Skip to comments.US religious freedom watchdog mulls blacklisting Iraq
Posted on 05/10/2008 4:23:20 AM PDT by Kolokotronis
WASHINGTON (AFP) A US watchdog on religious freedom on Friday expressed serious concern over violations in strife-torn Iraq and was considering whether to place the ally of Washington on a blacklist with countries such as North Korea and Iran.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom said in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it was seriously concerned about religious freedom conditions in Iraq, where widespread persecution of Christians has been reported.
The 10-member commission last year placed Iraq on its watchlist but its members were now divided on whether it should be maintained in that category or dumped to a country of particular concern blacklist, officials said.
There is some contention, the debate is whether it should go up or down, one official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The commission said in the letter to Rice, together with its annual recommendations on the status of religious freedom worldwide, that its members would travel to Iraq later this month to study the issue further.
It planned to make the appropriate designation for Iraq in the near future.
The letter speaks for itself. You would hear from us soon, commission chairman Michael Cromartie told a news conference when asked about the rare omission of the entire Iraq chapter from its 338-page annual report.
The divisions among the commissions members over the draft Iraq chapter were reportedly along party lines.
Five members of the panel were appointed by the Republican Party and four by the Democrats. A State Department official in charge of religious freedom affairs serves as a non-voting member.
It would be an embarrassment for the administration of President George W. Bush if the influential commission recommends to the State Department that Iraq be downgraded as a country of particular concern.
The State Departments latest religious freedom blacklist comprises North Korea, China, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.
These were countries whose governments were considered to have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom or belief.
Blacklisting Iraq could also prompt the next US president to impose sanctions on Baghdad as required by US law, including withholding foreign aid.
Five years after the United States waged war on Iraq saying it wanted to free the people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, ethnic and religious tensions threaten to rip the country apart.
Just speaking for myself, I am particularly concerned by the fact that the religious minorities, the defenseless minorities those without the militias are being pushed out of Iraq, commissioner Nina Shea said.
Widespread persecution of Christians, including the bombing of churches and the murder of priests, has forced hundreds of thousands to flee, mostly to neighboring countries or to Kurdish northern Iraq.
Iraqs Christians, with the Chaldean rite the largest community, were said to total as many as 800,000 before the US-led invasion in 2003 but the number is now thought to be half that figure.
In its recommendations, the commission also asked Rice to reinclude Vietnam on the blacklist of religious freedom violators, as well as Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
It said dozens of individuals who advocate religious freedom reforms in Vietnam, which was removed from the State Department blacklist in 2006, were imprisoned or detained while ethnic minority Buddhists and Protestants were allegedly harassed, beaten or detained.
The commission also put Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria on its watchlist.
[Widespread persecution of Christians, including the bombing of churches and the murder of priests, has forced hundreds of thousands to flee, mostly to neighboring countries or to Kurdish northern Iraq.]
President Bush lost the war in Iraq not because of the fact that we could win it, but rather he handed the ruling political class of Iraq a “kill whomever you will” when he did not demand that Iraq have the same Bill of Rights as Americans. He has a weakness that a leader of a nation should not have and calls our enemies friends. And as usual, the politicians of America are getting worse and worse.
The Marshall plan worked and should have been used in any nation America defeats in war to ensure freedom for the people therein, namely, a military overule for some 20 years followed by a gradual pullout once the political class has been taught to believe the truth of the American Bill of Rights. Unfortuanately our politicians are now fools and liars and thieves also and have given themselves over to power lust.
Considering the “no law may be contrary to Islam” clause in their constitution...
What a huge mess we created, at huge expense.
We created the same one in Kosovo with, unbelievably, a more extensive ethnic cleansing of Christians.
We were told this war was about WMD and virtually all of us got behind it 100%. Then we were told that it was about the spread of democracy (same thing we've been told about Kosovo)and that Mohammad Adams and Mustapha Jefferson would spring up out of the desert, then the Left told us that it was all about oil. Well, no WMD; we get the privilege of paying $3.70 per gallon for gasoline and, lets see, $3.849 per gallon, cash, for heating oil this morning, with our ever shrinking dollars and Mohammad and Mustapha missed the course on the Common Law so Christians pay the tax, wear the veil or get murdered right under our guns. What we've got in Kosovo and in Iraq are dead Christians and the smoking ruins of churches.
And the elites are worried that the Bush Administration might be “embarrassed” if the Commission calls a spade a spade! Κυριε, σοσον ημας!
Is the Jihadist pseudo-state of Kosovo on the blacklist?
If not, how many more Christian Churches are they required to destroy to qualify?
Nope, only proving that they go after high-profile, politically-incorrect forms of religious persecution. It's not about morality, only political power.
“If not, how many more Christian Churches are they required to destroy to qualify?”
FL, for this present administration, and for all I know the next one, whomever may lead it, they couldn’t destroy enough Eastern Christian Churches or kill enough Eastern Christians to qualify. Supporting Mohammedanism and destroying Eastern Christians and our churches seems an odd thing for the United States to be presiding over and yet it is born of the arrogant ignorance of the American policy elites when it comes to resurgent Mohammedanism. It is positively astonishing that our government really thinks it knows better than the people and governments who have been dealing with Islam for 1400 years. You know what, FL, I think its all based the the national and very protestant “Shining City on a Hill” myth. For people whose world view is informed by that idea, Eastern Christians aren’t “real” Christians. We are told we worship the “stock of a tree” because we venerate icons of Panagia. We see examples of it everyday here on FR. That shining city myth is a fine one, far better than most when it comes to national myths. When we had the will to back that up with overwhelming, absolutely crushing force, it was a myth which lead to good things, among them freedom, liberty and democracy for much of the world. But since the U.S. lost its will, acting on the myth just leaves us broke, the places we stomp around in ruins and sharia law on the increase.
....Is the Jihadist pseudo-state of Kosovo on the blacklist?...
Since it is really Kosovo and Metohija, a province of Serbia, it doesn’t belong on the blacklist!!!!
Instead, we should reverse our policy, and let the Serbian army and police re-enter their province, and take care of the problem. We should never have interfered with their doing so in the first place. We only bought ourselves lots of trouble, which is only just beginning!!!!
As I know from personal experience, the protestant “Shining City on a Hill” is fast eroding—being taken over by feminazis, gaysbians, antinomians, unitarians, New Agers, and yes, abject dhimmis who prostrate themselves before Muhammadans instead of the Holy Cross. It is in no position to inspire and to lead—quite the opposite.
Meanwhile, I myself have become an Orthodox Christian. This is quite in line with what my former branch of protestantism (which is not fully protestant), Lutheranism, was arguably trying to do in the first place—restore Orthodoxy to the West. (Ironically it was the Muhammadan Turk that was perhaps the greatest obstacle to the move toward Orthodoxy of the Lutheran Reformers.) Anglicanism too, had its pro-Orthodox movements.
To complicate matters, many (but by no means all) American Albanian Orthodox Christians, including priests and heirarchs, support “Kosovo independence”, as an expression of their “Albanianism”. This includes the branch of Albanian Orthodoxy that is in the OCA. (I am now a member of the OCA, so it is pretty distressing for me to know this.)