Building on Momentum: The Case for a Safe Haven - Resolution H Con Res 152

By Scott Morgan

We all saw earlier this year how the American people took to social media platforms to lobby their members of Congress and the State Department regarding how they felt about the treatment of Religious Minorities in Northern Iraq. They felt that Genocide was taking place and they demanded the US Government to refer to it as such and to deal with it.

So when, on March 17th, Secretary of State Kerry announced that Genocide was in fact occurring in Northern Iraq there was a sense that finally the Administration saw what, in the view of some people, was an obvious situation. A damning report compiled by the Knights of Columbus was specifically released to take advantage of the growing momentum online.

Guess What? That was the easy part. The actual hard part is yet to begin for these victims of persecution. Defining the issue is just the first step. Coming up with an effective strategy that will assist those in flight will result in emotional decisions about whether or not they should be allowed to come to the West. However there is no debate at all about how to assist those who wish to remain in their homes.

That brings into question how to assist those who remain behind to defend their homes and houses of worship? This is where the concept of a Safe Haven comes into play. There are several other questions, easy to answer but more difficult to implement, that will come into play. The easy answers are that it should be in the Nineveh Plain and it should look like Operation Provide Comfort which has been protecting the Kurds since 1992.

The Congress has been paying attention to all of these wheels that are currently in motion in the country. They have noticed these vile actions that have been occurring and they are aware that the voter is paying attention to this as well. So there has been introduced in recent weeks H Con Res 152.

This resolution which has been introduced into the House by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska gives a sense that the United States and the International Community should support Iraq and its people to support a province in the Nineveh Plain region that is consistent with the lawful expressions of self-determination by the indigenous peoples of the region. That is a noble sentiment in thought but implementation may be more difficult when people ask how the US will accomplish this with Aid and votes. Shouldn’t the question be how will these people be protected since the current Iraqi State Apparatus has failed them?

However, as expected, politics in Baghdad has once again reared its ugly head into this debate. Earlier this week Baghdad voted not to change the administrative border of Nineveh Province. The impetus for the vote was that the Yezhdis want to have the area around the city of Shingal where they have a majority status. A Sunni Member of Parliament for the region states that any such decision would be unconstitutional. This may be code for the Sunnis being upset over their loss of control over Iraq. There is a consensus that the Shia followers of Al-Malaki want to return him to power so he can accomplish this

The Kurds however announced their intentions to make the area around Shingal a province within Kurdistan. This could be a great opportunity for the US to reach out to Irbil and offer the necessary logistical and/or Financial Support to actually bring the Safe Haven to Fruition.

Currently the Christians feel that if they are forced to remain in a region under Sunni rule they will still be the victims of persecution. During the dark days of 2014 the Kurds had to wait until US Aircraft showed up in order to begin their efforts to assist the Yezhdis and Christians. Meanwhile the Assyrians have reached out to Washington to ensure that their voices are heard in this debate and are being heard in Washington. Now can these voices in the US reach out to Baghdad and Irbil? H Con Res 152 will give Baghdad an Idea of what the Congress is thinking...

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Christians being persecuted in the ME? That's a shocker. Listen, I get it they want to stay in their land and protect their holy sites but let's face it, instead of welcoming in these thousands of Muslim refugees we should be taking in the thousands of Christian refugees. They are better off with us! And they need to learn from the Jewish refugees kicked out of Muslim lands too.

  2. Hi Morgan,

    "how to assist those who remain behind to defend their homes and houses of worship?"

    That's a bloody good question. But I wonder if trying to convince iraq to grant Christians a safe haven in Iraqi soil will do the trick.

    The Nineveh plain is a very symbolic place. If I'm not mistaken, and correct me if I'm wrong, Jonah came to Nineveh to convert the people to the Lord, lest He would destroy them. Was this location chosen by chance, I wonder?

    "H Con Res 152 will give Baghdad an Idea of what the Congress is thinking..."

    I hope they manage to convince Iraq of the advantage of supporting a safe haven for Christians. Great post, man.



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