Dear Senator Rubio,
First, we wish to congratulate you on your well-deserved re-election. You ran a dignified and principled campaign for president, during which you were the most eloquent spokesman for the human dignity of unborn children since Ronald Reagan. Your willingness to stand on principle even in “hard cases” was a profile in courage.
What we hope is that your principles and courage will not be compromised on issues of foreign policy. Your empathy and concern for the most persecuted group of people on earth, the unborn, needs to expand a little to include the second most threatened demographic in the world: Middle Eastern Christians. During the Bush administration, far too many solidly pro-life lawmakers seemingly brushed aside the Christian principles for discerning what is a “just war” to endorse a reckless war of choice in Iraq—which they warned would be waged with no concern for the outcome to more than a million Iraqi Christians. They trusted their old friends and allies in the neoconservative movement, who assured them that democracy, capitalism, and religious tolerance would flower in the wake of a U.S. invasion. Now 13 years later, we see what grew up instead: Ungovernable chaos, sectarian hatred, the killing squads of ISIS, and death or exile for most of those 1 million helpless, unprotected Iraqi Christians. Once the fighting was on, the interests of that almost 2,000 year-old Christian community were tossed aside and forgotten. We have friends whose family members still huddle in makeshift refugee camps, just a few miles from ISIS.
Now the incoming Trump administration is being bombarded with calls for another war of choice, in Syria, that would endanger the safety of another ancient Christian community of another million people. The so-called “moderate Syrian rebels” whom the U.S. claimed to back have turned out to be a mirage. Instead, the desert is filled with al Qaeda-allied militias that support sharia as fiercely as any soldier of ISIS, who are backed by the intolerant autocracies of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Yet the U.S. is being asked to confront a nuclear superpower, Russia, in order to install these jihadists in power, and cement the crescent of ethnically and religiously cleansed countries ruled by Sunni zealots.
This is not in America’s interest. It is not in the interest of helpless, threatened Christians, who have no other refuge in the region. And it’s not in any politician’s interest to align himself with the architects of one failed war of choice that resulted in ethnic cleansing, to promote another such war that would turn out exactly the same: as an expensive and bloody exercise in enabling Muslim intolerance.
Please, Senator Rubio. You paid a heavy political price for backing the Gang of 8. Countless Republicans, including one-time candidate John McCain, paid the price for backing the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton, who was endorsed by some of the same neoconservatives who helped to sell that war, may well have been defeated because of her saber-rattling toward Russia over Syria. Americans don’t want to be sucked into another counterproductive quagmire.
Please, Senator, do not become the megaphone for those who recklessly want to commit American troops on foreign soil in pursuit of nebulous or utopian goals. We have seen where that leads. It’s a road to nowhere.