That headline was the closing of a brief text message I received yesterday from a friend. His concern was the ultimate fate of Assyrian Christians that are currently being abducted by ISIS. He was praying that the abductions would be humane, but concerned that if they were not (which is likely given ISIS behavior to date) the administration would simply stand idly by. I wish I could reassure him, but this administration’s behavior gives me no facts on which to rely.
The good news is we remain a good country. We are simply at the moment a good country with a deeply flawed presidential administration. What concerns me is the “root cause” of the flaws, he said ironically borrowing a phrase from the current administration. Without getting into the fever swamps of a hidden Islamic agenda, I see two possible causes. One cause could be a lack of intellectual ability and training to see that ISIS is a threat to the world, not just the region. The other could be a grossly misaligned sense of compassion.
The president’s response to ISIS is remarkably America-centric. He is dismissive of the problem provided it does not reach our borders. His jobs-based approach to combating ISIS seems more about preventing them from getting recruits from the US than it does actually defeating ISIS. As if they cannot get recruits from other parts of the world. They have made direct threats at Europe, but as long as those threats are not aimed at the US, he seems somewhat oblivious. This indicates a policy that is designed to protect America, but let the world do what it will. This is isolationism. There is a popular stream of isolationist thought in America today. One usually attributes it to the Ron Paul/Rand Paul libertarian coalition, but here it seems to be alive and well on the other side of the aisle.
Isolationism discounts the interconnectedness of the world we live in. It fails to realize that what happens over there affects us here. Even if ISIS is only a regional threat, it deeply threatens America. If they were to succeed in Europe, the economic harm would be incalculable. Not to mention if they got far enough into Europe they would have access to nuclear weapons. (Of course they could head in the other direction and get the same thing.) By this isolationist logic we would have never fought in Europe in WWII.
Which raises the other root cause. Geopolitics aside, WWII in Europe was justified by the plight of the Jews in Nazi held territory. My friends point in the text message yesterday was that regardless geopolitics, ISIS should be combated on purely humanitarian grounds, out of compassion for its increasingly uncountable victims.
As isolationism reflects a stream of thought that does travel through some in the nation, so does this lack of compassion. Obama, in acting so dispassionately, sadly reflects a significant portion of the American population. I wish I could say that this represents a major shift in the populace, but there was significant push back against “FDR’s trumped-up war,” as there is against action regarding ISIS.
What made the WWII generation “the greatest” was not merely that they fought the war, but that the good people of that generation stood up for compassion and went head-to-head with those that lacked it. Bear in mind this is largely a Christian nation, and in the 30′ and 40’s our compassion was earned by the Jews. Should our compassion not be as great when it comes to fellow Christians?
The time has come to stop being a spectator and stand up against the lack of compassion. Compassionate leaders in Washington need to come up with a set of policies and plans that we can stand behind to protect not just America, but all those that suffer under the oppression that is ISIS – it is clear that this administration is incapable. All of us need to let the administration know that we will not stand idly by while Christians and other non-Muslims in ISIS held territory are abducted, incarcerated, or far worse simply because they are not Muslim.
This is the only way we can avoid becoming the country my friend fears we have become.
Addendum a couple of hours later
Here are some links to agencies that help persecuted Christians and especially those in ISIS territory right now. I have not had the opportunity to thoroughly vet these agencies and their activities in this area. The first three I know to be of generally good repute (I know nothing of the 4th other than advertising), and cannot endorse them until I more completely examine them. This is simply an effort to supply some resources.