More Iraq War Fail: Christians Fleeing Because Of Violence
There can be no doubt that the Iraq war was one of our biggest foreign policy disasters. Amid fears that security forces in Iraq can’t contain violence against Christians, many are fleeing. (The accompanying picture is from 2004, showing that things haven’t improved much in seven years.)
The flight — involving thousands of residents from Baghdad and Mosul, in particular — followed an Oct. 31 siege at a church in Baghdad that killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests and a subsequent series of bombings and assassinations singling out Christians. This new exodus, which is not the first, highlights the continuing displacement of Iraqis despite improved security over all and the near-resolution of the political impasse that gripped the country after elections in March.
It threatens to reduce further what Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East called “a community whose roots were in Iraq even before Christ.”
Sunni and Shiite Muslims have died on even a greater scale in Iraq. Two days after the church attack, a dozen bombs tore through Bagdad, killing 68 and injuring hundreds.
The Christians and other smaller minority groups here, however, have been explicitly made targets and have emigrated in disproportionate numbers. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, these groups account for 20 percent of the Iraqis who have gone abroad, while they were only 3 percent of the country’s prewar population.
More than half of Iraq’s Christian community, estimated to number 800,000 to 1.4 million before the American-led invasion in 2003, have already left the country.
We did a pretty good job of establishing democracy there, no?Click here for reuse options!
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