Of Letters and Bombs

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions - and her fears of what she may face

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions – and her fears of what she may face

The Anglican Bishop of Leeds had sent a letter to the Prime Minister, my understanding is with the full knowledge and approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is it.

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

3. As yet, there appears to have been no response to pleas for asylum provision to be made for those Christians (and other minorities) needing sanctuary from Iraq in the UK. I recognise that we do not wish to encourage Christians or other displaced and suffering people to leave their homeland – the consequences for those cultures and nations would be extremely detrimental at every level – but for some of them this will be the only recourse. The French and German governments have already made provision, but there has so far been only silence from the UK Government. Therefore, I ask for a response to the question of whether there is any intention to offer asylum to Iraqi migrants (as part of a holistic strategy to addressing the challenges of Iraq)?

4. Following on from this, I note that the Bishop of Coventry tabled a series of questions to HM Government in the House of Lords on Monday 28 July. All but two were answered on Monday 11 August. The outstanding questions included the following: “The Lord Bishop of Coventry to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to resettling here in the UK a fair proportion of those displaced from ISIS controlled areas of Northern Iraq.” I would be grateful to know why this question has not so far been answered – something that causes me and colleagues some concern.

5. Underlying these concerns is the need for reassurance that a commitment to religious freedom will remain a priority for the Government, given the departure of ministers who championed this. Will the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Panel continue under the new Foreign Secretary? Is this not the time to appoint an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom – which would demonstrate the Government’s serious commitment to developing an overarching strategy (backed by expertise) against Islamist extremism and violence?.

I look forward to your considered response to these pressing questions.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines (The Bishop of Leeds)

Personally, I think a cc. to President Obama would have been in order, because it’s all true here as well.

You know it’s getting very bad out there when you start seeing stories like this from the £ Daily Mail

The call came in the early hours, the voice muffled, furtive and shaking with fear. ‘If they see me talking to someone they will kill me for sure, maybe kill all of us.’

This was Nisreen, a 17-year-old seized by the vicious Islamic State forces who have swept through Iraq and Syria spreading fear and panic.

She told how she was one of 96 Yazidi girls kidnapped when their towns and villages fell to the fanatics.

Now these teenagers wait in terror to be sold into slavery or forced into marriage with militant Islamists.

‘I know this exact number because I hear them talking,’ said Nisreen. ‘We are sure they have sold us. We do not fear for our lives but for our dignity as women.’

It was a brave phone call from a desperate woman.

The world has heard the hideous stories of refugees fleeing the jihadists but here, for the first time, was a voice from the other side: from a kidnap victim trapped in IS’s newly-won territory.

The husband of another teenage woman, heavily pregnant, held  captive by the IS told me how she would rather the US bombed her prison – with her inside – than be handed out like a piece of property to an extremist fighter.

She said: ‘Let those jets come to bomb us and save us from this situation by killing all of us.’ She added death would be a better fate than to ‘be forced off with a strange man.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2726894/Please-let-American-jets-bomb-prison-death-better-forced-strange-man-8-months-pregnant-captured-Islamic-thugs-waging-Sexual-Holy-War-one-woman-issues-heartrending-plea.html#ixzz3AfQbgswl

In fact the last time I can recall such stories they came from

Auschwitz, in 1944

Crossposted from The Conservative Citizen

Good v.Evil

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know it is rare in the case of moral men, for an opponent to be so unequivalently evil as to gain condemnation from every responsible statesman, and the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. In fact, never in the lifetime of living men has the Pope issued a statement calling for the use of armies in a war of suppression. But he has in the case of ISIS.

And so the armies of freedom are gathering right? No they are not. Because in the world of relative humanism evil is the same as good. Any thinking person knows that acquiescence in evil is evil as well, and today, as the United States and Great Britain stand aside in the face of pure evil, we understand why that is so.

There are few thing so despicable as a man who will not defend his weaker brother, let alone his sister and children. This is who Obama and Cameron are. If they were better men they would be cowards, but they don’t even rise to that craven level.

There is a new Trifecta series out, as always, it is outstanding.

and

In a closely related matter, I understand that the White House has halted resupply to Israel of Hellfire missiles. The reason? Israel’s Army talked to the Pentagon instead of the White House.

I guess we all know what happened to the strawberries, don’t we.

We all know how this ends, don’t we? Pastor Niemöller pretty much said it all

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And so civilizations die, from the rot within, God help us.

 

Perfidious Albion the Anti-Semite

Courtesy of Eccles is saved

Courtesy of Eccles is saved

I dearly love my British friends, as you all know, but it takes a special kind of waffling to make Obama look like a stand-up guy. Apparently Cameron is up to that as he is few useful things. He has managed to get “a few” C-130s to fly in to help the relief effort in Iraq, but the Tornados to protect them aren’t there yet, and the Chinook helicopters haven’t even started the journey. Hope the refugees can hang on for another week or so without water and food, if they were depending on the Brits.

Not that we’re doing all that great but at least we’re doing a bit more than that. The Brits are mounting an effort that would be a credit to, oh say, Lichtenstein. But, hey, Britain thinks it’s a world power, permanent seat on the Security Council, nuclear weapons and all. Maybe Cameron is too busy down in Portugal on his holiday worshipping dead fish or something. You can find out more about that here.

This is from a Prime Minister who a few weeks back told us that Great Britain is a Christian country. Seems to me that he lends a lot of weight to GK Chesterton’s comment that, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

Of course, I’ll have to admit that he got a lot of blowback for saying it, guess he was wrong.

But what really set me off yesterday, was the news that Britain has decided that if the Gaza war starts up again, they will suspend arm shipments to Israel. That’s rich, nothing like giving Hamas control of Israeli arm purchases. Johnathon S. Tobin over at Commentary magazine has the best write-up of this that I have seen, here’s some of it. Of course nothing will be done to curtail the funding of Hamas (or the Russians for that matter)

The rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe has been harder to ignore in the last month. The war in Gaza has given a green light for Jew haters to take to the streets of the continent’s cities to vent their spleen at Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Islamists intent on genocide. But the decision of Britain’s government to threaten the Jewish state with a ban on arms sales shows just how far the discussion about the Middle East conflict has been perverted by prejudice.

The announcement that the UK would suspend arms exports to Israel if the fighting in Gaza were to resume is a victory for the Liberal Democratic members of Britain’s coalition government over its Conservative majority. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has not always been the most stalwart friend of Israel during his term of office but he has stood up for Israel’s right of self-defense after Hamas launched a new war in which it rained down thousands of rockets on Israeli cities and used terror tunnels to breach the border. But his allies in Westminster are hardened foes of Israel and, aided by the pressure generated by massive anti-Israel demonstrations, have worn down Cameron.

The advocates of this semi-embargo claim it is nothing more than an assertion of British neutrality in the conflict. The fact that they have not included the sale of components of the Iron Dome missile defense system purchased in Britain is also seen as a gesture indicating their good will toward Israel even as they push for a cessation of hostilities.

Later he hit on exactly what I thought of, as the perfect comparison

How would the Brits have treated a decision on the part of the United States in 1940 to approve the sale of anti-aircraft guns to the one nation standing alone against the Nazis, but not other armaments designed to take the fight to Germany? The fact that it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the British government that such an analogy is spot on speaks volumes about the level of prejudice against Israel.

Via  UK Arms and the War on the Jews

And yes, it looks exactly the same to me.

I’m one of the last hold-outs that the British are still a member of the group of people who believe in freedom; that wrote the book on human rights. Because that book was written by the United Kingdom and the United States. By the time we willingly spent 600,000 lives of our citizens to end slavery here, Britain had spent several hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling as prize money to the Royal Navy to capture slave ships. This was how human rights became enshrined, Britain and America forced the issue.

If Britain can no longer tell the difference between freedom loving people and terrorists, then they have become more useless than the French, who are at least willing to give shelter to the Iraqi Christians and Yezidis.

America’s friends, as opposed to her interests, have always been friends of freedom, that’s why Great Britain has been foremost amongst them. It seems that has changed, and the British are no more than an European colony anymore. That’s OK, I suppose, we can always hang out with Israel, where they know the cost of freedom, because they learned it in the same way as we did, with blood.

And in case no one told you, the casualty figures that the UN pushes are straight from Hamas’ hindquarters and any resemblance to reality is accidental.

Rue, Britannia! Britannia, now the knaves!
Britons ever, ever, ever shall be slaves.

The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS

tumblr_m2qaxvmgvF1rpyyq4o1_500As I read about IS (whom we all pray will soon be WASWAS) I often think something is missing, especially from our governments. And there is, Elizabeth Scalia The Anchoress, has named it accurately, and well, as usual. Our elites have come to have faith only in themselves, in essence they have become gods in their own minds. And they are false gods worse than useless.

We all, I hope, know the old adage “Nothing can not stand against anything“. That is the position our politicians have put our countries in. We, the people, who generally know better, may fight and fight well, but we will at best hold our own, with God’s help.

Here’s The Anchoress

In an article covering President Obama’s reluctant decision to begin limited airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State IS, New York Times writer Peter Baker quoted Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who affirmed US national security interests and added “This is evil incarnate.”

Few would disagree. Do not click here if you do not wish to see Horrific images of beheaded children, or videos of young men being led into trenches and summarily executed, but their existence — along with news that there are no more Christians in the Nineveh Plains and that genocide awaits ancient peoples — all serve to confirm Crocker’s assessment. Yes, this is evil; this is hell on earth. As I wrote back in July, “The evil of ISIS [sic] is not simply a ‘Muslim evil’. . . It is the same cursed anti-Christ that has raised its head in history before, and been beaten back, only to slither away and arise from a new location.”

The well-funded IS may not yet be equal to the Third Reich in troop size, but the evil that drives it is of a similar scope, ambition and thrust. That being the case, we know that air strikes will likely not suffice. President Obama, in a brief press conference held as he was leaving for a vacation no one should begrudge, given what we face, acknowledged that our involvement will be long, but promised it would be limited in nature.

He is perhaps willfully, even understandably, deluding himself because no one wants to see more war; Americans are tired of war, and in general the West, like Bartleby the Scrivener, would prefer not to.

Unfortunately, just as half-doses of chemo will not defeat a cancer, half-measures against “evil incarnate” can never defeat it.

via The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS.

We should be aware that Martin Luther had this to say on the Turk:

If however, the antagonist is your equal, your inferior, or of a foreign government, you should first offer him justice and peace, as Moses taught the children of Israel. If he refuses, then — mindful of what is best for you — defend yourself against force by force, as Moses so well described it in Deuteronomy 20 [:10-12]. But in doing this you must not consider your personal interests and how you may remain lord, but those of your subjects to whom you owe help and protection, that such action may proceed in love. Since your entire land is in peril you must make the venture, so that with God’s help all may not be lost. If you cannot prevent some from becoming widows and orphans as a consequence, you must at least see that not everything goes to ruin until there is nothing left except widows and orphans.

This has troubled me for quite a few years as I have watched our country drift further and further into secular humanism. We have commented occasionally on how our young people are searching for something, sometimes it is revealed in an almost religious display of patriotism. I yield to no one my love of America but, you know, as do I, America is not God, we may be the ‘City on the Hill’ but we are still a country of men, and we have lost our way.

We will be on our way to victory when we can again sing without irony, as our grandparents did.

“We’re Americans, we act”

Iraqi Christian

In his Presidential Address President Obama said that America would do whatever needed to protect its own people, and ‘we cannot just look away .. we are Americans and we lead’, he said. This is not the time for point scoring about Benghazi or anything else. ‘There’s a country called America which cares for them too’, the President said in relation to the Yezidis; thank God for the USA, is all I can say.

There is no other country in the world which could do what needs to be done here. The President is, of course, correct, and America can’t bring a military solution to the situation in northern Iraq, but what she can do is what no one else in the world can – which is to bring relief to those who suffer, and to check, decisively, the forces of evil who would destroy them on the way to creating a universal Islamic caliphate. ISIS now control more than 17 Iraqi cities. and they control oil reserves and production worth billions of dollars; if left, they will grow. Yes, of course, you can say why did we let this happen, and what on earth are the Iraqi politicians doing? They are doing what they do best, arguing over who should have power and spoils – they will be doing it on the last ‘copter out of Baghdad is no one stops ISIS. The latter has benefitted from the way the al-Maliki government has alienated the Sunnis, and clearly, unless he either changes his ways or is removed, then the uneasy coalition that is ISIS will be buoyed up by the elixir of success and the money – and women – it brings in its.

This being so, even the most war-weary American must realise that these people hate us, and they will do whatever they can to destroy our way of life. They sought to intimidate us on 9/11 with the warning that unless we stayed out of their world, they would inflict harm on us. We can choose, a decade on, to obey that warning, or we can, as the President proposes, play a wiser game this time.

There are, on the ground in the Kurdish territories, those who, if properly armed, will fight ISIS and have shown they have the will to resist or die in the attempt. ISIS may well have been betting on America being so tired of Iraq that it would do nothing – but as the President said: ‘that is not who we are’. The President is not, whatever political polemic believes, a fool, not are those advising him. In June he sent in 800 military advisers to Iraq to try to create a ‘platform’ for action if the worst should happen; it has happened, and sooner than anyone could have predicted. Iraq stands on the brink of descending into a civil war and an ISIS triumph.

The blogger, Cranmer, has declared, in echoes of Churchill, that:

Right across the Arab-Muslim world, from the coastal plains of the Maghreb to the Himalayan peaks of Pakistan, a Quranic Curtain is descending.

We cannot, in our interests and in the interests of all civilization, allow that curtain to descend. A moment has come when the civilized world has to say ‘I am an American’ and this is not what we allow to happen. In the name of all that is good about mankind, these savages must be picked up and planted on the trash-heap of history.

[I would like to thank my blogging companion, Chalcedon 451 for his help here]

 

Here comes the Cavalry?

christians-eradicated-in-iraq It seems like the only thing worse that the US being the world’s policeman is it not being. The word ‘genocide’ should not be used lightly, but when used properly, as in the instance of the ISIS slaughter of the Yazidis of northern Iraq, it has a power to move more than hearts. The news that President Obama has approved limited air-strikes to help the Christian and Yazidi refugees is most welcome; more welcome to them would be the news that it was happening now. With so much attention on Gaza, the world seemed, until yesterday, rather blind to what was happening in Iraq. The Christians were driven out of Mosul last month, but much of the MSM ignored it – Jews and Arabs was a much more familiar story. But was there something else?

Any responsibility American has for what is happening in Israel is remote; it was not US policy which created the problem, and she is, as usual, doing her best pull the chestnuts of others out of the fire. To those, rightly, concentrating on the deaths of children, all one can say is that if Hamas was not, as it has this morning, launching rockets at Israel, the Israelis would not be retaliating. Iraq is another matter. America and Britain broke it, and they have not fixed it. The intricate and complex ethnic and religious mix of that artificial state (created by the British at the end of the Great War) always made it problematic to govern, and only the brutal regime of Saddam seemed to be keeping a lid on it; but, as with Assad in Syria later, and the Shah in Iran before, Western public opinion does not like brutal dictators; naively, it does not inquire why they are brutal; naively it assumes that their removal and he presence of ‘democracy’ will wave a kind of magic wand. It wants these things to be so, and its Governments seem to act on the belief, not uncommon with politicians, that saying it will be so will make it so; but this ain’t Star Trek; indeed, to quote ‘Bones’ – it’s life Jim, but not as we know it.

Removing Saddam was only the first part of what ought to have been a delicate and carefully managed process; we were not careful or delicate, and we had no process. Some of our soldiers have paid the price; we, as tax-payers have paid a huge cost, but the heaviest penalties have been exacted on those in the country. The Malaki government has been so sectarian that the other minorities in the country have become utterly disaffected, and easy meat, in some cases, for the radicals across the artificial border with Syria. Some of the ISIS guys killing Christians and Yazidis are those fighting Assad; we almost gave them and their friends arms last year; indeed we probably did, but no one is telling us officially. ISIS aims to create an Islamic caliphate. It is busy destroying Syriac and other manuscripts which reveal that its idea of Islam is nothing like the mainstream historic version. Yes, surely, there have been times in history when Muslim conquerors have behaved with barbarism; our own record, historically, isn’t so great we can stand on a high hill and pontificate. If we lump all Muslims with these savages, we have done their work for them; they thrive on division and hatred and sectarianism. Where, as in the picture at the head of this post, Christians and Muslims pray together, ISIS is already on the way to defeat. Let us make no mistake: the refugees desperately need the humanitarian assistance being delivered (finally); they also need someone to hit ISIS hard, to demonstrate to them, and to the whole region, that we won’t let these savages win; but the road to a lasting peace is through tackling the sectarianism which unleashes these forces. Can we do that? No, we can’t, the Iraqis have to do it for themselves, but if we are sending in the cavalry again, let’s get it right this time.

obama (1)

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