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Is Bush to blame for the slaughter of Iraqi Christians?

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.


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Comments (21)

Yes, there ancient religiou... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes, there ancient religious and ethnic hatreds that were once suppressed by Saddam Hussein are now reawakening and being felt across Iraq. Hussein's reign of terror with dissenters disappearing and people being tortured and raped kept these other threats of violence under control since no one wanted to stick their head out of doors lest it be removed by the regime.

SO from the lefty "Blame Bush" perspective one could conceivably blame W for the current uptick in violence. But in reality the answer is that the Iraqi government, which is responsible for keeping domestic affairs under control has dropped the ball. One could just as well blame obama for withdrawing support from the new government.

Or one could place the blame where it belongs: on the muslim animals who actually commit these acts of murder.

It seems to me you have two... (Below threshold)
James H:

It seems to me you have two separate questions here:

1) Is the United States morally culpable for the attacks against Iraqi Christians because it toppled Saddam Hussein's regime?

2) Does the United States have a responsibility to provide refuge for Iraqi Christians who face persecution, and if so, does the Untied States bear some responsibility for that persecution because it failed to provide adequate refuge?

Who's to blame for the deat... (Below threshold)

Who's to blame for the deaths of Christians?

To pull quotes from the South Park "Urinal Deuce" episode (yeah, it was about 9/11 conspiracies, but it fits) -

Kyle: So then, who was responsible for 9/11?
Stan: Whattaya mean? A bunch of pissed-off Muslims.
Frank: Yeah. What are you, retarded?

I don't think Woodlief is s... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I don't think Woodlief is suggesting the war shouldn't have been fought. His only beef seems to be that we didn't allow enough refugees to come here after the fact.

By the way, the FDR analogy is a total fail. What in the world were you thinking when you wrote that? Hitler would have murdered the Jews whether or not the US entered the war. It was always his plan. That may have been the most strained and ridiculous attempt at comparing Democrats to Nazis I've ever read.

The uptick in "christian ki... (Below threshold)

The uptick in "christian killings" began with Barrys ascension. Not blaming. Just sayin.

Typical lefty idiot. The U... (Below threshold)

Typical lefty idiot. The US is responsible for all the evil in the world. Wasn't any evil until the US came along.

My point was simply that th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

My point was simply that those who pull he trigger are the ones responsible. You could blame bush, you could blame obama, but correlation is not causality. It's the muslims who are to blame. It's the Iraqi government that needs to take action.

It's a load of crap to suggest that anyone other than the muslims committing the acts is in any way responsible. To blame someone else is to call the murderers the victims. I;m sick of the lefty BS that someone else other than the murderer is responsible for the crime. Maybe just maybe the one who did it really is responsible.

Saddam had been slaughterin... (Below threshold)

Saddam had been slaughtering Christians/Kurds by the thoudands for years. Actually it would be hard to prove there was or is an increase due to the war. Islam is a violent sect (not a religion in any form) who believes whatever they do is approved by the child rapist they worship.

Technically speaking, the f... (Below threshold)

Technically speaking, the first Gulf War never really ended. There was a cease-fire agreement signed which required the Hussien government to allow inspections and other activities.

The agreement, (UN-approved, BTW) allowed for any UN member in good-standing to enforce the provisions of the agreement.

By not allowing unimpeded inspections, attacking his own citizens, violating financial sanctions, firing on UN sanctioned overflights, etc, Hussein himself was directly responsible for "resumption" of hostilities.

Just an FYI.

Though I'm often in disagre... (Below threshold)

Though I'm often in disagreement with James H and Bruce Henry, I think their comments #2 and #4 are spot on, with one exception.

Bruce, I believe you are "straining" a bit yourself to say that Rick is trying in any way to equate american democrats with nazi's.

I believe that Rick's point and question is a larger one: is the party that engages in a particular course of action, then required to accept responsibility for all actions committed by other affected parties post-action?

Recall Colin Powell's comment about Iraq that "if we break it, we own it."

That statement begs lots of other premise questions. i.e. was Iraq already "broken"? How do we measure that? Can we measure that? Does the achievement of one result outweigh other considerations? etc.

Given that we can never really know what would have happened if we had made a different choice, this discussion becomes primarily academic.

Maybe I was straining a bit... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Maybe I was straining a bit myself, Mr Drago. But in that case, the FDR tidbit was totally gratuitous and just, well....never mind.

I still say Mr Woodlief wasn't talking about whether or not the war should have been fought, or whose fault the actual killings are, except inasmuch as they may have been prevented (some of them at least) by a more liberal refugee admissions policy on the part of the Bush administration.

Sorry, the blame is squarel... (Below threshold)

Sorry, the blame is squarely on the shoulders of the religion of pieces....islam.

I read this tragic book wh... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I read this tragic book when it first came out in 1967, when I was teenager, 'While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy/ A review ,

I had read suggestions over the years that the Roosevelt (FDR) Administration had a weak and obstructionist policy towards the plight of the Jews in Europe in the years leading up to WWII. Unfortunately, I let this book sit on the bookshelf for nearly twenty years before I got around to reading it. I was appalled at the extent of US governmental indifference and interference! One of the major problems facing the Jews who could sense the imminent danger in Germany was that of finding some place to move to. Most of the Western world did not want to accept them as refugees and especially in the numbers that were materializing.

Roosevelt like most Western leaders could have done something earlier than 1939-41, that is acccept more than handful of Jewish refugees. Actually many American politicians actions or rather lack of actions were disgraceful, particularly in their refusual to allow Jewish children to emigrate from the Nazi peril, and I am always called predictably "anti-semitic" on this site by conservatives.

I didn't see Bush mentioned... (Below threshold)
Tim Shepherd:

I didn't see Bush mentioned once in that article, so how you can pin this on Bush, or claim that it's BDS at work, is a mystery to me.

We as a nation are responsible, and as a citizen I accept responsibility for out nation's actions.

I think your attempt to politicize this (and just about every news story that comes by) into a red or blue story sucks. We as a nation largely stood by while the GWOT was waged in our names. Last time I checked, we elected these clowns. I don't blame them - the blame rests with us.

The most striking aspect of... (Below threshold)

The most striking aspect of the Iraq Liberation phase of The War on Terror (apart from the fact America once again projected its might and achieved it so easily) is that there were no "refugees.'"

The flow of people from Iraq began after the military victory was already won, at first during the time the State Department's treacherous brahmanas was screwing things up there -- but not really getting cracking until, on June 28 2004, partial sovereignty was handed to the first elected Iraqi government.

America's Military was/is trusted as is no other on Earth and no-one ran from it.

Not even Saddam Hussayn, himself.

Bruce Henry wrote:<bl... (Below threshold)

Bruce Henry wrote:

By the way, the FDR analogy is a total fail. What in the world were you thinking when you wrote that? Hitler would have murdered the Jews whether or not the US entered the war. It was always his plan. That may have been the most strained and ridiculous attempt at comparing Democrats to Nazis I've ever read.

Total fail? How so?

The facts are that the extermination of the Jews accelerated following America's entry into the war... the execution/persecution of Christians accelerated following America's entry in the Iraq war... using Mr. Woodlief's apparent logic, Roosevelt was to blame...

And yes, the Jews were going to be killed by the Nazis regardless... which seems to make my point... the fact is that jihadists will kill Christians and other infidels when given the opportunity...

And Bruce... there is little more strained and ridiculous then having to sift through your idiotic and arrogant comments... very little...

Again, Rick, I think you ha... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Again, Rick, I think you have misunderstood what Mr Woodlief wrote. I don't see anything to suggest Mr Woodlief thinks Bush was wrong to invade Iraq. His entire complaint consists of the inadequate refugee policy followed by the Bush administration.

Now, YOU may believe that correlation equals causality ( The Holocaust picked up steam after the Wannsee Conference of January 1942, which was, indeed, after the US entry into the war), but I must have missed anything in Mr Woodlief's article to suggest he does. So references to "his apparent logic," like your FDR red herring, is another total fail. Sorry.

And the execution/persecution of Christians didn't "accelerate" after the US invasion - it BEGAN then. Or, at least, began again, after years of dormancy. Saddam protected Christians; when he was gone, they were no longer protected.

But that's not the case Mr Woodlief was making. Again, he was talking about refugee policy.

Oh, and calling it "America... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Oh, and calling it "America's entry into the Iraq War" is kind of euphemistic, don't you think? Was there a war going on in Iraq in 2003 that we "entered?"

The point I'm making with t... (Below threshold)

The point I'm making with the WWII and Holocaust reference is exactly that correlation does not equal causality... and that Mr. Woodlief seems to be suggesting that it does with his apparent blaming of Bush for the Iraqi Christian killings... no more, no less... my entire point is that if we're to blame Bush for the deaths of Christians in Iraq, we'll have to blame Roosevelt for the deaths of Jews in WWII... neither of which makes sense....

And I want to believe that Woodlief is merely speaking to the refugee problem... I have a tremendous amount of respect for the man... but he seemed to be picking on Bush in doing so and it's simply not something that makesa great deal of sense to me...

And yes, saying America's entry into the Iraq war was clumsy... but I think the point was made...

Well, pardon me for saying ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, pardon me for saying so, Rick, but you seem to have some kind of Defend-Bush Reflex that kicks in even when he's not being attacked. Mr Woodlief was addressing Christians, like himself, and presumably, you, who he feels haven't been vocal enough in demanding reform of refugee policy. You take it as an attack ("picking on") on Bush.

Bush, whose memoir suggests the worst moment of his presidency wasn't the moment he realized there were no WMDs in Iraq; not the moment he realized his response to Katrina was inadequate; not the moment he realized the worst terrorist attack in US history had occurred on his watch; not the moment he was told bin Laden had escaped at Tora Bora. No, the worst moment of his presidency was when he was criticised by Kanye freaking West.

Mr Woodlief wasn't calling Bush a dumbass and a moral failure, but I am.

After re-spinning the usual... (Below threshold)

After re-spinning the usual Left-Wing Bush Derangement Syndrome canards, including the old saw that ignores the corruption and ineptitude of the "Democratic" National Socialist Workers' and Gangsters' Fascist Party city and state governments and the generations of the very same "Democratic" National Socialist Workers' and Gangsters' Fascist Party frauds that allowed the floodwaters (NOT Hurricane Katrina) to swamp on-the-gummint-tit New Orleans and drown hundreds, "Bruce Henry" says Mr Woodlief wasn't calling Bush a dumbass and a moral failure, but he is.

And I am calling Mr Bush an intact and moral Man, bright as a button and, to boot, a former United States President and Armed Forces Commander-In-Chief. And I would call "Bruce Henry" all of that, too.

But he is not!






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