Julie McDonald-Smith is almost invariably more partisan than accurate.

I share her alarm about the disappearance of ancient Christian populations whose heritage is a rich and essential part of the Christian faith and serves as a check on the overwhelmingly Latin-rite church’s arrogance.

But in “Silence deafening about plight of Middle East Christians” (The Right View, Dec. 23), she argues that the ISIS persecution and slaughter of Christians is, in good part, the fault of Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, as the U.S. public demanded. But the very existence of ISIS is entirely the creation of the war crime of the George W. Bush-neocon attack on Iraq and its occupation policies, which fired the predominantly Sunni military wholesale and established a regime heavily discriminatory against Sunnis, all long before Obama’s election. And that largely Shia government has hardly been diligent about protecting Christian Arabs.

McDonald-Smith complains that the Obama administration has admitted only 727 Christians as against more than 4,200 Muslims, roughly 20 percent as many. But Muslims are 99 percent of the Iraq population, so the Christian acceptance rate is 17 percent that of Iraqi Muslims, if my rough math serves.

Syria is 10 percent Christian, 13 percent Shia, and 3 percent Druze. So one would expect Syrian refugees to be under 40 percent Christian, possibly much less if significant numbers of Shia in Sunni areas are among the refugees, as they surely are.

McDonald-Smith asks for support and prayers only after wrongly blaming their plight on Obama, rather than the perpetrator of the destabilization of Iraq which led to the Syrian strife.

William H. Slavick

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