I am sorry to be writing so frequently about the terrible situation in Iraq and Syria, but it needs talking about.
The USCCB has just released a pdf of Bishop Pates’ letter to White House national security adviser Susan Rice
Last month I wrote to you about the escalating violence in Iraq that targets Christians and otherreligious communities. I asked that the U.S. government urge Iraqi political leaders to form aninclusive government representative of all ethnic and religious groups, thus reversing the exclusionthat has been exploited by extremists. Only in this way can the rule of law be restored and thecommon good of all be served.
Sadly the situation in Iraq has only deteriorated in the past month.
Indeed it has.
While the bishop was writing to Rice, requesting humanitarian assistance for Iraq, Rice (who always seems to get the worst jobs) was writing a letter to Congress on behalf of the administration, seeking to insure that no US Troops ever go to Iraq again:
The Obama administration is calling on Congress to fully repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country, which is under siege by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a letter Friday (pdf) to completely repeal the war authorization, officially known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, or AUMF.Rice’s letter was sent as Congress just hours before it approved a resolution opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq, where the terrorist group ISIL claims to have established an Islamic caliphate.
“We believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq,” Rice wrote, according to a copy of her letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
“With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the administration fully supports its repeal,” Rice wrote. “Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”
Emphasis mine. The repeal will also go far in giving ISIL confidence that ground forces will do nothing to impede their progress as they rumble through Iraq, then Syria, then…who knows…destroying ancient artifacts or any evidence of the people, themselves, and installing the new caliphate they have announced.
I choose to draw no conclusions at this time. If I permit myself to, they will be shameful ones I’d prefer not to entertain or give voice to. Perhaps our Kobe-Bryant-level-President has some very clever plan in store, one that is meant to check the progress of what he calls these “Junior Varsity” players, but first requires a public declaration that our military will not come to the assistance of anyone being brutalized and purged from the region of their ancestry.
That could happen, right?