In the ISIS of the Storm…
By Tony Perkins
Humanitarian aid isn’t the only thing reaching the top of Mount Sinjar — so are Western journalists. And the first-hand accounts they’re sharing are horrifying. The Iraqi situation is deteriorating for the refugees, despite the last minute help from America and three days of airstrikes. “It is death valley,” said Iraqi General Ahmed Ithwany. “Up to 70% of the [people who fled up the mountain] are dead.” Those who are still alive are running toward the parachutes of food — more than 36,000 meals — and thousands of gallons of water, one of the few signs of hope on the bleak landscape.
The Telegraph‘s Jonathan Krohn talked to some of the Iraqis pinned on the slopes, many of whom feel betrayed by the West. “When the Americans withdrew from Iraq, they didn’t protect the Christians,” said one of the refugees. “The Christians became the scapegoats. Everyone has been killing us.”
Even now, many see the U.S.’s intervention as too little too late. Iraq’s most prominent Christian leader, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, sent an open letter to the White House decrying the President’s strategy. “The position of the American President Obama only to give military assistance to protect Erbil is disappointing.” Late yesterday, the radical jihadists known as ISIS were bearing down on yet another village, threatening its families to “convert by noon… or we kill all of you.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S., even the President’s own administration thinks his policy is a loser, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — whose own leadership is partially to blame for the Middle East collapse — leading the naysayers. Former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford also had plenty to say. Among Republicans, you didn’t have to look too far to find critics of the President’s foreign failures.
“Sadly what’s happening in Iraq is the latest manifestation of the failures of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said at the Faith Leadership Summit in Iowa that FRC Action co-sponsored. “What ISIS is doing in Iraq is unspeakable; ISIS is the face of evil,” Cruz said. “ISIS right now is crucifying Christians in Iraq. Crucifixion is not something that just occurred 2000 years ago; they are doing it right now today.”
In Israel, America’s strongest ally is also suffering from the President’s Middle East indifference. That’s why I’ll be traveling to Israel next week along with a delegation from the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). We were invited by the Israeli government to see firsthand what is happening on the ground in Israel. “Countering rising anti-Semitism in the international press and on the streets, this friendship visit will communicate to Israel and to the Palestinians who stand in opposition to Hamas that we, leaders who represent the Christian community, stand with them,” NRB President Dr. Jerry Johnson explained. The trip will emphasize that Evangelical Christians support Israel’s right to national security, but it will also underscore our need to continue to pray for and work for the peace of Jerusalem so that all the people of that region, Jewish and Palestinian, can live without fear.
For me, the trip will serve as a follow-up to the congressional delegation to Israel that I joined last November. We covet your prayers — not just for our safety, but for the security of the Middle East. Please consider joining us in a time of international prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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