ource: The Investigative Project
Frank Wolf, former Northern Virginia Congressman in the US House of Representatives, and veteran human rights advocate, has been in the forefront of pressing the Administration to issue a rumored State Department ruling against ISIS for Genocide against Yazidis and hopefully threatened Christian and other non-Muslim Minorities in Syria and Iraq. We revealed the stalemate over including Syrian and Iraqi Christians in the proposed Genocide ruling in a post on a report by Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom, “State Department May Exclude Middle East Christians from ISIS Genocide Victim Ruling.” Ann Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State who heads the Bureau of Near East Affairs, had allegedly excluded threatened Christian minorities from the proposed order. Patterson is the former US Ambassador to Egypt, who had supported the ousted Morsi regime backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. We are pleased that our Lisa Benson Show colleague, Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser, Vice Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom supports inclusion of threatened Syriac and Assyrian Chaldean Christians in the proposed State department ISIS Genocide ruling.
Former Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf
Wolf’s campaign in support of the Genocide ruling against ISIS was reported in article by John Rossomando of Steve Emerson’s The Investigative Project, “Wolf Encouraged by Reported Administration Plans to Label ISIS Atrocities, Genocide:”
“The administration from what we can gather is taking this very, very seriously,” Wolf said.
Wolf, a former Republican congressman from Northern Virginia, doesn’t agree with the Obama administration on many things, but the genocide issue may be one in which common ground is in sight.
“I commend them,” Wolf said. “I’m really pleased that they are moving ahead and doing this, but now that the administration is doing this, Congress ought to do something.”
A bipartisan resolution pending in the U.S. House describes crimes being perpetrated against Christians and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria as genocide under international law. It calls on the United Nations to “to assert leadership by calling the atrocities being committed in these places by their rightful names: ‘war crimes’, ‘crimes against humanity’, and ‘genocide’.”
In September, Wolf sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking that the genocide label be applied. He also asked that the U.S. prosecute ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Mohammed Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John,” for killing American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, and American aid worker Kala Mueller.
That was before a drone strike in Syria killed Emwazi last week.
Wolf’s investigation in Iraq reveals Genocide and threatened Yazidi and other religious minorities.
Wolf interviewed 75 Yazidi girls last winter during a trip to the region with the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, where he is a distinguished fellow.
“When we got back, it was clear to me that what we saw was genocide, particularly against the Yazidis, but even the Christians,” Wolf said.
In addition to the Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and Turkomen also are genocide victims, Wolf said. Wolf’s quest received an added boost from the U.S. Holocaust Museum, which issued a report last week also calling on the administration to label the atrocities against the Yazidis as genocide.
The report stated:
“Our findings also suggest there is sufficient reason to assert that in addition to committing crimes against humanity and war crimes, IS perpetrated genocide against the Yezidi population living in Ninewa in August 2014. The determination of genocide against the Yezidi population is based on a preponderance of the evidence, and does not reflect the standard necessary for individual criminal responsibility. Any formal determination that genocide was perpetrated needs to be made by a court and based on careful consideration of the evidence.”
Why the Genocide ruling is important.
“It would help trigger the indictment of … Al-Baghdadi,” Wolf said. “Al-Baghdadi was directly responsible for the deaths of the four Americans, including the assault of the poor woman from Arizona.
“That would almost have to follow through because it would force the Justice Department … to indict Al-Baghdadi.”
A genocide declaration would open the way to prosecuting anyone who helps ISIS. It also could pressure the U.N. to similarly classify the atrocities as genocide, Wolf said. Such people could be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes tribunals similar to those that followed the Holocaust or the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.
“Anyone who did anything at all would be guilty of genocide,” Wolf said. “They would be a participant in genocide, so that will kind of chill a lot of the support for ISIS.”
The curious role of Qatari and Saudi culpability in support of ISIS Genocide.
This could potentially ensnare the ISIS supporters in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and even Turkey, the latter of which failed to stem the tide of foreign fighters into Syria.
Numerous people warned Wolf during his trip of Qatari funding for ISIS. Wealthy Qataris who bankrolled ISIS’s predecessor, al-Qaida in Iraq, have maintained their financial support for ISIS. U.S. authorities repeatedly have cited Qatar for its failure to crackdown on terrorism financing.
“Qatar’s overall level of [counter-terrorism] cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region,” a top level State Department official wrote in a secret Dec. 30, 2009 State Department cable.
Saudi citizens “have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups,” Washington Institute Fellow Lori Plotkin Boghart wrote in a June 2014 report.
Turkey’s Intelligence Facilitates ISIS Smuggled Oil Sales.
A declaration also could turn those involved in black market ISIS oil sales into accessories to genocide.
“Trucks are rolling out of ISIS-controlled territory up into Turkey,” Wolf said.
ISIS earns an estimated $50 million per month from selling oil, Iraqi and American officials told the Associated Press. Turkey’s shadowy intelligence agency, MIT, is alleged to be helping manage ISIS’s oil smuggling operation.
Wolf also condemned Turkey for failing to shut down the flow of foreign fighters into its territory.
“Anyone aiding and abetting [genocide] could be prosecuted,” Wolf said.
Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser
Vice Chair, US International religious Freedom Commkission
Jasser on the Problem of Excluding Christians from the ISIS Genocide Ruling.
“There is no doubt that that designation meets the parameters of the definition of genocide because of the declaration by ISIS that they wanted to wipe those (Christians) out,” said Zhudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Form for Democracy. “Their policies really do not fit together.
“This designation becomes meaningless if it’s not applied in a consistent and rational way,” said Jasser, who also serves as vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. ”
Christians must be included in any final declaration, Wolf said, but added that he was unaware of any effort to omit them.
A State Department spokeswoman would not comment on which minority groups might be covered in a genocide declaration, saying the agency did not want to “comment on any internal discussions.”
“We certainly continue to be horrified by ISIL’s atrocities against the Yazidi people, as well as its continuing appalling atrocities against other minority communities including Christians, Shabak, Turkmen, Sabean-Mandean, Kakai and other minority populations through its horrific campaign of murder, kidnapping, sexual slavery and forcible transfer of populations,” State Department spokeswoman Julia Mason said in an e-mailed statement.
Wolf and Jasser’s comments and those of Ms. Mason of the State raise questions of what’s behind Ms.Patterson’s reluctance to include Syrian and Iraqi Christians in the Genocide ruling. Is it perhaps because, as Shea, Joseph Kassab of the Iraqi Christian Advocacy and Empowerment Institute contend that it would force the State Department Refugee Admissions Program (RAP) under Assistant Secretary Ann Richards to issue P2/P3 visas for Family Reunification to tens of thousands of accredited Christians? This disputed State Department ISIS Genocide ruling comes amidst the roiling Congressional debate with the Obama White House over admission of an initial allotment of allegedly vetted Syrian Refugees. Arkansas US Sen. Tom Cotton revealed that the RAP “inadvertently” discriminates against Christians. Of the 2000 Syrian Refugees that have been admitted under RAP during the last three years, less than 3 percent were Christians. That is due UN High Commissioner for Refugees Program excludes virtually all Christians as they are “urban refugees” avoiding those detention camps because of threats on their lives from Muslim residents, some alleged ISIS sympathizers.