanitarian airdrops were made at the request of the Iraqi government as the Islamic State militant group tightened its grip on northern Iraq. In his remarks late Thursday, he mentioned “chilling reports” of fighters with the group “rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yazidi women.”

And beheading Christian children, reports CNS News.

Excerpt:

“Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

“Right now, three thousand Christians are in Iraq fleeing to neighboring cities,” he told Mann. Arabo is calling on the international community to follow France’s lead and offer the Christians of Iraq asylum.

“You’re startling me with the severity of what you’re describing,” the CNN host said. “You said they are — beheading children?”

“They are systematically beheading children,” Arabo repeated slowly. “And mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

“There’s actually a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick… this is crimes against humanity. They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry was seen giving speeches critical of global warming. Priorities. We needed to pull out of Iraq after Bush won the war because we had to focus our government on more important things, like global warming.

I lay these tragedies at the feet of anyone who wanted to retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what happens when American forces retreat from fighting evil. And make no mistake, these terrorists will be back in America, and this time, they’ll have money they seized from Iraqi banks and Stinger missiles they seized from Iraqi forces. And they’ll walk right across our southern border with those missiles, too.

I would recommend checking out The Weekly Standard podcast to get the real story on this, it’s my favorite political podcast and they have had wall-to-wall foreign policy for the last little while. Bill Kristol has just posted an episode on ISIS.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What to do about Iraq: arm the Kurds and start air strikes against ISIS

Map of the Middle East

Map of the Middle East

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city — reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die — while members of another religious minority remained trapped on a mountain without enough food or water, circumstances that fueled calls for the U.S. and U.N. to get more involved.

[...]The takeover in Qaraqoush is the latest in a basket of foreign policy crises testing the Obama administration. Secretary of State John Kerry dropped into Afghanistan unannounced Thursday to meet with feuding presidential candidates, on the heels of a U.S. general’s murder at an army training post — while the White House plots its next move in a tense chess match over Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, one U.S. lawmaker is warning that the latest developments in Iraq could become a “genocide,” as the Islamic State (IS) — the militant group formerly known as ISIS — continues its march through the north, imposing its brand of Islam on Christians and other minorities.

“Genocide is taking place before our eyes — and on your watch — in Iraq,” Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., wrote in a letter earlier this week to Obama.

[...]In the latest development, IS militants overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, according to several priests in northern Iraq.

The capture of Qaraqoush, Iraq’s biggest Christian city, and at least four other nearby hamlets, brings the group to the very edge of the Iraqi Kurdish territory and its regional capital, Irbil.

The Islamic State has already seized large chunks of northern and western Iraq in a blitz offensive in June, including Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul. The onslaught has pushed Iraq into its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Last week, the Islamic State also seized the northwestern town of Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of people from the ancient Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains and the Kurdish region.

According to the U.N., between 35,000 and 50,000 fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and other areas, “reportedly surrounded by ISIS armed elements” and lacking water and other aid.

The Washington Post detailed dire circumstances, reporting Thursday that thousands of families hiding on Mount Sinjar are desperate for help and that Iraqi government airdrops of aid are not sufficient.

CNN had some of the details of what ISIS is doing to Christians. (H/T WGB)

Excerpt:

If you’re following the news about ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, you might think you’ve mistakenly clicked on a historical story about barbarians from millennia ago.

In a matter of months, the group seized territory in both Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic caliphate, celebrating its own shocking slaughter along the way.

“I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq told the New Yorker. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.'”

In Syria, the group hoisted some of its victims severed heads on poles. One of the latest videos of the savagery shows a Christian man forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants, identified in the video as members of ISIS. They force the man at gunpoint to “convert” to Islam. Then, the group beheads him.

The solution is, of course, to immediately provide the Kurds with relief supplies and to begin air strikes against ISIS.

And CNN says as much:

“The world now faces two urgent challenges: to prevent the genocide of the Yazidis and to stop ISIS from continuing to conquer swaths of the Middle East,” global affairs columnist Frida Ghitis wrote on CNN.com. “Bombing ISIS positions would help save the Yazidis, but supporting the Kurds is key to success on both counts.”

The Iraqi Kurdish army, known as the Peshmerga, has fought ISIS but is “outgunned,” partly because the Iraqi army dropped its weapons “and fled when ISIS rolled in from Syria and captured Mosul,” Ghitis says.

Ghitis wants the United States to help arm the Kurds against ISIS.

[...]Filkins notes that Iraq has begun air strikes aimed at helping the Kurds — but, he says, “the Iraqi Army has proved itself utterly ineffectual in combating ISIS.”

The New Yorker has a very good story about a pro-US Iraqi who had to flee Sinjar, a city seized by ISIS.

I remember during the war, which I supported wholeheartedly, the anti-war/isolationist left kept crying for us to have an “exit strategy”. And this is exactly what they meant. They wanted this to happen. They voted for this to happen. You cannot influence the world  for good when you pull out of a war, and back away from evils, evils like radical Islam. We caused this, by refusing to stay the course in Afghanistan and Iraq – this is the “exit strategy” of the anti-war left: genocide against minorities by Muslim terrorists. We needed to stay and finish the job.

One other thing. In a situation like this, it’s not Code Pink or some other anti-war group that you call on to solve the problem. Air drops of food and water will be performed by the military. And that’s why we research weapons and fund a defense budget. A lot of people like to talk about problems in the world – especially on the left. But when it comes time to solve them, it often requires the work of brave men, armed and ready for battle.

I would recommend checking out The Weekly Standard podcast to get the real story on this, it’s my favorite political podcast and they have had wall-to-wall foreign policy for the last little while. You won’t have to wait long for them to post an episode, but it’s not up yet as of now (Thursday night).

Filed under: News, , , ,

Western media silent as Muslims eject Christians from Mosul

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

The fanatical Islamist group torches an 1,800-year-old church built before the founding of Islam and forces the Christian residents of Mosul to convert, pay a tax, leave or face execution.

[...]A photo released by Ammon News on Saturday showed a 1,800-year-old church that was set on fire by ISIL militants in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

It was part of a campaign against Christians there, and the destruction of their property was reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht, often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass,” a series of violent anti-Jewish pogroms that took place on November 9 and 10, 1938.

Thousands of Christians in Mosul began fleeing the city after ISIL issued an ultimatum on Friday to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul that by Saturday at noon (5 a.m. ET), they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face “death by the sword.”

[...]On Monday, normally payday for municipal workers in Mosul, state workers were ordered not to pay the Christian employees. ISIL also forbade food to be distributed to Christian or Shiite families.

One state employee told the Arabic news outlet Ankawa that he was “warned that if he gives rations to Christians and Shiites, he will be charged and prosecuted according to Shariah law.”

From Nigeria to Egypt to Afghanistan and back, this story of Christian persecution continues without much notice from the White House.

The big question for me is, why isn’t this a big story in the mainstream media? I guess the victims are wrong. If it was trees or polar bears, then there would be a story. But it’s Christians, so there’s no story.

Filed under: News, , , ,

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