NEWSMAX.COM - Sununu: Obama Ignoring 'Ethnic Cleansing' of Christians
Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu said President Obama "seems incapable of acknowledging" the persecution of Christians in the Middle East by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
Sununu, who served in the George H.W. Bush administration and was also governor of New Hampshire, comes from a Greek Orthodox family with roots in the Middle East.
He told CNS News that Obama appears to be making "a deliberate effort not to give any credibility to the fact that this is a religious ethnic cleansing on the part of ISIS and the fanatics in that part of the world.
"For some reason he seems incapable of acknowledging the reality of the crisis.
"I just can't understand why the plight of the Christians in the Middle East should not be the number one human rights issue that [those in the administration] worry about today. We're talking about people's lives being lost, lives being destroyed, and it's not just a dozen or two dozen or a few hundred, it's hundreds of thousands of people that are being forced out of their homes and thousands of people that are actually being killed."
Congress passed legislation last year calling for the appointment of a special envoy to address the plight of Christians in Syria and Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.
"Unfortunately, President Obama has not appointed that envoy," Sununu said. "The first step at this point should be to really appoint that envoy to show how serious we are about the issue."
Tens of thousands of Christians have been driven from their homes in Iraq alone since ISIS began its Islamist campaign in the region.
After ISIS militants seized control of the city of Mosul in Iraq last year, they demanded that Assyrian Christians there convert to Islam, pay tribute, or face execution. The Christians fled.
Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox church said last year that the ISIS persecution of Christians had risen to the level of "genocide."
One of the most graphic examples of ISIS' anti-Christian persecution came in February with the videotaped beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. A caption in the video referred to the victims as "people of the cross."
Sununu said: "The indifference to this problem is underscored by the president's inability to utter the word 'Christian' in condemning the killing of those 21 Coptic Christians." Obama referred to them only as "Egyptians," Sununu noted.
He added: "This is a problem that not only calls for American leadership in drawing attention to the problem but American leadership in gathering some international resources to meet the plight of these immigrants, these people leaving these countries to other areas."