Editor’s note: Chuck Norris’ weekly political column debuts each Monday in WND and is then syndicated by Creators News Service for publication elsewhere. His column in WND often runs hundreds of words longer than the subsequent release to other media.
Pundits and news agencies have reported and questioned the validity that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is beheading children in its conquests of Syria and Iraq. But there is one fact that can’t be contested: that the Sunni-dominated al-Qaida splinter group is on a war rampage using some of the most heinous and barbaric means to exterminate anyone who opposes them, particularly Christians.
In 2011, President Obama declared, “The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year.” The only thing he didn’t count on was that the enemies of the U.S. decided not to call it quits, too, on the war on terror.
Last Wednesday, Obama called it quits again with Iraq combat operations – I mean, the dropping-bombs-on-ISIS-and-not-calling-it-combat-operations operations.
From his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, Obama declared, “We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives. Because of these efforts, we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it’s unlikely that we’re going to need to continue humanitarian airdrops on the mountain. The majority of the military personnel who conducted the assessment will be leaving Iraq in the coming days.”
I guess we should be relieved again that we’re “pulling out of Iraq” and ISIS will also retreat from its tyrannical and barbaric rampages, right? Not a chance.
While Obama was politicizing the success of his in-and-out combat mission, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “called on the international community to do even more to provide protection,” according to the U.N. News Centre.
Why? Because, just two days before Obama spoke about mission success, the U.N. Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, reported that “an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people remain trapped on the Mountain.”
A “profoundly dismayed” U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon added that ISIS remains carrying out “barbaric acts,” which he said “include accounts of summary executions, boys forcibly taken from their homes to fight, girls abducted or trafficked as sex slaves.” Even those who manage to get off Mt. Sinjar “remain exposed … to a perilous journey” to freedom.
How perilous? Here’s what we know for a fact about ISIS horrific tactics over just the past few months:
- In July, CNN reported various Iraqi village residents have described horrific attacks by ISIS fighters, who “seize local men and pillage homes and places of worships,” according to Human Rights Watch Directors in Iraq.
- CNN also reported that ISIS killed 40 Shiite Turkmen, “including children,” in four communities in Kirkuk, Iraq, last month.
- ISIS slaughtered 270 Syrians, including national guard members, security guards and employees in the al Shaer gas field in Syria.
- According to the human rights team at the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, a “minimum” number of “at least 757 civilians were killed and 599 injured in Nineveh and Salah al-Din provinces, north of Baghdad, and Diyala, in the east, between 5 and 22 June. … At least an additional 318 people were killed, and 590 wounded, during the same 17 days in Baghdad and areas in the south.”
- Some 500 Yazidi community members in Sinjar and the surrounding areas were executed by ISIS, according to U.N. special advisers on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, and on the responsibility to protect, Jennifer Welsh;
- The U.N. special advisers also reported that some 1,500 Yezidi, Christian and Shabak women and girls were abducted by ISIS.
- CNN reported, “At least 2,400 Iraqis died in violence in June, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Of those, the United Nations said more than 1,500 were civilians, including 270 civilian police officers, and almost 900 were members of Iraqi security forces.”
- U.N. News Centre reported that ISIS “has broadcast more than a dozen videos showing beheadings and shootings of hors combat soldiers and police officers, as well as apparent targeting of people based on their religion or ethnicity, including Shia and minority groups such as Turcomans, Shabak, Christians and Yezidis.”
And what are we to make of ISIS’ summary crucifixions?
The British Telegraph reported in June that a man survived being crucified by ISIS in Syria, “after the jihadists raided his village and nailed him to a cross for eight hours.”
He managed to survive the horror, but eight others were not so fortunate. They died from that which is regarded as one of the most heinous, horrifying and painful methods of torture and execution in human history.
The Telegraph elaborated, “The men, from Deir Hafer in the east of Aleppo province, were subjected to the same treatment and crucified ‘in the main square of the village, where their bodies will remain for three days.’”
CNN reported in May that of seven public crucifixions in Raqqa, two adults were left on display. But Abu Ibrahim, a member of a recently formed anti-ISIS activist group in Raqqa, said that “the remaining five victims were children under the age of 18, one of them a seventh-grade student.”
Many purport that these crucified individuals were Muslim, but others say they were former Muslims who converted to Christianity. They add that ISIS members wouldn’t crucify other Muslims, but save the extreme form of punishment and humiliation for those who refuse to renounce their Christian beliefs and return to Islam, using crucifixion as a mockery to them and even their Lord and Master. This would be the case in particular with the crucifixions in Raqqa and their close proximity to Good Friday and Easter.
Sheikh Dr. Usama Hasan, Islamic scholar and senior researcher in Islamic studies at the Quilliam Foundation in London, explained to the BBC News that this form of punishment comes from a very literal, or fundamentalist, reading of the Quran.
Verse 33 of the fifth book of the Quran says: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”
(Next week, I shall give even more proof of ISIS atrocities against children and Christians, and then will discuss what I believe the U.S. should do to reduce such casualties of war and stop ISIS. Hint: My views are much more than Obama’s “Don’t do stupid stuff” foreign policy.)