Current Refugee Crisis Must Be Laid at President Obama's Feet

A man reacts amid damage from what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Katerji district in Aleppo.
A man reacts amid damage from what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Katerji district in Aleppo. (Reuters)

"It is up to us in our time to choose, and choose wisely, between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day," said President Ronald Reagan

The images of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya is a mass Muslim migration mess. Millions fleeing for their lives is a heartbreaking sight. German Foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier said, "This is the biggest challenge for the European Union in its history."

As the trickle has become a torrent, it is important to ask, "Why did this happen?" and "Who is responsible?"

Here's the deal: Desperate people are trying to escape persecution and tyranny. Radical Islamists/ISIS want to purge the area of Christ followers and dissidents. Syrian President Bashar Assad wantonly kills or imprisons opponents, using chemical weapons on innocent men, women and children. As Jewish refugees fled Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, fearful families and individuals are trying to get out of their war-torn homelands while they still have a chance.

In Syria, 4 million have fled amid civil war. Two million of these are Christians, leaving only 400,000 in the land where the apostle Paul was converted at Damascus and believers were first called Christians at Antioch.

In Iraq, the genocide is a brutal purging of Christians and government opponents. People in their religious communities are fleeing from barbaric Islamic terrorists.

On Sunday night, 60 Minutes highlighted the persecution of Christians in Iraq. The investigation revealed ancient, sacred manuscripts from the first century have been destroyed along with historic church buildings and irreplaceable relics.

The report was chilling, claiming that "125,000 Christians have been forced from their homes in a year."

The Christian religion, which has been present here since the first century, is being "wiped out." For the first time in almost 2000 years, "there are no Christians left in Mosul." "As Nazis marked Jewish homes, ISIS marks the homes of Christians: Convert, pay an extortion tax or be executed." A courageous bishop said, "They want to wipe out the Christians!"

This refugee crisis is primarily due to radical Islam causing communities to be torn apart. When young daughters are raped, men and boys are barbarically executed, and clerics abducted, what would you do?

Donald Trump bluntly labels current politicians, including the president as "stupid" and "incompetent." The more closely we examine foreign policy, including the "Iran Nuclear Deal," we must ask if Trump is accurate.

Examining this refugee catastrophe, I'm persuaded that President Barack Obama's stubbornness, cowardice and inaction are central to this humanitarian crisis. This is not merely a misguided political blunder but an unconscionable crime against humanity.

Neville Chamberlain Revisited?

When Hitler came to power, he set his sights on a portion of land. Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler to discuss the issue. The Fuhrer promised that he would make no further territorial demands if he was appeased. Chamberlain caved.

Chamberlain returned to Great Britain declaring, "Peace in our time! ... Hitler promised no more territorial demands in Europe."

Chamberlain was naive. Hitler got what he wanted. A year later, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began, resulting in over 60 million deaths. Reckless decisions have consequences.

The parallels with Obama's recent "deal" with Iran are chilling. Why is he ignoring the lessons of history? Hitler's deceit bought him more time to arm until he was ready for war. Iran's leaders, committed to the destruction of Israel and America, the "Great Satan," are mocking us derisively. It's called appeasement and an apocalyptic future is inevitable.

The same feckless approach is what our president has followed with Syria, Iraq and Libya, resulting in the current refugee surge.

  • President Assad of Syria is a maniacal dictator and demonized butcher of his own people. Nearly half the nearly 400,000 who fled to Europe this year are Syrian. His regime's tactics force any opponents to flee or die.

The international community of nations has long condemned chemical weapons. In 2012, Obama communicated that the use of chemical weapons is "a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front."

When Assad was caught using chemical weapons to kill 1,400 innocent civilians, our president did nothing except sheepishly backtrack on his warning. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated that Obama damaged the United States' credibility by drawing a red line against Syria's use of chemical weapons and then failed to back it up with military force when Syria crossed the line. He said it was a mistake when Obama failed to enforce the warning with no action.

He eviscerated the president publicly, saying: "I think the credibility of the United States is on the line. It was important for us to stand by our word and go in and do what a commander in chief should do."

It's called appeasement. As Syria hemorrhages with millions who feel betrayed and abandoned by America, blame falls at our president's feet.

  • Iraq is a similar indictment on President Obama's "leadership." He refused to heed the counsel of all the military brass to leave a transitional force in Iraq to assist in training their forces and ensure security. Remember his boast, "We're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq"? Tragically his disengagement policy led to this refugee catastrophe and tens of thousands of needless deaths. The 60 Minutes report featured a Christian leader tearfully saying, "The United States walked away and now ISIS is a cancer that has come to kill and destroy. It's a cleansing of Christianity!" It is also appeasement.

  • Libya is another example. In 2011 after the dictator Gaddafi was killed, Obama heralded "a new democratic Libya." Again, prematurely removing our forces opened the door for jihadis, chaos resulted with tens of thousands fleeing for their lives. When he subsequently pulled all troops out of Iraq (the firewall providing protection from Iran), ISIS moved in. Respected leaders label this "Obama's biggest foreign policy mistake."

  • Egypt is still another indictment on our inexperienced President. Remember Obama hailing the "Arab Spring" uprising and expressing support for Mohammed Morsi of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, an organization committed to the destruction of Israel?

Thank God President Morsi was quickly overthrown by the military in July 2013. He was convicted of colluding with foreign militants—from the Islamist Hamas and Hezbollah movements. He and more than 100 other people were sentenced to death for their subversive activity and conspiring to commit terrorist acts with foreign, radical organizations undermining national security.

What was Obama thinking? In the coming days if jihadis progress, there'll be an even bigger flight of the Coptic Christians. They represent the remaining Christian population in this nation that not long ago was predominantly Christian!

Europe will reach a breaking point if the refugee exodus escalates. The 28-nation European Union may dissolve. Millions in Africa may join the exodus, sensing an openness and opportunity for a better life in Europe.

Europe also faces the grim reality that it is steadily being repopulated with a Muslim makeup. Saudi Arabia has already offered Germany megabucks to build 200 new mosques in that nation alone! While those in Europe and we here in America have a moral responsibility to pray, extend compassionate care and help those fleeing for their lives, we do need to hold leaders accountable for what has happened—especially our president.

Obama's lack of courageous leadership and his example for leaders of other nations has resulted in "cover" provided for barbaric and radical ISIS terrorists to perpetrate atrocities, genocide, misery and needless deaths in addition to this refugee catastrophe.

It has also opened the door for Islamic terrorists to exploit this refugee surge and seize the opportunity to slip into countries undetected. I say all of this as a Christian leader who daily prays for President Obama, has done so for seven years and has worked tirelessly for 40 years with a ministry promoting fasting and prayer for America and our leaders.

No More Spineless, Man-Pleasing Leaders!

In my study I have an autographed picture from one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan. He stood up fearlessly to the Soviet Union and publicly declaring at the Berlin Wall, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" He held a conviction of "peace through strength" and stated, "Trust, but verify."

Reagan's presidency demonstrated principled leadership. He projected strength to allies and opponents. Let's conclude with simply one example.

In August 1981, PATCO, the air traffic controllers union, wanted higher wages and benefits and threatened a strike unless Reagan acquiesced to demands. Knowing it took three years of training for the position, the union was confident the president would back down and bow to the 13,000 workers.

Facing a collision course, the "Gipper," declared the strike "illegal" and ordered them back to work within 48 hours or forfeit their jobs. The nation held its breath to see what would be the outcome.

Union leaders challenged the president. Contingency plans were set in motion to provide airline service. Reagan fired 11,359 air traffic controllers. The union was decertified and went bankrupt. Its leaders were jailed. PATCO is placed with the Soviet Union on the trash heap of history.

Heroic leaders persist to do what's right and not necessarily popular. They honor their word.

As this tragic exodus of refugees continues before our eyes and a sad chapter closes on this present commander in chief, may we be wise and determine never to go this way again as we select a successor in the coming election.

"The characteristic of heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have chosen your part, abide by it and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common heroic. ... If you would serve your brother because it is fit for you to serve him, do not take back your words when you find that even prudent people do not commend you."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.

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