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How the West Was One on Middle East Christian Genocide

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Unanimous votes are about as rare as balanced budgets in Washington, so when even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) crosses the aisle to side with conservatives, the White House should sit up and take notice. Yesterday, Pelosi and DNC Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) were just two of the 164 Democrats who set aside their political differences and voted 393-0 to call the massacre of Middle East Christians ‘genocide.’

“[ISIS] is murdering and enslaving ethnic minorities everywhere they gain power and we know it,” warned House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “We know what they are doing and if we don’t say it, we should be ashamed.” In a city where it’s difficult to find consensus on anything, the House joined the global community in teeing up what should be the easiest decision of the Obama presidency.

Unfortunately, the administration apparently seems more worried about offending Muslims than confronting the blood spilled by their radical brothers. And designations by the European Parliament, U.S. House, former Secretary Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Pope Francis are only making the administration’s timidity more obvious and more appalling.

Christians who are being publicly raped when they refuse to convert, whose babies are being thrown against walls, who’ve watched their loved ones being beaten, choked, starved, and beheaded — they don’t have the luxury of time, certainly not the amount this president has wasted addressing this evil. By law, the administration had until this Thursday to make a genocide determination that the rest of the world already has. Now, after even his own party has spoken, Secretary Kerry says the State Department will “likely” miss its deadline. Why? Because he claims “additional evaluation” is required.

“For more than seven years,” Jane Clark Scharl points out, “President Obama’s foreign policy has been a toxic blend of strong language and weak action. (Remember the ‘red line’ in Syria? Neither does Assad.) The foreign policy of the Obama administration tends toward talking a big game and then conveniently forgetting to show up. That would be a lot harder to pull off if he called the genocide of Christians by ISIS what it is. So naturally he’s avoiding it, like the Clinton administration before him.”

Most of the Western world, and now a unanimous House of Representatives, have spoken. How many more families will have to suffer before the president exercises his moral responsibility? Instead of joining the global consensus, the administration is standing in its way — giving ISIS unspoken permission to continue their brutality.

History will have a lot to say about President Obama, but it will be harshest on indifference like this. A half a world away, girls as young as his own daughters are crying out for help. One day, he will have to answer why America didn’t offer it sooner.



 

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