Listen to ISIS’s Story – the one where they behead children

A French post card showing Yezidi leaders meet...

A French post card showing Yezidi leaders meeting with a chaldean clergyman in Mesopotamia. Yezidis are part of the Gnostic cult of Angels. A mysterious religion that seems to have been influenced by Islam and Zoroasterism. Today they number 200,000 mostly living in Iraq and Syria. They are mostly Kurds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have thus far attempted to focus on local issues on this blog, but…

I am not a pacifist. I do not believe it is justifiable, either by Scripture or Tradition. I believe in Just War. I likewise believe in the preservation of human life.

The only thing ISIS wants us to hear is that they intend to destroy all opposition to the Caliphate, including women and children.

“Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

via Leader: ISIS is ‘Systematically Beheading Children’ in ‘Christian Genocide’ | CNS News.

We know the Yazidi are being systematically destroyed. This is a genocide.

This is not about the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah. This is about the slaughter of men, women, and children — rape, brutal murder…

I voted for the President, in part, because he promised to keep us out of Iraq. I do not want to be in Iraq. In fact, I believe that the history of Western colonization of the Middle East has helped to lead us to to this point. But, regardless — we are here.

This is not Rwanda. This is Iraq.

ISIS has only one story to tell — death.

I believe our rejoinder should be just, merciful and quick. We have no need to listen to the narratives of these people. We need to shut them up without any hope of rebuttal.

If we do nothing, our story will be one of hell and may God give us the same fate we allow others to suffer.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,125 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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13 thoughts on “Listen to ISIS’s Story – the one where they behead children

  1. Spoken like a true armchair warrior.

    The present problem in Iraq was created by another couple of armchair warriors – draft-dodgers Dick “Chickenhawk” Cheney and George “Whimp” Bush. Unlike some of us, those two warmongers assiduously avoided active duty military service during Vietnam – or anytime for that matter! Both Yellow Elephant prototypes received numerous student deferments. As Cheney later recalled, “[He had] other priorities in the 60’s than military service.”

    Nevertheless, with ample assistance from a tight-knit cohort of neoconservative drinking buddies, this God’s-man-with-God’s-plan duodenum duo manged to both further destabilize the Middle East while adding at least $2 trillion to America’s national debt.

    To loosely paraphrase Hosea 8:7, “having sown the wind” of yet another hobby war, the United States is now watching rather impotently as a tornado of death and destruction is unleashed in Iraq and the Middle East. Moreover, to borrow from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as found in Matthew 7:16, 20, with a little help from modern author John Steinbeck, Christian America is getting a good look at those bitter fruits known as grapes of wrath.

    Much like the Viet Cong (“Charlie” in Namspeak), the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a creature of America’s own making. Essentially, it is a product of United States meddling.

    Trying to get ISIS to “stop their aggression, or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age,” isn’t prove more effective in the 21st century Middle East than it did when Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay first proposed it as a solution in Vietnam during the 1960s.

    The only way to keep and hold territory is to have boots on the ground. Doing that requires resources and commitment. Historically, this isn’t one of the United State’s strong points since World War II. Instead, more modern American’s like their wars short, bloodless, and victorious.

    Moreover, much like George W. Bush, sons of the rich are particularly risk aversive when it comes to putting on a uniform. Instead, again like Bush, they tend to be uncommonly brave with other people’s lives.

    Even putting America’s aversion to personal sacrifice aside, the notion of waging a Just Augustine/Aquinas War in the Middle East is pure nonsense. History clearly shows that prospects for a successful outcome are nonexistent when Western intervention is added to the already volatile mix. Nor is any semblance of lasting peace a reality. To further complicate matters, the specter of yet another generation of Christian Crusaders arriving to take the Holy Land is still a potent rallying cry in the region.

    Nevertheless, to appease those inclined to think otherwise, I propose a very straightforward solution. Since the current conflict in Iraq is primarily a religious war, why not clear out every rightwing pulpit and conservative seminary in the United States. Throw in the pundits from Fox News for good measure. Teach them which is their rifle and which is their gun and let them do pushups until I’m tired. Then ship their a$$es to Iraq while the rest of us sit back and see whose side God’s really on.

    • I actually said that we have caused this – however, by letting what is happening continue, what greater harm are we going to allow? I do not mean to suggest we invade Iraq… but that we destroy the ISIS power and advance.

      • What? Sow another wind to stop the whirlwind the United States started by sowing the first wind?

        Frankly, that sounds more like recipe for disaster akin to Captain Smith trying plug the hole in the Titanic by trying to strike another iceberg with sufficient force to plug the hole cause by striking the previous iceberg!

  2. “Spoken like a true armchair warrior.”

    Isn’t Just War theory really “armchair warrior theory”? I wonder if there’s any war in history that was just by its standards.

    • Good question. The Augustine/Aquinas just war doctrine or theory, depending on whose assessment one chooses, only developed after Christians acquired secular power.

      An ancillary question is whether Christianity conquered Rome or did Rome ultimately co-opt the fledgling religion. In other words, is a just war merely one blessed by dominant clergy?

      Along the same line of thought, is whether the theologically inclined are sufficiently cerebral to separate just war from holy war! After all, living in the next life before one is finished with this one tends to produce some rather curious concepts.

      Then, despite a rather broad panoply of existing theories of war, there is a question of whether the present conflict paradigm will introduce a new, or at least significantly modified, model of war.

      An associated question is whether, having become accustomed to a relatively rigid Cold War pattern of proxy wars with communism, the United States is capable of adapting to an evolving and perpetually shapeshifting neoClausewitzian variation of “politics by other means.”

  3. I meant to place my comments on Yezidi’s here.
    Worth American lives?
    Yezidi and mainline Iraqi’s have deep seated hate for each other.
    From
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/13/gender.iraq

    Rapes carried out against Shia or Christian women have been justified by insurgent groups as revenge for what was done to women in Abu Ghraib. But the extent to which the abuse of women has become both the vehicle and the justification for sectarian hatred in Iraq was demonstrated most chillingly in the April killing of Du’a Khalil Aswad. A 17-year-old from Nineveh, Du’a was stoned in front of hundreds of men, some of whom videoed what happened on their mobile phones.

    Climbing steadily past olive groves north of Mosul, the road into Du’a’s home town of Bashiqa is dominated by the conical shrines of the Yezidi sect, an ancient religion that predates both Islam and Christianity. Their veneration of a fallen angel in the form of a blue peacock has led to the common slur in Iraq that the Yezidis are devil-worshippers and the community suffers entrenched discrimination.

    After Du’a’s death, the international media widely repeated a claim made on a number of Islamic extremist websites that she had been killed because she converted to Islam, but local reports do not concur. Some people tell me she had run away with her Muslim boyfriend and they had been stopped at a checkpoint outside Mosul; others say she had been seen by her father and uncle just talking with the boy in public and, fearing her family’s reaction, they had sought protection at the police station. Either way, the police handed Du’a into the custody of a local Yezidi sheikh. One woman tells me that after she was stoned in the town square, Du’a’s body was tied behind a car and dragged through the streets.

  4. American public perception of war is the product of constantly being fed a diet of carefully orchestrated post-Vietnam propaganda. Follow the link below for an insight into why the published pabulum never varies from the carefully scripted formula.

    Yet, underneath the carefully crafted facade, the true face of war in always the same.

    WARNING: For anyone – veteran or otherwise – suffering from PTSD resulting from experiences associated with fire, click with caution. The transfixed pain transcends the black and white image.

    At the same time, it is worth pointing out to virgins that, no matter how graphic, images and writing can never convey the visceral sounds and smells associated with violence.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/08/the-war-photo-no-one-would-publish/375762/

  5. To re-emphasize, not war related, but cultural and religious,
    “Either way, the police handed Du’a into the custody of a local Yezidi sheikh. One woman tells me that after she was stoned in the town square, Du’a’s body was tied behind a car and dragged through the streets.”
    This was done by the Yezidi religious leaders, and their followers. So who is worse? ISIS or Yezidi culture. Is either worth going to war over, unless there is a direct threat to us? And don’t B.S. About a threat to the U.S.. Just like Sadam’s mushroom cloud? I changed my mind. No worth it.

  6. Here’s an intriguing question that the media has covered as of today (August 9, 2014). To my knowledge, the closest is the USA Today article linked below.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/09/anti-semitism-europe/13662903/

    Previous media reports from Europe pointed out anti-antisemitism on the Continent rivals that not seen since the Third Reich came to power in Germany.

    In addition, as the link below reveals, there was also that recent scathing assessment of Israel delivered in the Irish parliament. Although he never quite gets around to saying it, Senator Norris basically says Israel is currently being run by a bunch of Zionazis (to coin a new word based on an old theme)!

    Meanwhile, a more relevant question for the United States is whether American military intervention in Iraq ultimately come back to haunt Israel.

    Beginning with the Bush presidential tag team (George and Georgie Junior), and as continued by Bush wannabe Barack Obama, Christianity’s perceived war in Islam may provide the tipping point that unleashes the full force of Islamic fury on Israel.

    In the end, it won’t matter who wins in any showdown between the Arab states and Israel. Even if Israel wins, it may be little more than a Pyrrhic victory.

    Fans of American football are familiar with the Pyrrhic victory phenomenon. It occurs when one team suffers so many injuries in the playoffs that it takes the field on Super Bowl Sunday as walking wounded. As a result, it loses the championship in a lopsided defeat. Winning the playoffs constituted a Pyrrhic victory for that losing Super Bowl contender.

    This actually happened to Britain coming out of World War II. Although technically the winner, both World Wars so weakened the Empire that it lost most of what was left of its colonial influence.

    France, the second largest colonial power before the Great Depression, also came out of World War II unable to fend off a ragtag band of colonial rebels in a little place in Southeast Asia known as Vietnam. Even prior to Dien Bien Phu (the French equivalent of Tet) and subsequent American troop deployments, the United States was funding that misguided anti-communist initiative.

    By the way, for those still believing in God-with-us American exceptionalism, a Pyrrhic victory is one likely outcome for the United States after an eventual mid-century conflict with China. The other, of course, is defeat.

    At that point, all bets are off on Israel. Last I heard, Arabs were breeding faster than Jews.

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