In one of the greatest brain-washings in human history, William F. Buckley Jr. turned antiwar conservatives into pro-war progressives. Soon after, American Christianity became more of a cultural movement and voting bloc with a set of rules, than a meaningful spiritual journey. America would never be the same again.

Then along came George W. Bush, lock-step support of his wars ... and the Middle East will never be the same again either. Because as we speak, Christians are literally being wiped off the ME map. "Collateral damage" in the war on Muslims.

Go ahead ... Call me "anti-American" if it makes you feel better. Sticks and stones. But the fact remains that your "super serial" "realpolitik" support for the mass slaughter of Muslims, necessarily means you support the mass slaughter of Christians too.

"Onward Christian Soldiers ..."

Weeks before attack, Baghdad archbishop had cried out against persecution

On October 15, Syrian Catholic Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka of Baghdad delivered one of the most memorable interventions during the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East-- words made even more poignant by the October 31 attack on worshippers at his cathedral. Catholic World News reprints his remarks below.

Since the year 2003, Christians are the victims of a killing situation, which has provoked a great emigration from Iraq. Even if there are no definite statistics, however the indicators underline that half the Christians have abandoned Iraq and that without a doubt there are only about 400,000 Christians left of the 800,000 that lived there. The invasion of Iraq by America and its allies brought to Iraq in general, and especially to its Christians, destruction and ruin on all levels. Churches were blown up, bishops and priests and lay persons were massacred, many were the victims of aggression. Doctors and businessmen were kidnapped, others were threatened, storage places and homes were pillaged …

Seven years have passed and Christianity is still bleeding. Where is the world conscience? All the world remains a spectator before what is happening in Iraq, especially with regards to Christians.

We want to sound the alarm. We ask the question of the great powers: is it true what is said that there is a plan to empty the Middle East of Christians and that Iraq is one of the victims?

The War on Christianity

Sunday, on the eve of All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, 2010, the faithful gathered at the Assyrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.

As Father Wassim Sabih finished the mass, eight al-Qaeda stormed in, began shooting and forced him to the floor. As the priest pleaded that his parishioners be spared, they executed him and began their mission of mass murder.

When security forces broke in, the killers threw grenades to finish off the surviving Christians and detonated explosive-laden vests to kill the police. The toll was 46 parishioners and two priests killed, 78 others wounded, many in critical condition after losing limbs.

Within 48 hours, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin: “All Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the (holy warriors).”

It was the worst massacre of Christians yet. For Assyrian Catholics known as Chaldeans, whose ancestors were converted by St. Thomas the Apostle, the U.S. war of liberation has been seven years of hell.

Estimates of the number of Christians in Iraq in 2003 vary from 800,000 to 1.5 million. But hundreds of thousands have fled since the invasion. Seven of the 14 churches in Baghdad have closed, and two-thirds of the city’s 500,000 Christians are gone.

While Saddam Hussein, a secularist, had protected religious minorities, Muslim vigilantes — Shia, Sunni and Kurd, as well as al-Qaeda — have attacked the Christians who have endured kidnappings, pillage, rapes, beheadings and assassinations.

Why is Christianity being murdered in its cradle by Muslim fanatics?

Multiple reasons. A return of Islamic militancy. The rise of ethnic nationalism that conflates tribal and religious identity. Hatred of America for its domination of the region, for our war on terror that they see as a war on Islam and for our support of Israel in its suppression of the Palestinians.

Christians across the Middle East are now seen as both members of an alien religion and a fifth column of the Crusaders inside their camp.

Paul Marshall of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom warns that we may be in another great wave of persecution, “as Christians flee the Palestinian areas, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt.”

Christians are gone from Jerusalem, gone from Nazareth, gone from Bethlehem. From Egypt to Iran, the Vatican counts 17 million left.

“Across the Middle East,” writes Robert Fisk in The Independent, “it is the same story of despairing — sometimes frightened — Christian minorities, and of an exodus that reaches almost Biblical proportions.”

America remains the most Christianized of the Western nations. Yet, the protests of the White House, State Department and major media over the eradication of Christianity in the Middle East is muted.

Where is the outrage?

Of what worth these wars for democracy if we end up freeing fanatics to annihilate communities or expel populations of our own Christian brothers and sisters across the Middle East?

"Where is the outrage?" There can't be any outrage. Conservative Pro-War Orthodoxy forbids it. Just ask the (supposedly) former-communist David Horowitz. War has no undesirable consequences. War gnosticism trumps Christianity. War is America!

There is nothing remotely "conservative" about war. War is pro-government, pro-despot, pro-collectivist, pro-revolutionary, pro-inflation, anti-society, and anti-Christian. Nation-building is pro-central planning and utopian. Nation-building is the very definition of "to immanentize the eschaton."

Today, thanks to the blind support of a war that allowed American blood to be shed to build an Islamic State, Christians are being eradicated to make the Middle East wholly Islamic for the first time in history.

How will this lead to peace with the West?

It won't.

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  • republicanmother

    It's ironic that these Iraqi Christians have lived there for 1800 years, through all sorts of Muslim regimes and now have to leave. I remember when these wars got started how we talked about in church that this may open up a mission field. Hoo boy, were we wrong! They (our military) recently burned Afghan Bibles a soldier's church had sent as they didn't want to offend the Muslims whose opium they are helping to defend. I read an interview where an Iraqi Christian said they were safer under Saddam and were able to lead fairly normal lives. When chaos breaks out, those who have the guns speak louder than anyone else. Unfortunately, the CIA has been spending the good part of the last 40 years handing guns, training, and support to every hoodlum the world over. And now some of them feel betrayed.

  • Francis W. Porretto

    Aw, come on! Don't be shy! Come right out and say it! "Saddam Hussein deserved to remain in power! So what if he'd obtained hundreds of tons of yellowcake for his nuclear weapons program! So what if he used a weapon of mass destruction against the Kurds! So what if he was killing his own subjects, 30,000 per year! So what if his demonic sons cruised Baghdad every evening, looking for fresh young women to rape! George W. Bush is responsible for all those Christians' deaths!"

    Classical liberal, my ass. Have the decency to blame an evil deed on the doer, rather than use it as a political talking point.

    • theCL

      Saddam Hussein deserved to remain in power!

      Now that's a political talking point. Look, I don't think Barack Obama deserves to be in power, but I wouldn't call for a war on him either.

      What's taking place in Iraq is a utopian scheme that has cost countless lives. I don't buy into utopian schemes. Christians are taking a bigger hit than radical Islam too. War has more consequence than benefit.

      While we're playing the "what if" game ... What if the CIA didn't help bring Hussein to power? What if the CIA didn't support Osama bin Laden? What if the CIA didn't overthrow a popular Iranian president and install a brutal dictator? The "what if" game goes in all directions. Our Ruling Class is far from pure.

    • buddeshepherd

      Saying that the Iraq war was a mistake or went wrong or shouldn't have been started to begin with is not to say that Saddam should or shouldn't have remained in power. Or that he was or was not making weapons of mass destruction.
      We bet everything and we lost and now we have to deal with it. It makes me distrust those who played with my belief system and it angers me that we don't take care of our friends and pander to those who tell us that they hate us.
      That is my opinion.