Friday, January 11, 2008

Our Big Mistake In Iraq.

Once again, the media (and most of the rest of the world) ignores the plight of Christians in Iraq.

As evident in my post on the Petraeus and Crocker report to Congress, I'm a supporter of our current strategy in Iraq; however, I have not written at length about my views on the War as a whole. As an American, I support the military and want them to succeed, and I feel that having a democratic state in the Middle East that is friendly to us is in our interest.

I don't worry overmuch about whether President Bush's stated reasons for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein were valid or not. I don't know if there were WMD's or what happened to them if there were; my opinion was and is that we were doing what should have been done in 1992.

However, I think that we made some serious mistakes in 2003-4 that are being blithely ignored now by proponents and defenders of the surge. One of those, and the most serious, is to allow language like this to get into the Iraq Constitution:

"Article (2):
1st — Islam is the official religion of the state and is a
basic source of legislation:
(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the
undisputed rules of Islam.

(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the
principles of democracy.
(c) No law can be passed that contradicts the
rights and basic freedoms outlined in this constitution.
2nd — This
constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people
and the full religious rights for all individuals and the freedom of creed and
religious practices."[Emphasis added.]

This gives Islamic Law precedent over the laws of the state, effectively making the declaration of religious freedom worthless, in theory now, possibly in practice later. So far Maliki is giving lip service to that freedom, but the danger remains.

As a Christian, I'm dismayed that our country dropped such a big ball at the outset, no matter how our military strategy has been successfully revised. I think this mistake could come back to bite us in the future. Unfortunately, Christian persecution is nothing new, but statements like this bother me as well.

"Msgr. Sako is not discouraged and guarantees: “One thing remains absolute and
unshakable for our community here in Kirkuk, we will persevere with dialogue to
build and strengthen peaceful coexistence”."

I hope the Gospel is part of that dialogue. I get nervous when church leaders talk about "dialogue" and "coexistence" with Islamists, because it usually is code for appeasement.

Remember our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who suffer in His name. Pray that they keep strong in their faith, and that God will deliver them.