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Old 01-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #76
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Let's try and get back on topic, everyone.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #77
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Casualties in Iraq - Antiwar.com
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #78
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Christians Under Siege as Radical Islam Sweeps 'New Middle East'

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Christians Under Threat as Radical Islam Spreads in 'New Middle East'


Attacked by mobs and terrorists, repressed by the growing popularity of fundamentalist Islamic law and cut off from crucial business ties, Christians are fleeing the Middle East in an unprecedented exodus.

More than half of Iraqi Christians — an estimated 400,000 people — have left that country over the last decade as power has fallen in the hands of increasingly hostile Shi'a Islamic leaders.

In Egypt, home to at least 8 million Copt Christians — a number that exceeds the populations of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia — at least 95,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The number could reach 250,000 by the end of this year, reports the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights.

"At the present rate, the Middle East's 12 million Christians will likely drop to 6 million in the year 2020. With time, Christians will effectively disappear from the region as a cultural and political force," reports Daniel Pipes, a leading scholar of the Middle East.

The most popular destination for fleeing Christians was the United States, which took in an estimated 42,000 of the Egyptian Copts. Other destinations included Canada, Australia and western Europe.

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Afghanistan destroys last Christian church
Posted by LTIA on October 12, 2011

There is not a single, public Christian church left in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. State Department. “The last public Christian church in Afghanistan was razed in March 2010, according to the State Department’s latest International Religious Freedom Report…“There is no longer a public Christian church; the courts have not upheld the church’s claim to its 99-year lease, and the landowner destroyed the building in March [2010],… also … there are no Christian schools in the country.
“[Private] chapels and churches for the international community of various faiths are located on several military bases, PRTs [Provincial Reconstruction Teams], and at the Italian embassy.
“Freedom of religion has declined in Afghanistan, according to the State Department.
While I'm all for self-determination--this is what we're fighting, and dying, and paying for? An absolute disgrace and this is one conservative who supports the president pulling out troops as quickly as possible.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #79
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I have absolutely no idea what the hell we're supposedly fighting for anymore in any of the countries we've gone into in recent years. The whole thing's just nothing but madness in my eyes.

What a tragic story. I can't even begin to imagine how scary this must be for the people in the midst of all this. I hope those who've fled can manage to find somewhere relatively safe to go.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:11 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDY500
Christians Under Siege as Radical Islam Sweeps 'New Middle East'

While I'm all for self-determination--this is what we're fighting, and dying, and paying for? An absolute disgrace and this is one conservative who supports the president pulling out troops as quickly as possible.
So they were better under Saddam?
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:37 AM   #81
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Actually, yes. While they, along with everyone, suffered from war and later from the sanctions, the inter-religious conflicts, and especially the persecution of the Christian minority, did only turn violent after the 2003 invasion.
Some of it is due to al-Quaeda and other groups instigating against them, some is also explained by people lumping them in together with the West and seeing the Christians as traitors.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:04 AM   #82
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Pretty sure the Assyrians were being persecuted and murdered long before the 2003 US invasion
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:23 AM   #83
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Actually, yes.
I was being somewhat tongue in cheek, for anytime someone spoke out against the Iraq war we would get, "and you think they are better under Saddam Hussein?"
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #84
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There certainly was violence under Saddam against Assyrians/Chaldeans, most of whom lived in the Kurdish areas targeted by the regime in the late 80s. It should be noted though that, like the persecution of the Kurds, that violence was ethnicity-based, part of Ba'athist "Arabization" policy (well, that and control of the oilfields). Granted, in practice it can sometimes get difficult to distinguish ethnic from religious persecution and that might pertain to some degree today also, but at any rate, if one were looking for examples of specifically "religion-based persecution" in Iraq, Saddam's violence against Assyrians/Chaldeans wouldn't be a very good example.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #85
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Indeed, it's a strongly qualified yes. Under Saddam, it was no fun to live for anyone. An Iraq with Saddam was not desirable at all, no question. But the reason for most to be against the war has never been that people favoured Saddam so much, but just how the war came about.
However, there has been a considerable increase in violence against the Christian minorities after the invasion from elements of the society other than the government.
There's a common sentiment among all groups that there has hardly been any change at all ever since the invasion. Some cynics say the only difference is, now it's not Saddam anymore who runs the country, but other than that it's exactly the same. And unfortunately, for many people this can be said to be true. Other than the Kurdistan region, which since 1991 has enjoyed relative peace and safety, there's nowhere in Iraq where attacks aren't common.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
There certainly was violence under Saddam against Assyrians/Chaldeans, most of whom lived in the Kurdish areas targeted by the regime in the late 80s. It should be noted though that, like the persecution of the Kurds, that violence was ethnicity-based, part of Ba'athist "Arabization" policy (well, that and control of the oilfields). Granted, in practice it can sometimes get difficult to distinguish ethnic from religious persecution and that might pertain to some degree today also, but at any rate, if one were looking for examples of specifically "religion-based persecution" in Iraq, Saddam's violence against Assyrians/Chaldeans wouldn't be a very good example.
I understand what you're saying. but I don't think ethnicity and religion can be uncoupled so easily.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:50 PM   #87
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Some history...

IRAQ IN THE 20TH CENTURY: A BRIEF HISTORY
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:16 PM   #88
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Mitch Daniels thought the Iraq War would be cheap:

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Daniels was responsible for estimating the cost of the invasion of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom. The operation was estimated to last six months, and did not include a projection of the long-term cost of maintaining a military presence in the region after its immediate occupation.[25] In 2002, Assistant to the President on Economic Policy Lawrence B. Lindsey estimated the cost at between $100–$200 billion, much higher than Daniels' estimate. Daniels called Lindsey's estimate "very, very high" and stated that the costs would be between $50–$60 billion.[26] President Bush ultimately requested $75 billion to finance the operation during the fiscal year, and according to a 2010 Congressional Research Service report, the first fiscal year of the war cost $51 billion.[27] The failure to provide long term cost estimates led opponents to claim that Daniels and the administration had suggested the entire war would cost less than $60 billion.[24][25]
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #89
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I'm tired of this whole "The war was worth it because we got rid of Saddam" bullshit.

Iraq under Saddam was terrible, agreed.

But that doesn't justify the war.

If you think it does, then you must be for invading and having a decade long occupation of all the other brutal dictatorships around the world, including: North Korea, Syria, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
I have absolutely no idea what the hell we're supposedly fighting for anymore in any of the countries we've gone into in recent years.
1) Securing the peace.
2) Protecting our borders.
3) Fighting our enemies over there so they don't follow us home.
4) Preventing another 9/11. (Think about it, there hasn't been an attack since we went into Iraq.)
5) Spreading American freedom, exceptionalism, opportunity and democracy around the world.
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