Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church, in Drakes Branch, Virginia, and blogs at One True Joy.
My heart is heavy this morning as I consider the current situation in Iraq. It is a mess no matter which way you slice it. It really doesn’t matter whether you supported President George W. Bush’s initial action to invade Iraq. It really doesn’t matter if you supported President Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq. This is a mess, and the United States is right to act.
I often find myself torn in situations like this. I do not like that America has often taken the role of world police in various situations around the globe. I do not like that we continue to borrow from China in order to send money to countries that hate us. It seems that whenever there is conflict in the world, you can bet the Unites States will pick a side and fund it.
I voted for Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican primary. I would like to cast my ballot for Rand Paul in the 2016 Presidential Election. That is, if he doesn’t stick his foot in his mouth regarding this current crisis in Iraq. If he does, I will be forced to question his ability to govern this country, and likely will not support his candidacy.
I typically despise America’s interventionist tactics. In this case, however, someone has to do something. When two countries or two groups within a country are fighting, we should keep our nose out of it. When people are being systematically run out of their homes and murdered with no means of defending themselves (i.e. the Holocaust), justice demands we act.
History has not looked kindly upon those who did nothing as Hitler systematically evicted people from their homes and placed them in concentration camps. Many Jews and others were tortured and killed, and as any honest person would have to admit, not enough was done to stop the terror.
It is easy to look back on the Holocaust and wonder, “Why wasn’t something done to stop these atrocities?” It’s easy to become slightly self-righteous in thinking we would have done something had we had the ability to do so.
Well, here is our chance. Christians are being run out of their homes. Men, women, and children are being beaten, tortured, and killed in Iraq by the terrorist group ISIS, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. While we as individuals cannot hop on a plane and put a stop to this genocide, our government has the ability to defend the helpless.
I am reminded of a well-known quote often attributed to Edmund Burke:
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
I applaud the actions of President Obama thus far. President Obama has authorized air strikes to stop these Islamic militants. The U.S. has also been dropping humanitarian aid to those trapped on a mountaintop in Iraq. You can read more about these efforts here (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/07/iraq-christian-villages-flee/13710265/).
President Obama said in a speech Thursday night, “Today, America is coming to help.” Thank you, Mr. President. We are all tired of the constant conflict in the Middle East. I know that you were hesitant to get involved in more conflict in Iraq. I have those same feelings. However, we cannot run from a situation where we have a moral imperative to act just because we are tired of conflict.
I am praying for the President and his advisers. I am praying for those trapped on this mountaintop in Iraq and others who may still be fleeing. I am even praying for these Islamic militants as they are not yet beyond the reach of God’s saving hand. I ask you to join me. May we not be guilty of forgetting about this tragedy just because we find ourselves physically on the other side of the world.