“Am I my brother’s keeper?”, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Can we afford to ignore these two compelling statements in the face of what is happening in Iraq? Who is my brother, who my neighbor, who are my friends and who are my enemies? While the world stands in mesmerized inaction the agents of the devil in Mosel are doing their worst.
The land which was once Eden is now the workshop of the fiend and his workmen. The choice put to the Christians of Mosel is between converting to Islam, paying the jezyah (toll to retain their Christianity), leaving their homeland or martyrdom. Not unlike what happened way back at the dawn of Islam while it spread across the north of Africa and beyond.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a self declared Islamic State(IS) or Caliphate, is being ignored by some, feared by others and allowed an unchecked laisser faire by all. We do that at a great risk not unlike the indifference to the fledgling Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in the late thirties of last century. We now rue the day if we allowed this monster to mature to one of the most dangerous threats to the civilized world.
A very important question begs for an answer. What created the ISIL? Following the dastardly 9/11 attack in 2001 the USA was forced to respond to this attack in no uncertain terms. The image of the entire West was hanging in the balance. The perpetrators were identified as belonging to and/or instigated by the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. The leaders were welcome guests of Afghanistan. To pursue those butchers, it is understandable that the USA, along with several other nations banded together to rid the world of this threat. As for the rationale for the invasion of Iraq, once an ally in fighting Iran in the eighties then a foe after invading Kuwait, it was hard to comprehend then and quite difficult to justify now. President George W. Bush was advised by his father Bush the elder, a seasoned politician and former president not to embark on this misguided misadventure. Saddam Hussein, a diehard dictator, for better or for worse, at least maintained a livable order in his country by an iron fist. The extreme Islamic fanaticism against Christians and the discord between Sunnis, and Shiites was held to the minimum and tolerance of the Kurds was the accepted norm. Iraq is oil-wealthy, a wealth Saddam used in his adventures in the region and occasionally beyond. This nuisance was containable without the West’s belligerence which caused the removal of Hussein leaving a vacuum to be subsequently filled by weaklings. This, if any, is the direct cause of the sorry state Iraq is in now, fragmented, occupied by jihadists and other adventurers of similar ilk who hold sway over the people and are looking beyond, creating the ISIL Caliphate.
Are we observing another holocaust, this time of the Christians of Iraq who are Eastern Aramaic-speaking ethnic Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds and Turcoman extant, similar to the Armenian holocaust a century ago at the hands of the Ottomans of Turkey at the beginning of WWI? The world is still awaiting the recognition of this tragedy by the perpetrators. The Jewish holocaust by the Nazis in the thirties of last century and during WWII was fashioned after this earlier inhumanity.
The answer to the question in the title is an unqualified yes. We are and must be our brothers’ keepers. The leadership in handling this global menace is in the hands of the only remaining superpower. Unfortunately, this administration is befuddled, almost paralyzed into inaction by unworthy and flail politics. Let there be no mistake, if unattended to, this viper, the ISIS will grow and nestle in the bosom of this country and the civilized world. Then, we might wake up to find it too late to excise this lethal cancer which would consume us and drag us to the mire from whence it comes.