Genocide in Iraq

From Brian Burch, CatholicVote.org

The Holy Father is pleading with the world:

“Dear brothers and sisters: The news reports coming from Iraq leave us in dismay and disbelief…thousands of people, Children dying of hunger and thirst in their flight; women abducted; violence of every kind; destruction of historical, cultural and religious patrimonies…All this gravely offends God and humanity.”

This might surprise you, but the Holy See is also not opposed to military intervention by the United States in Iraq. In fact, some officials seem to suggest that military action might be the correct action to prevent a potential genocide from occurring.

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, who serves as the Pope Francis’ ambassador to Baghdad, told Vatican radio that American strikes are “something that had to be done, otherwise [ISIS] could not be stopped.”

Additionally, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, told Vatican Radio that “military action in this moment is probably necessary.”

As much as we wish we could simply walk away from this troubled country, the United States bears a lot of responsibility for how things have unfolded in Iraq.

Perhaps we were naïve in 2003 when we invaded Iraq and attempted to establish a new democracy. It seems we were also naïve a decade later, hoping we could abandon the country to the newly formed government without leaving behind any military presence.

As the violent and radical Islamic regime known as ISIS spreads across portions of Iraq, Christians face certain death if they refuse to renounce Jesus Christ.

And so over 100,000 Christians have fled their homeland “horrified and panicked” with “nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said Patriarch Louis Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

Patriarch Sako appealed to Western nations to intervene:

“To summarize the situation of the Christian villages around Mosul up to the borders of Kurdistan Region: the churches are deserted and desecrated; five bishops are out of their bishoprics, the priests and nuns left their missions and institutions leaving everything behind, the families have fled with their children abandoning everything else! The level of disaster is extreme.

“The position of the American president Obama only to give military assistance to protect Erbil is disappointing. The talks about dividing Iraq are threatening. The Americans are not up to a rapid solution to give hope specifically as they are not going to attack the ISIS in Mosul and in the Nineveh Plain.”

Our Catholic bishops in the United States have called upon all Catholics to join together on August 17 to pray for peace.

And we will pray fervently for peace.

But the United States cannot turn a blind eye to the cries of 100,000 Iraqis who are fleeing for their lives. That doesn’t mean we have to re-invade the country. But crimes against innocent Christians of this magnitude cannot be ignored.

We simply cannot allow a genocide to happen.

We are the United States of America. We must lead. CatholicVote.org fully supports the use of force to stop the advancement of ISIS and to demand a political solution that will bring about peace.

If ISIS refuses, then the United States must stop them.

May the Holy Spirit inspire our leaders to prudently use our might to bring about peace.