Erica Hunter, a professor of early Christianity at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, says historical evidence shows that by the early third century, the faith was well established in what is now southern Iraq by the Lakhmid dynasty, an Arab kingdom whose final ruler converted to Christianity [...] Hunter is cautious about claims the newly discovered ruins are Iraq’s oldest church, but adds, “They certainly must be very, very early,” perhaps dating to the fourth century dating. (ht)
The article is a great one, detailing the influx of refugees due to religious issues… leaving their homes and arriving in the U.S…. but this part in particular caught my eye…
Residents in Worcester, Mass., also have looked with curiosity as hundreds of recently resettled Iraqi refugees, who practice the pre-Christian Mandaean religion, hold early morning baptisms in Lake Quisigamond. Mandaeans have seen their population decrease in Iraq from 70,000 in the 1990s to just 3,000 today. In addition, more than 1,000 Iranian Mandaeans have fled to the U.S. after Iran passed laws prohibiting Mandaeans in civil life.
First, I hope that this promise is held up. Secondly, I want Afghanistan too. Third, the GOP’ers who are criticizing this are showing that they are either moral monsters, or have no clue as to why a rush like this is better than a long, drawn out process.
President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country by year’s end.
“Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home,” Obama said.
“The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops,” Obama said. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.” (here)
It didn’t take long for Mitt Romney to come out and accuse the President of something. It was the lack of an orderly withdrawal.
“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” Romney said in a statement. “The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government.”
Let’s remember that this timetable was set by by George W. Bush, and one which the Iraqi government supports. Further, by doing it this quickly, the President actually prevents a long drawn out attack on forces which would no doubt keep us there longer.
I have never supported the Iraqi War, and I am glad that our troops are finally coming home. I do hope and pray that their departure is a safe and secure one, and that these proud men and women are home by Christmas.
Looks like the Military-Industrial complex will have to find another place to use their tools.
The Obama administration has decided to drop the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the year down to 3,000, marking a major downgrade in force strength, multiple sources familiar with the inner workings and decisions on U.S. troop movements in Iraq told Fox News.
Senior commanders are said to be livid at the decision, which has already been signed off by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Almost nothing can more completely foil a plan than a war followed by a protracted occupation. But despite an impressive array of obstacles, the University of Mosul in Iraq is going ahead with an ambitious project: building a new library to revive the ancient library of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal, the ruins of which are located just outside the modern city of Mosul. After the invasion of Iraq by the United States, Mosul, a focal point of violence in the early years of the war, became difficult terrain for a large-scale cultural development project. But now, plans hatched a decade ago to revive a treasure of Iraq’s cultural legacy are coming closer to fruition.
“The project is intended to have archaeological studies at its core and to serve as a center for archaeologists all over the world to be acquainted with the deep-rooted civilization of ancient Iraq,” says Ali Yassin al-Juboori, dean of the College of Archaeology at the University of Mosul and the primary organizer of the endeavor.
“[Liberals] will decry the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or call for universal health care, but continue to defend and support a Democratic Party that has no intention of disrupting the corporate machine. As long as the charade is played… It can maintain its privileged economic status. It can continue to live in an imaginary world where democratic reform and responsible government exist.”
And Iraq too? I hope so… This morning, the news broke that Gen. Petraeus will be apppointed to be the head spy-guy at the CIA while Leon Panetta is taking over the Pentagon. We know that Petraeus is the political figure which ‘restored hope’, etc… in our mission in Afghanistan, blah blah blah. We need to get out of those countries (although, my concern, especially with Afghanistan, is the effects it will have on the women in that country) and indeed, the over over-100 other countries where we have an American military presence.
CIA director Leon Panetta is to take over at the Pentagon and Gen. David Petraeus is to be nominated to head the CIA, sources told The Associated Press Wednesday. (here)
While I like Petreaus going over the CIA (which may in fact have much more behind it than moving slots), I am not sure of Panetta.
Anyway, I hope that this means that the draw down date set in July actually means something and will turn into a flat-out withdrawal.
As always, let us pray for the men and women in uniform.
At least seven people were injured when a bomb outside the entrance of a Baghdad church exploded on Easter Sunday, an Iraqi police official said.
The blast took place just yards (meters) from the Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood. Shrapnel from the bomb struck the outside of the building, and at least four of the church’s windows were shattered. Shards of broken glass lay on the street in front of the building. (here)
We are wasting $700 million a day to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while our teachers, firefighters and police lose their jobs, while we slash basic assistance programs for the poor, children and the elderly, while we turn our backs on the some 3 million people being pushed from their homes by foreclosures and bank repossessions and while we do nothing to help the one in six American workers who cannot find work. These wars have taken hundreds of thousands of lives. They have pushed millions into refugee or displacement camps. They have left young men and women severely crippled and maimed. They have turned our nation into an isolated pariah, fueling the very terrorism we seek to defeat. And they cannot be won. The sooner we leave Iraq and Afghanistan the sooner we will save others and finally save ourselves. Chris Hedges
Members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gave President Obama a rare push on Saturday, adopting a resolution attempting to encourage the administration to move toward a speedier withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The DNC is currently holding its annual winter meeting, where its hundreds of members from all around the country converge in Washington, D.C. to discuss finances, debate resolutions, and of course, figure out how elect (and re-elect) Democrats — including Obama — in 2012.