Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Since Obama’s Arab Spring, over a million Christians have fled Iraq and Syria. The number of Iraqi Christians fell by two thirds. Obama wouldn’t call it genocide. He wouldn’t hammer ISIS.
And so the people of this country elected a president who would do the job that Obama wouldn’t do.
After ISIS took Fallujah, Obama infamously dismissed the Islamic State as a “jayvee” team that wasn’t worth paying attention to. A few months later, the ISIS jayvee team took Mosul and made it a key stronghold. Beyond being the third largest city in Iraq, Mosul and the Nineveh plains were an ancient center of Christian life. But the Islamic State had a simple message for Mosul’s Christians.
“After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword.”
When President Trump came into office, he made it clear that there would be nothing between America and ISIS except the bomb. He vowed to “demolish and destroy ISIS”. And he kept his word. He unleashed the full firepower of our military and
Now that the American bomb has broken the sword of Islam, Iraqi Christians are celebrating their first Christmas since the ISIS capture of Mosul.
“We offer them three choices,” ISIS had declared. The Christians could become ‘dhimmis’. That would mean accepting an inferior status in the Islamic State and paying jizya protection money to Muslims. And if they didn’t want to pay, the Christians could always convert to Islam. But, the Islamic group warned, “If they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.”
ISIS was bringing back all the old and ugly traditions of Islam: Jizya and the dhimmi codes, sex slavery and child rape. And the Christians of Iraq were among the first to experience the consequences of Islam. Their houses were branded with the Arabic “N” for Nassarah and they fled for their lives.
“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” Patriarch Louis Sako announced.
On another hot summer, three months later, ISIS was driven out of Mosul in a battle that could never have been fought and won under the last occupant of the White House. The furious airstrikes that smashed the Islamic State’s hold on the city, neighborhood by neighborhood, driving ISIS fighters from their temporary bases in buildings every time the forces on the ground needed help, made victory possible in some of the toughest urban battles since Stalingrad. The unleashed United States Air Force battered the beheaders and child rapists of ISIS in a way that Obama would never have allowed.
Over a year after the fall of Mosul, our forces still had their hands tied tightly behind their backs. Even when it came to taking out the tanker trucks that carried the financial lifeblood of the Islamic State, our pilots were not allowed to just bomb them. Instead they had to make low passes while dropping leaflets that warned the drivers of the ISIS trucks in Arabic and English that airstrikes would happen 45 minutes later.
The goal was to “to kind of shoo people away without harming them.” But trying to “shoo” away the jayvee team without harming them didn’t bring down ISIS or free the oppressed Christians of Iraq.
75% of bombing runs against ISIS didn’t even drop leaflets, let alone bombs.
All of that changed when President Trump unleashed the full firepower and might of our military. The media and its leftist allies moaned that Mosul had been devastated by the punishing raids. But buildings can be rebuilt. Those who were murdered by ISIS, which had escalated its torture and butchery as it sensed its inevitable defeat, could not be put back together again. If it had been up to Obama, Mosul would still belong to ISIS. Drone strikes would not have been reclaimed the city. It took real airstrikes.
After Mosul fell, the Iraqi government asked Obama to carry out airstrikes against ISIS. And he refused. Before the fall of Mosul, “Iraqi officials at the highest level said they had requested manned and unmanned U.S. airstrikes this year against ISIS camps.” And they got nothing. ISIS was able to overrun Iraq because it took years to get Obama to agree to do anything. Including dropping leaflets.
During that time, the Christian population of Iraq fled or huddled in beleaguered territories, fearing that if the Kurdish firewall fell, there might be nowhere for them to run. President Trump was not afraid to bomb ISIS. He was not afraid to let our military do everything they needed to do to win. Instead of lawyers in suits deciding whether we could bomb ISIS, men in military uniforms began making those decisions. And that is why ISIS is on the run.
The Islamic State was not afraid of Obama’s lawyers. It’s running from Trump’s bombs. And as the Islamic terrorists who once swore to rule the world try to sneak back into Europe and Russia, Christian families who fled their reign of supremacist terror are slowly returning to Mosul. And these returning Christians are able to celebrate their first Christmas since the horrifying years of the Arab Spring.
The number of Christians in Mosul remains small. And ISIS has destroyed many of the old churches where the Christians of the city once worshiped. But the presence of Christians in Mosul is a Christmas gift from President Donald J. Trump to a persecuted population written off by his predecessor.
Even if Iraq’s Christians never feel secure enough to return to Mosul in their previous numbers, they know that they can find sanctuary in the United States. Under Obama, Muslim migrants outnumbered Christian refugees for the first time. While Christians remained trapped in the Middle East, the terrorists of tomorrow swarmed through our airports to be resettled next door to their victims.
While American firepower smashed their Islamic persecutors, the gates of our nation opened once again to the tormented Christians of the Middle East instead of to their Islamic tormenters. Once again a great nation came into its own by sheltering the weak and destroying evil.
After the liberation of Mosul, President Trump declared that, “The victory in Mosul, a city where ISIS once proclaimed its so-called “caliphate,” signals that its days in Iraq and Syria are numbered. “ And since then the Islamic rulers who once threatened to put Trump and the Christians of Iraq to the sword have instead become refugees. And in Mosul and across Iraq, the Christian refugees are coming home.