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Where "The Surge" Isn't Working

Defenders of the Bush Administration continue to claim "success" for "the surge". Yet they continue to gloss over some terrible events that only continue in Iraq in which the Islamic majority continues a genocidal wave of violence to rid Iraq of it's small Christian community. In 2003, there were at least 1 million Christians of various sects who lived in Iraq, and despite all his very serious faults, Saddam Hussein even hand picked Christian Tariq Aziz as his vice president. Aziz even used his position of importance among Iraq's Christian commnunity, as a Chaldean Catholic, to meet with the Pope on February 14, 2003 to promise that Iraq would fully cooperate on any international community disarmament mandates, but the Bush Administration wanted to hear no part of this from this leader from Iraq's Christian community, and was instead bent on war.

Now since the beginning of the 2003 American war in Iraq, at least 50% of Iraqi Christians have left their homes in Iraq due to relentless persecution and violence from the Islamic majority as well as Muslim extremists who have shown little tolerance at all towards this Christian minority in Iraq.

As late as February of this year, a major Christian leader, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was abducted and his abused body turned up dead in the city of Mosul. Peaceful Christian leaders like this routinely face violence and death in the "new Iraq" which Bush Administration supporters continue to claim is now so "peaceful" since "the surge" went into effect. Christian churches that freely worshipped during the Saddam Hussein years are now closed, burnt down or destroyed by violence. Christians must worship underground or hide their faith in the "new Iraq". And life for missionaries in Iraq remains very dangerous, where kidnappings or death are commonplace, even for medical aid workers who belong to some Christian sponsored agency.

iraqi christian.jpg

The Shiite dominated government of Iraq, that Bush Administration supporters continue to claim as some great story of the "success" of democracy has begun a process of repealing sections of the nation's constitution allowing for the free exercise of religion. During just September and October of this year, 2,000 Christian families had to flee their homes in Mosul after a new wave of anti-Christian violence by the Muslim majority while the government of Iraq worked to repeal Article 50 of the nation's constitution that allowed for the Christian minority to have at least some tiny proportional representation in the parliament of Iraq. Just this Fall, since some Christians held a small demonstration opposing the repeal of this important religious freedom section of the Iraqi constitution, Muslim radicals stepped up a new violence wave against the Christian community in Mosul where now only about 1/3 of Christian families have even returned to their homes. The terrible new sharp uptick in violence against Iraq's small Christian faith community has only worsened during the September to November American election race, yet candidate John McCain only continued to claim how well "the surge" was supposedly working in Iraq as campaign political propaganda while Christians in Iraq were being murdered or forced from their homes in huge numbers.

Further Christians in Mosul Iraq are being forced to pay a special "jizya tax", which allows them to live in a Muslim nation or else face death. And so far the U.S. has done nothing to prevent this discriminatory tax based on a person's faith or do much to stop these death threats. Often the local government is as nearly as bad as the local extremists, and sometimes almost the same elements where the local police often carry out the religious discrimination dirty work of the most radical Muslim clerics.

Supporters of the Bush Administration and "the surge" won't tell you all of this. Their narrow political propaganda looks for any "good news" to spread even if it's just some half truth that masks most the bad. The fact of the matter is that it's very dangerous to a Christian in the "new Iraq". And one of the main reasons that violence is even down in Iraq somewhat is because at least 80,000 violent militia members are being paid a monthly salary by the United States not to kill people or blow things up or to become terrorists. However these bribe payments haven't done very much at all to protect the small Christian community of Iraq.

Being a Christian in Iraq is indeed a very dangerous faith to practice. Being a Christian in Iraq is practically a death sentence. But supporters of "the surge" just won't tell you this fact.


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Comments (1)

Chad:

That's (unfortunately) a problem with islam, not Iraq. Having a bible is illegal in Saudi Arabia and several other Muslim countries. It's not just an Iraqi problem. Christian missionaries are killed every year around the world, just for being "christian". This is not a new thing, and not unexpected. What you are missing is that violence levels as a whole are dropping. As long as you have a muslim majority, or even active minority, you will have this problem. Tariq Aziz was a Saddam "yes" man, and was picked for the post because Saddam thought a "christian" in his government might show his "reasonable" side to the world. Problem was, he never had a "reasonable" side.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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