Christians in America remain free to celebrate Christmas, but not tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of believers abroad. Murder by groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram topped pervasive persecution and discrimination in many nations.
On Christmas Eve, senator and presidential contender Marco Rubio penned an article decrying the lack of “attention paid to the plight of these Christian communities in peril.” He criticized the Obama administration and called for action.
Undoubtedly, Rubio’s concern is genuine. However, the GOP’s policies have hurt and will continue to hurt Christians around the world.
No single action was as injurious to Middle Eastern Christians as the invasion of Iraq. American intervention triggered a sectarian conflict which displaced hundreds of thousands of Christians, spawned a new al-Qaeda organization which morphed into the Islamic State, and tolerated ruthless Shia rule which encouraged Baathists and Sunnis to support ISIL. Absent George W. Bush’s Iraq folly, backed by Rubio and most of his competitors, the Islamic State wouldn’t exist.
Most of the usual GOP suspects, starting with Rubio, also backed the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in the Libyan civil war. This misbegotten policy left two competing governments and multiple armed militias in its wake. Worse still, it left a vacuum partly filled by the Islamic State, which publicly murdered Egyptian Copts who were working in Libya.