The Ordeal of Getting Clarity from Kerry

Feb 26, 2016

Today I pressed Secretary of State John Kerry for an answer on when we could expect our government to declare Middle Eastern Christians targets of genocide. Our exchange took place during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which was exercising its obligation to review the State Department’s budgetary proposals.

Secretary Kerry’s response was dismaying, to say the least. Telling us his office had only received the designation request “a couple of weeks ago,” and assuring us that “something needs to be done quickly,” he tried to leave the impression the Obama administration’s top diplomatic and legal minds were giving the matter every conceivable consideration. But foot-dragging was evident.

“It does require a lot of fact-gathering,” said the secretary.

Our secretary of state says this after more than a year of the whole world watching Islamic terrorists slaughtering Christians and, yes, other sects such as the Yazidis – unable to decide if its own eyes are lying?

After hearing this, one doesn’t know whether to be astonished or demoralized.

Multiple reports tell us that the State Department is perfectly fine with designating Yazidis as targets of genocide but resistant to granting beleaguered Christians the same status.

What is wrong with this picture?

A disturbing mindset is evident when Secretary Kerry couldn’t even use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorists” – just like someone else we know higher up in the administration. That could explain why they’ve had a negative reaction to my bill.

My bill, H.R. 4017, clarifies things. It ends the bureaucratic paralysis and designates Christians as well as Yazidis as targets of genocide, thereby removing obstacles to their refuge.