Although it has received very little media attention in the USA, which is obsessed with other media stories, a remarkable development has occurred in Europe. The first two links [1, 2] document that Pope Francis has surprised many by calling for military action vs. ISIL, which has been killing and torturing Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. The Pope has called for an international military action vs. ISIL, which is a remarkable development. It has been a long time since a Pope led the charge for a war effort. Indeed, has this happened at all since the last crusade in Medieval times?
I may surprise some people by saying this, but I applaud the Pope for his action. I wish every Christian leader would have the guts to call ISIL the evil force it is and call for it to be stopped and hurled back with military power. The second link shows one other Christian leader has agreed with the Pope’s call for military force. A Protestant leader, the Anglican Archbishop of Leeds, sounds like he was joining the Pope’s call for action.
Most interestingly, the Pope’s statement has seemed to galvanize the willingness of European governments to coordinate their actions to arm the Kurds so they can hurl back the ISIL Jihadis. The third link and fourth link relate that the governments of Germany, Italy, France and the UK (see also second link re: the UK) are now willing to send heavier weaponry to the Kurds. Given that the ISIL forces captured a number of US tanks from the fleeing Iraqi army troops in Mosul, the Kurds especially need the anti-tank weapons which are, apparently, now on the way. I was watching the TV cable news networks (CNN, Fox News and Al Jazeera America) today and one of them had a text crawler that also confirmed Germany was willing to coordinate its military aid with the UK, France and Italy. I thought it was noteworthy that the USA was not listed as a nation in that coalition. That may be an oversight or it may be that allied nations have now lost so much trust in the Obama administration re: foreign policy matters that they can’t count on it for anything. While the USA’s airstrikes have blunted the ISIL advance into the Kurdish region and helped the Kurds take back the Mosul dam from ISIL, the ISIL forces have scarcely been attacked anywhere else. Indeed, the US air strikes have been rather underwhelming so far. I haven’t seen any report that they have taken out any high-value targets such as tanks or self-propelled artillery units. I’ve only seen examples of US air strikes attacking low-value targets such as mortar positions and pick-up trucks so far. Even those minor pinprick strikes were enough to galvanize the Kurdish morale to hurl back the ISIL forces. If even minor US air strikes have helped Kurdish morale so much, think what the Kurds could have done if the US had hit ISIL with B-52 or B-1 mass bombing strikes as I called for in my recent post.
As is noted in the third and fourth links, Germany’s willingness to send weaponry to a foreign war theater is the first time it has done so since World War II, a major break with Germany’s post-World War II pacifist record. I also applaud the moves of all the European nations who send military equipment or forces to the Kurds hurl back the ISIL forces even further and save the minorities and refugees who are being murderously attacked and killed by ISIL. The willingness of the Pope to call for military action in the Mideast against Islamic Jihadis and the willingness of European nations to respond to that call is a truly remarkable development. It may or may not have a future prophetic impact, but this is a development which needs to be watched closely.
What I find very disappointing is the comatose response of the Sunni nations of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc. to the barbaric and wicked conduct of ISIL forces as they torture and kill their way across northern Iraq and Syria. Why are these Sunni nations doing nothing? Don’t they grasp the ISIL madmen are giving Sunni Islam a very bad image all over the earth? The last link reports that some influential Islamic clerics are finally denouncing the ISIL madmen. It’s about time some of them did.
The second link introduces the word “crusade” into the narrative of this story. We are a long way from any crusade, but if we were living in the 12th century and a Pope had called for military action against murderous Muslims killing Christians in the Mideast and all of Europe was still devoutly Catholic, we’d likely be witnessing the start of a real crusade.