Bryan Fischer
Nation-building in Iraq: epic fail
By Bryan Fischer
August 20, 2010

When President Bush sent our troops into Iraq in 2003, I remember telling my pastoral colleagues that there was one criterion and one criterion only for determining whether our invasion and attempt at nation-building would be a success: whether we left behind a nation with genuine religious liberty for Christians and Jews.

By that measure, the only measure that counts, our nation-building mission there is an epic fail.

Christians in Iraq, strangely, were better off under Saddam Hussein (I am not, by the way, lamenting his demise in any way, shape, or form). He provided a measure of protection for the church, because he needed Christians to help him run the country. Christians were the only decent, trustworthy, honest people he could find. Islam simply doesn't produce men with the kind of character and integrity needed to run a country, and Saddam could see that.

When Saddam was toppled, with him went what protection Christians enjoyed. Even with a strong U.S. military presence in Iraq, life became increasingly precarious for followers of Christ. Their homes were torched, they were murdered, they were threatened, and the land of the free and the home of the brave did virtually nothing to help them.

They were forced to scatter, especially from Baghdad, and flee to safe havens in remote parts of Iraq or flee the country altogether.

As our troops leave, there are fewer than half the number of Christians in Iraq today than there were on the day we went in.

The new constitution which, God help us, we spilled American blood to create, officially makes Iraq an Islamic Republic, and its constitution says no law may contradict Sharia law. The ratification of that constitution was simultaneously a death warrant for the Christians in Iraq.

It is inexcusable for a Christian nation to use its might as we did and leave behind circumstances in which our fellow Christians are more at risk than ever before.

Without the stabilizing values and presence of the Prince of Peace, I guarantee that Iraq will quickly plunge into a sinkhole of death, murder, mayhem, and sectarian violence, as Muslims, with no Christians left to blow up, turn on each other. What a tragic waste of American blood and American treasure.

Worse, we have done the people of Iraq lasting harm by our nation-building efforts. God's ancient promise to Abraham has never been rescinded: "I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse" (Genesis 12:3).

Bottom line: God blesses nations who are kind to Christians and Jews, the descendants of Abraham, and curses those nations who are not. If we had an enlightened policy with regard to Iraq, the one thing we would have insisted on is complete freedom of religion for Christians and Jews. We did nothing of the sort, and consequently have spent seven years only to leave behind a nation that officially rests under the curse of God. What a waste.

It grieves me to the bottom of my soul to think of the soldiers who bravely gave their last full measure of devotion in such a misbegotten cause. They served bravely and well; it was their leadership that let them down.

All this is due to President Bush's naive short-sightedness about the true nature of Islam and what it does to the human spirit. I believe him to be an honest and decent man, but deceived and foolish when it came to Islam.

He genuinely seemed to believe that Islam is a religion of peace which had been hijacked by evil men. The truth is the other way round. Islam is a barbaric religion of violence and war. The only hijacking that's been done is by those trying to fool people into thinking it's something benign.

President Bush also naively believed that the hunger for freedom beats in every human heart, and that the mere taste of freedom would create a thirst for more. That's because he has grown up in a Christian nation where the Spirit of God has formed the DNA of the American soul. As the Scripture says, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 2:17).

But the Spirit of the Lord is absent in Islamic lands, and the dark spirit that animates Islam has extinguished the spirit of liberty in those lands and in the hearts of their people. Their spiritual DNA has been altered in such a horrible way that what they hunger for is domination, destruction, and the death of the infidels. It is impossible for such a people to harbor a thirst for freedom apart from a massive spiritual awakening represented by an embrace of Christianity.

No, it is impossible to build a free nation on a platform of Islam. It was foolish and expensive even to try.

I've never felt that nation-building was the proper use of the U.S. military anyway. With regard to Iraq and its people, it's their nation, and respect for sovereignty dictates that we let them build the nation they want.

The role of the military is to kill people and break things so that the bad guys are eliminated and the threat to the American people is neutralized. Then we leave, and tell the citizenry on the way out, listen, if you don't want us to come back and bomb you back to the Stone Age again, be sure the next guy is better than the last one. You build whatever country you want, that's up to you, but you endanger the lives of Americans again, we'll be back and do this all over again til you get your minds right. Either convert to Christ or leave us alone, but you'd better do one or the other.

Truly it was "Mission Accomplished" when Saddam was toppled. That was the time to come home, celebrate our crushing military victory, and let the Iraqis build whatever nation they wanted to build on the rubble of Saddam's regime.

We're making the same mistake in Afghanistan. There is no way to build a freedom-loving nation on the rotting, decaying foundation of Islam. If Afghanistan is not willing to embrace Christianity, then we ought to leave enough elite forces there to go get the Taliban wherever they are and blow them out of their caves and their houses and into the waiting arms of their 72 virgins.

Forget trying to get the civilian population to like us. Won't work, for their god teaches them to hate our guts. Forget the insane rules of engagement, in which we put American lives in danger anytime the Taliban drags civilians around with them. If the Taliban uses civilians as human shields, and civilians are killed as we assault the Taliban, the blood of those innocents rests on the head of the Taliban, not the United States.

Let's leave the nation-building to the Afghanis, and tell them on the way out, hey, if you don't want us back, you better do something about bin Laden and his Taliban jihadis, because we have lost patience with Islam and its war on Christian America.

© Bryan Fischer


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