While the media – accurately or inaccurately – focuses the
attention of the American people on the failure of the
government of Prime Minister al-Maliki, or the timing of
withdrawal of American troops, or the involvement of Syria
and Iran in support of the insurgents – an almost totally
ignored destruction of the Iraqi Christian community has
been taking place. Prior to the war, the Christians in
Iraq numbered about 3% of the 26 million population.

Christian leaders in Iraq estimate that as many as
half of the 800,000 Christians in Iraq under Saddam
Hussein have fled to Syria and Jordan. In the capitol city
of Baghdad at least half of the thousands of Christians
have fled or been killed, and they say that the government
has done nothing to protect them. In some areas such as
the district of Dora in the south, that figure is reported to
be as high as 70%. Under threats from al-Qaeda of
"convert or be killed," many have fled to Kurdish
controlled northern Iraq, where the village of Ankawa,
now terribly overcrowded, has become known as the
"city of Christ."

Father Bashar Warda of the St. Peter Seminary in Dora
who has been forced to move to Ankawa explained it this
way: "We are afraid the government of Iraq has a common
understanding with those making the threats that
Christians have no future in this country." Father Raymond
Mousselli,a spokesman for the refugees, said: "We cannot
hold on. The Muslims have issued warnings ‘convert or
you will be killed. People are being killed just for their faith."

A series of church bombings in August and September
sent an additional 30,000 - 40,000 Christians fleeing the
country according to estimates by government and church
officials who admit that hundreds of families leave each week.
Of 4,000 Iraqi families registered as refugees in Damascus,
more than half are Christians. Syrian authorities estimate
that as many as 300,000 Iraqis are living in that country.

This is not a condition limited to Iraq. While it is true
that the problem of religious freedom is extremely serious
in Iraq, it is also a matter of concern in other areas of the
world, including China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and
areas of India. The U.S. State Department last week issued
its Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, and
Secretary of State Condolezza Rice emphasized, "Freedom of
religion is integral to efforts to combat the ideology of
hatred and intolerance that fuels global terrorism."

By linking the oppression of religion to world-wide terrorism,
the significance of what is happening in Iraq – and elsewhere –
should begin to register with American Christians, who
should be demanding that our government do something to
protect Christians from the Islamic threats of "convert or be
killed." The problem here at home is that the liberals in the
media and in government keep insisting that Islam is a
religion of peace, despite the fact that Muslims are committing
acts of terrorism all over the world. The prevailing attitude is
more anti-Christian than anti-Muslim. Consider the ACLU
which claims to be defending our constitutional rights – but
is actually much more concerned with banning the singing of
Christmas carols in schools and instigating court action in
behalf of the Muslim woman who insisted her face should be
veiled in her driver license picture.

That government study reported on 198 countries, and found
that Iraq was one of those with the worst record. Concerning
Iraq the report said that all religions are "victims of harassment,
intimidation, kidnaping and killings," adding, "non-Muslims
are especially vulnerable to pressure and violence because of
their minority status."

We have recently observed another "9/11." What took
place on that day should have alerted every American to the
threat to our traditional moral values posed by Islam. Polls
disclose that only about half of our people realize that fact.
Perhaps the underlying problem is that our innate sense of
trust and decency stand in the way of our willingness to
confront and oppose an enemy like Islam, which attacks us
clothed in the guise of a religion "just as good" as ours. We
seem to be content to honor Muslim customs, rather than
defending our traditional Christian beliefs.

A wise word from Winston Churchill: "Never turn your
back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If
you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it
promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger
by half. Never run away from anything. Never!"

Afterthoughts . . .

"It is deja-vu all over again." Famous words from Yogi Berra,
the philosopher of the ball park. But sadly very true in our TV
world of today. After those months in 1995 when we were forced
by the TV programmers to watch the "trial of the century" – the
O.J. Simpson travesty of justice – we are about to be subjected to
more of the same with respect to his Las Vegas night on the town.
But those people who run TV programming feel it is only fair –
they haven’t had such an opportunity since the Scott Peterson
saga in 2004. So be prepared, America . . . O.J. is back! Oh, yes,
there’s another "deja vu" – Hillary has resurrected her failed
health care plan, and will try again to get it accepted.

Cindy Sheehan gets favorable recognition from Ramadan
Adassi, Chief or the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade terror group. His
accolade to Sheehan: "You give us hope... This sincere woman
says what we have been saying all these last years ... Now
Iraq is being decimated and America is losing... Voices like
Sheehan show things can change." We always felt that her
efforts would be appreciated by someone like that.

Two different relationships with God. (1) The Chairman
of the Nebraska Democrat party, State Senator Ernie Chambers,
has filed in Douglas County Court a lawsuit against God, asking
for "a permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease certain
harmful activities." Chambers believes this will put a stop to the
natural disasters occurring all over the world. The Clerk of the
Douglas County Court, John Friend, reported that a return filing
from God "miraculously appeared on the counter. It just all of
a sudden was here ... poof!" he said. It would seem to be a bit
dangerous to institute a lawsuit against God. But, of course, the
Plaintiff is after all a State Senator. (2) When entertainer Kathy
Griffin accepted her "EMMY" Award, she said, "A lot of people
come up here and thank Jesus for their award. I want you to
know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.
Suck it, Jesus. This is my god now," holding up her award. She
is probably right; Jesus very likely had nothing to do with her
winning the award. But that is an issue to be settled between
Kathy and the Lord when she stands before Him as Judge.

A new tourist attraction in Minneapolis; true – according
to reports, visitors from across America are flocking to the rest
room for men at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
to see the stall where U.S. Senator Larry Craig was arrested for
his actions with an undercover police officer. Not exactly an
attraction like the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge
or the Grand Canyon, but not everyone has the same sphere
of interest.

Sort of like the fox guarding the chicken coop. As further
evidence that we can not really trust the UN to safeguard our
national interests, Syria has been voted in as co-chairman of the
IAEA – the International Atomic Energy Agency. That is the UN
watchdog agency supposed to prevent rogue nations from getting
nuclear technology. IAEA does the policing of the nuclear actions
of Iran in which Syria can well be described as a "partner in crime."

A word of reassurance for Israel. According to former
president Jimmy Carter, Iran is no threat to Israel. Speaking at
Emory University, Carter said that "Iran is quite distant from
Israel. I think it would be almost inconceivable that Iran would
commit suicide by launching one or two missiles of any kind
against the nation of Israel." However the Iran deputy air force
commander said that Israel is in range of Iran medium-range
missiles and bombers, and that Iran would strike back if Israel
"makes a silly mistake." Given his record of accomplishments
in international affairs, Israel would be well advised not to
take seriously this opinion by Mr. Carter.

October 12 may have dual emphasis this year. The
usual observance on that date is Columbus Day, to commemorate
his arrival in America in 1492. However, according to the Iran
government news agency, Qods Day is observed each year on
the last Friday of Ramadan, and this year it falls on October 12.
Referring to the observance of Qods Day this year, the news
agency spokesman warned: "Supporters of the Zionist regime
will definitely receive the final response for their support on that
day." A specific warning was issued to Washington for "its wrong
policies and arrogant approaches." The modification of "9/11"
into "10/12" may be the progression the Iranians have in mind.
We have a bit more than a week to wait to see how Qods Day will
be observed this year.

A lasting thoughtful comment from Newt Gingrich. In a
discussion of the careers of athletes Brett Favre, outstanding
quarterback of the Green Bay Packers; Tiger Woods, probably
the greatest golfer of all time, and Joe Paterno, legendary football
coach at Penn State University, Newt had this to say about them:
"What Favre, Woods and Paterno have in common is that classic
American ability to dream big, work hard, learn everyday,
enjoy life and be true to themselves... As long as the American
spirit remains this vibrant, we will continue to overcome the
gridlock and frustrations of politics and government through
the energy liberated by individuals, families and businesses
living out the American dream."
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