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Iraqi Patriarch raps American policies

September 29, 2014

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has lashed out at American conduct of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq.

“Bombing these jihadists will not make them disappear, that’s for sure,” said the Iraqi prelate. He voiced his objections to another bombing campaign:

Many innocent individuals risk being killed. Infrastructures are destroyed and will remain destroyed. The Americans have already done this: they destroyed the country and did not rebuild it. The most serious part of it all is that now everyone is saying the war is going to go on for years. This sends out two different and very dangerous messages simultaneously. The message to jihadists is: don’t worry, you have plenty of time to get organized, get more money together and enlist more paid militants. The message to the refugees is: this situation’s going to go on for years, the only future you have is away from here, away from your homes. It’s best if you leave if you can.

Patriarch Sako also objected to a suggestion that American Catholics should provide homes for Iraqi refugees. He said that he is trying to persuade the faithful to remain in Iraq, to endure the current trials, and to maintain the Christian presence. “But many fall victim to this ‘leaving’ frenzy,” he lamented.

Migration is not the solution, the Patriarch said. Many refugees, he said, are “transferred from one bleak situation to another.” Away from their home and their culture and without proper pastoral care, they might be in worse condition abroad. “As if the migration of thousands of Iraqi Christians to the US was something to ask God’s blessing for!” he said.


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  • Posted by: shrink - Sep. 29, 2014 8:59 PM ET USA

    What a terrible mess. It is certainly a brave call to stay and risk martyrdom. Yet, even Joseph and Mary fled Israel when Herod was on the hunt.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 29, 2014 8:46 PM ET USA

    I search here in vain for what the patriarch recommends instead of what he condemns. I too have doubts about the efficacy of Obama's bombing campaign but I have no hesitation about recommending the annihilation of Islamic State by the swiftest means possible. What does the patriarch think should be done to remove or neutralize this authentic Mohammedan menace?

  • Posted by: Defender - Sep. 29, 2014 6:48 PM ET USA

    Just as the Palestinian Christians are leaving, so too the Christians in other areas where Muslims extend their influence and intimidation. As for the not having "boots on the ground," this has always been a problem the Air Force and politicians have had. If you intend to change things, it will take ground forces to do the job.