The Ever Dwindling Iraqi Christian Minority, Thanks to US Foreign Policy
by JBS President John F. McManus
Newspapers and television channels are full of pictures showing Iraq’s Yazidis fleeing from the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Thousands of helpless men, women, and children who have lived for centuries in Iraq’s Niniveh province have been uprooted by Islamic militants who demand conversion to their brand of Islam or face death.
President Obama has responded by sending war planes to attack the militants and air drops to provide food and water to the refugees. He has also responded to similar attacks aimed at the Kurds living in Northern Iraq. For them, it is military equipment to help them defend themselves. Known as tough fighters, the Kurds have fared well during the turmoil generated by ISIS.
There seems, however, to be little or no concern from the White House and Congress about the Christians who have been targeted continuously by militant Islamists and now by ISIS. In Mosul (also in Niniveh province), where thousands of Catholics have lived and worshiped since biblical times, Catholic Mass is no longer celebrated as it has been for almost two millennia. Priests have been slain and the people have been terrorized. For all the years when Catholics populated the region, they have withstood numerous threats, especially during the years since Mohammed started the Muslim religion in the Seventh century. But what has occurred since the U.S. invasion in 2003 has turned out to be their worst nightmare.
ISIS warriors have demanded conversion to Islam or death. When a 45-year-old Catholic retired army officer living in Mosul was told by ISIS marauders that he had to leave his home and business immediately or face death for not converting to Islam, he gathered his family and fled. So have most other Catholics. But there has been no outcry from President Obama about the Christian victims of ISIS. There were once 1.5 million Christians (mostly Catholics) living throughout Iraq. Ever since the U.S. invasion in 2003, they have been attacked ruthlessly by various branches of Islam. But, while concern is raised about the current plight of Yazidis and Kurds, the fate of remaining Christians has been ignored.
The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking minority who number 200,000 worldwide. The Kurds are a breakaway sect from Islam which means that their ancestry does not reach back as far as does that of the first Iraqi Christians. Most of the 30 million Kurds worldwide live in northern Iraq and parts of neighboring Iran, Syria, and Turkey. They have long sought to become an independent country that they would call Kurdistan. The Christians who have fled will most likely never return. Those who haven’t fled face almost incomprehensible threats.
The devastation visited upon Yazidis, Kurds, and Christians is a consequence of the U.S. invasion, an attack on a country that supposedly possessed weapons of mass destruction and wouldn’t hesitate to use them. But the claim that they had such weapons was a lie. The devastation wreaked on Iraq by the invaders contributed to unleashing militant Islamists including the latest threat posed by ISIS. And recall that the Obama administration helped supply ISIS in Syria, but now fights them in Iraq. If peace is indeed possible in this region, the United States should follow a totally new course: vacate the area, cease policing the world, terminate the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz goal to build an American empire, and begin minding only the business of America.
Hillary Clinton’s Problem Now in the Open
by JBS President John F. McManus
On August 10 during an interview conducted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
Hillary Clinton criticizing Barack Obama! What’s going on here? The answer is simple. The public’s opinion of Obama’s performance continues to drop and she’s running for the office of President. How to be a candidate to succeed the increasingly unpopular president with whom she has had an extremely close relationship is not going to be easy. So, the first of what will likely be salvos aimed at the occupant of the White House will likely increase.
The “Don’t do stupid stuff” comment was actually stated by President Obama in his speech at West Point last May. Among other world problems, he was referring to the Syrian conflict, the continuing worry about Iran becoming a nuclear power, and the Israeli-Hamas struggle. Regarding Syria, Mrs. Clinton indicated that our nation should have sent military aid to Assad’s early opponents and, because we didn’t, Assad remains in power and the ISIS jihadists have risen to become a potent threat, not just to Syria but to Iraq and other portions of Asia Minor. She should have been asked if the aid she now says should have gone to Assad’s foes might have ended up in the hands of jihadists, a quite likely result. But that possibility wasn’t mentioned.
If the Obama approval ratings were high instead of dismally low (and getting lower), Hillary would never have sought to separate herself from the President, even slightly. She would have reminded everyone that she, as his Secretary of State, was the main architect of a “successful” foreign policy. But no one is labeling the Obama administration’s dealings with other nations a success. Libya is again in turmoil, Assad is still in power, Iran is still progressing toward nuclear weapon capability, Israel and Hamas are at war, the Benghazi tragedy still hangs over the president (and over Mrs. Clinton), and more.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson urged avoiding involvement in foreign difficulties. Their advice is still the best course for our nation. But don’t expect Hillary Clinton to advocate what America’s Founders recommended. She knows she’s in a serious bind where she can neither divorce herself from Obama nor champion his performance. In the months ahead, the American voters will discover how capably she walks an increasingly difficult tight rope.
College Board’s New History Course Deemed “Marxist”
by JBS President John F. McManus
The uproar over the insertion of Common Core Standards into the U.S. education system has been heard from coast to coast. Many parents don’t like the new program and have expressed their dismay over what they have learned about it. The complaints are liable to grow even more intense now that the College Board’s history curriculum has been examined.
Before discussing the content of the new history guidelines, it’s important know that the College Board produces material both for advanced placement (AP) courses and for the SAT exams taken by high school students on their way to college. High SAT scores have always been considered essential to be accepted by a favored college. So all who aspire for higher education are pawns in the game of whoever devises the AP courses and the tests created by the SAT compilers. But what if those hurdles for high schoolers are full of anti-American Marxism? Sadly, this is what has happened.
The single most important person behind creation of Common Core is Dr. David Coleman. Soon after he succeeded in getting Common Core adopted in most states, he won appointment as president of the College Board. He now oversees what the curricula will be for AP courses and what will be the SAT test questions. He has wasted no time in revising these materials.
World Net Daily has reported the findings of President Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars. Wood examined the new course material and describes the AP history curriculum as “a briefing document on progressive and leftist views of America’s past.” He labels what he has seen “a vaguely Marxist or at least materialist reading of the key events” in our nation’s past. Author Stanley Kurtz has accused the College Board of “pushing U.S. history as far to the left as it can get away with.”
Others recognize the new material as a sharp left-ward turn from what was previously supplied to high school AP history teachers. Larry Krieger has taught history for 35 years and has written many popular AP and SAT preparation books. He labels the new history curriculum “relentless left-wing indoctrination.” Attorney Jane Robbins worked with Krieger and found that 181 points made in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills program are absent in the new College Board history course. Robbins believes that the deficiencies and historical inaccuracies in the new material will work their way down into all levels, not just the AP classes. Texas school board member Ken Mercer claims that “only America haters” will applaud the new materials.
Students subjected to this new program will learn little positive or nothing at all about America’s founders, the successful defeat of Japan and Germany in World War II, the building of a prosperous nation, and more. Instead, they will learn that the early Americans immigrants from Europe should be remembered as evildoers who brought disease and slavery to the newly discovered continent. In the new curriculum, real American heroes are ignored and questionable characters are glorified.
We’re grateful that World Net Daily’s John Aman has provided a hard look at the new Common Core course content. We hope that the uproar about Common Core and the new history curriculum will grow to a point where the federal government’s use of taxpayers’ money to bribe states into accepting the program will help many to see how dangerous federal involvement in the important field of education truly is. Maybe then, they will join with the growing number who believe federal involvement in education ought to be abolished.
To learn more about Common Core, visit our “Choose Freedom — Stop Common Core” action page.
Are Ukraine’s Russian Separatists Being Abandoned by Putin?
by JBS President John F. McManus
The population of Eastern Ukraine bordering Russia is ethnically Russian. The same could be said of the Crimean peninsula in southeast Ukraine, the region absorbed by Russia earlier in 2014. After Russia’s successful (to date) absorption of Crimea, large Russian-speaking enclaves in other portions of the beleaguered country wanted the same absorption to occur for them.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin certainly gave the go-ahead for his forces to take Crimea, but he now seems to be backing away after initially supplying support in the bloody conflict being conducted by separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine. The Associated Press cites a pro-Russian separatist fighter in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk who wonders why expected help isn’t arriving: “What is Putin waiting for? We had hoped for help from Russia but we have been abandoned. Our strength is nearing an end and the Ukrainian army is advancing.”
Donetsk has seen 20 percent of its population of one million flee from fighting that has raged for several weeks. The ethnically Russian separatist forces have lately taken to confiscating vehicles, food, and any other useful resources from the people. But Putin seems now to have decided to ignore any more cries for help from the separatists he originally encouraged.
Without doubt, the Russian leader fomented the trouble engulfing the area. He took action after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by Ukrainian nationalists earlier this year. New Ukrainian leadership opposes separation of more of the country’s territory and newly elected President Petro Poroshenko even hinted at wanting to ally with Western Europe and the European Union, and even affiliate with NATO. Fancying himself as the equal of all of his opposition to the West, Putin sought to demonstrate a self-deluding major player stature with his moves against Ukraine. He instead brought a series of economic sanctions on his country that seem to have gotten his attention.
What the immediate future will bring to Ukraine is unknown. After debacles in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, the American people have grown intensely disinclined to have our government get militarily involved in any more frays. We can only agree with that sentiment. America’s chosen role as policeman of the world has got to stop.
Laws Governing Immigration Don’t Work — When They’re Not Enforced
by JBS President John F. McManus
Over recent years, legislation and policy dealing with immigration into the U.S. aren’t doing the job. Many laws are being ignored, others are working in ways contrary to their intent, and some that aren’t even laws (e.g., executive orders) have the effect of increasing the number of border crossers.
The U.S. Constitution mentions the word “invasion” twice. Article IV, Section 4 mandates: “The United States … shall protect each of them [the states] against invasion.” Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 15 places on Congress the responsibility to “call forth the militia … repel invasions.” Neither of these portions of the Constitution uses the word “military” as a qualifier for invasion. Neither is being employed to stem what amounts to an invasion.
During recent years, upwards of 20 million persons have crossed our southern border with the intention of staying here. Is that not an “invasion”? Millions of these individuals have been provided housing, welfare, medical care and education. No other nation in history has been so kind to invaders. And, as evidence clearly shows, some of the border crossers are drug traffickers, and others have committed rape, robbery, mayhem and even murder. Jails in the southwest are overflowing with criminals who aren’t even citizens.
Plenty of headlines today point to the current wave of children seeking entry, a new category of invaders. Does anyone even ask how these youngsters, many unaccompanied by any adults, arrived at the border from Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica? They certainly didn’t walk from their homes through hundreds of miles in Mexico before reaching the Rio Grande. It’s obvious that help was provided and the children are being used to further erode our nation’s immigration policy.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama did his bit to weaken immigration restrictions with an executive order now known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).” It directed agencies tasked with policing the border to use “prosecutorial discretion” in its enforcement actions. In other words, “Look the other way if you see illegal entrants that are children, or with children.” Critics have labeled DACA “a path to amnesty” which it surely appears to be. The effect of this unconstitutional use of executive power has actually encouraged more to enter our country.
No one can doubt that immigrants overall have contributed significantly to making America productive and strong. Nor can there be assurance that past procedures were problem-free. But the penniless entrants of years gone by came into the U.S. legally. They got in line, secured qualified admittance, and eventually won citizenship. Private agencies, mostly backed by religious groups, took care of many of the new arrivals. Allowing today’s millions of illegal entrants to bypass the previous process for entry into the U.S. denigrates the worth of properly gained citizenship achieved by millions. But that is not the only problem.
Many of today’s illegal immigrants have found jobs, worked hard, obeyed laws, and moved toward assimilation. But, with little or no understanding of America’s foundations, even they threaten to alter the cultural and political basis of our country. Each massive wave of immigration throughout history has led to fundamental change.
Beginning around 370 A.D., for instance, Emperor Valens opened the gates of the Roman Empire and allowed entry to Germanic Goths and Visigoths. He did so to obtain recruits for his army and a source of cheap labor. Only a decade after the gates had come down, those immigrants began a war against the Roman legions in the provinces and it eventually reached Rome itself. In short order, the Roman army was decimated, the Goths sacked Rome, and the Roman Empire collapsed.
Even though there are some militants among the illegals here, there is little likelihood that any military uprising that could duplicate what the Goths did to Rome. But changing the country can be accomplished with leadership supplied by liberals and leftists who can’t be unaware of the dangerous policies and programs they are supporting, including the extremely deficient educational system given to all of America’s youngsters.
There are more than enough laws on the books to put an end to the immigration crisis. What’s needed is a determination to use them, properly and humanely. That’s what swearing an oath to the U.S. Constitution should mean.
Are you ready to help? Visit Choose Freedom — Stop Illegal Immigration.
New Debunking of Global Warming Claims
by JBS President John F. McManus
British journalist Christopher Booker became well known in 2003 when he collaborated with former European Union researcher Richard North to issue “The Great Deception,” a critical history of the enormous amount of deceit leading to the creation of the European Union. He has also written “The Real Global Warming Disaster,” a 2009 expose of unproven claims about global warming that includes a well-researched condemnation of the costly and unnecessary solutions to the warming problem that he insists doesn’t exist.
Support for Booker’s view that global warming isn’t threatening mankind recently appeared in the work of U.S. scientist Steven Goddard. Pointing an accusing finger at the America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Goddard shows that its U.S. Historical Climatology Network has been “adjusting” its conclusions and substituting “fabricated” temperature data produced by computer models in the place of actual temperature readings. According to Booker, Goddard’s research shows that “the U.S. has actually been cooling since the 1930s,” the hottest decade on record.
On July 28th, a resolution submitted by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sought to place the Senate on record with a claim that global warming was real. She insisted, “We have a problem” that ought to be dealt with. Senator Barbara Boxer (R-Calif.) supported the resolution saying, “All we wanted to say is climate change is happening.”
But Senator James Inhofe disagreed with his colleagues and blocked the measure. Insisting that “we” don’t know that such a problem exists, Inhofe suggested instead that other parts of the international community are turning away from claims regarding warming. He pointed to Australia’s repeal of a carbon tax that had been imposed as a way to reduce the supposed warming of the planet, something now officially questioned in the “land down under.”
Several years ago, more than 1,000 scientists worldwide signed a document criticizing the global warming claims of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Charges of fudging data and making unprovable claims resounded as the scientists, many of whom called for the IPCC leaders to be fired, added their names to a growing list of “climate change skeptics.”
Of the insistence of global warming or climate change advocates, Christopher Booker concludes: “Any theory needing to rely so consistently of fudging the evidence must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply an alarming study in the aberrations of group psychology.” Debunking unproven claims about the earth heating up is indeed welcome news.
Impeachment Helps the Democrat Cause
by JBS President John F. McManus
Hardly a day goes by without someone or some group insisting that President Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Reasons for such a step include the President’s use of executive orders to make law, his refusal to enforce existing law, spying on citizens by the National Security Agency, the debacle in Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and more. These and other Obama deficiencies are real.
But impeachment by the House isn’t likely to be followed by conviction in the Senate. The Republicans in the House can approve impeachment with a simple majority vote. But getting two-thirds of the Senate (67 in number) to convict their president isn’t realistic. The Senate is currently top-heavy with Democrats and expecting them to oust their party leader is expecting something that isn’t realistically possible. And practically everyone who clamors for impeachment knows this.
So why is there so much discussion about impeachment? Two answers follow. The first is that some Republicans feel that calling for such a process impresses voters in their districts. Incumbents seeking reelection or ambitious outsiders hoping to win nomination and election for a House or Senate seat believe that the public is disgusted with Obama to the point where they want him removed. If pressed about the possibility of success, even these impeachment pleaders would have to admit that the goal they seek is unlikely to be achieved. In almost all cases, these GOPers are playacting while getting some media attention which is their real goal.
The second reason why impeachment is being discussed is that Democrats themselves are raising the issue. They want to paint Republicans as deeply partisan ogres who are ganging up on a wounded president. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently pointed out that some Republicans (John Boehner for one) are even planning to sue the president “on a path to impeach” while she and fellow Democrats are busily working to “create jobs.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claims that some Republicans are “hoping to get into office to impeach the president” soon after they win election. But even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggested that impeachment talk might “be a masterful stroke of Democrats running a false flag operation.”
Occasionally, realism surfaces. Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas) has labeled calls for impeachment “foolish.” He believes that Mr. Obama and his advisors want the impeachment process to move forward because it will fail while it generates sympathy for the president. He believes that this “is the only chance the Democrat Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat” in November.
Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), the newly named House Majority Whip who recently replaced primary loser Eric Cantor, notes that Democrats are capitalizing on talk of impeachment with fund-raising appeals. He adds that Democrats “will do anything they can to change the topic away from the president’s failed policies.”
Summing up: Impeachment by the House will not lead to conviction and removal of the President by the Senate. And Democrats dearly want calls for impeachment to continue because they help the Democrat cause.