Ken Blackwell

President Obama has apparently decided to change another of Ronald Reagan's policies. President Reagan famously said "Trust but Verify" when dealing with the Russians. With President Obama, our new policy will be to "Trust the Russians to Verify" whether Syria's Assad has complied with UN directives on chemical weapons.


The President's confused and confusing speech this week raised more questions than it answered. One of the most important questions isn't even being asked by our foreign policy elites: Why should the U.S. back the Syrian rebels who are slaughtering Christians in that war-racked country?  Why should any American Christian support going to war for these rebels in Syria?


Until the Russians threw Mr. Obama a lifeline, we were preparing to align ourselves with persecutors of Christians in that country’s civil war. Bashar al-Assad has committed heinous crimes, to be sure, including the use of chemical weapons. But he has not aggressively persecuted Christians--as the rebels have done and are doing. Hundreds of thousands of Christians in Syria are in danger. Many of them have lived in that country since biblical times. 


Tens of thousands of Christians in Syria are refugees from Iraq. The U.S. invasion of Iraq has been a catastrophe for the two million Christians who once lived precariously there. How bad must post-Saddam Iraq be when only 400,000 Christians are left there? And we must always remember that U.S. arms helped bring about the destruction of this ancient Christian community.


The victory of the rebel jihadists in Syria can only bring more death and persecution to these historic church communities.


Unlike Secretary John Kerry, we should never have held out hope that Bashar al-Assad would be “a reformer.” Conservatives remember what his father had done to secure power in 1982. Hafez al-Assad massacred more than 20,000 people in a ruthless display of bloodletting in the city of Hama.


Hafez al-Assad was only the latest in the long line of Mideast despots. We see his like in the story of King Herod, who was willing to slaughter infants by the hundreds in order to hold onto his shaky throne. What is different today is chemical weapons and cell phones. Not the evil that these brutal rulers do.


Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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