FILE PHOTO: CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA Robert Lieber
FILE PHOTO: CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA
Robert Lieber

Three Georgetown faculty members have signed an Iraq Rescue plea calling for U.S. military intervention against the Islamic State group.

Director of the Berkley Center’s Religious Freedom Project Thomas Farr, government and international affairs professor Robert Lieber and philosophy Professor Emeritus Daniel Robinson are signatories of the plea, which urges “the United States and the international community [to] act immediately and decisively to stop ISIS/ISIL genocide and prevent the further victimization of religions minorities,” according to the Iraq Rescue website.

The plea was written in response to recent acts of terror perpetrated by the terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which include beheadings, executions, amputations and acts of sexual violence.

Lieber, professor in both the department of government and the School of Foreign Service, joined this initiative at the invitation of Princeton University professor Robert George.

COLGATE UNIVERSITY Daniel Robinson
COLGATE UNIVERSITY
Daniel Robinson

“The plea is first a recognition that ISIS represents a great danger in the region, threatening to potentially dominate an important part of that strategic location,” Lieber said. “It also butchers or threatens to kill, or crucify those of minority religions. It is a horrifying operation and a growing danger to the region and to U.S. national interests. You’ll find leading members of both parties in Congress, as well as the president, recently making statements that are consistent with those that we had recommended before.”

DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA Thomas Farr
DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA
Thomas Farr

Farr said he views the Islamic State group as a clear and direct threat to the United States and to religious minorities in the Middle East.

“I believe that military action is necessary,” Farr wrote in an email. “It must be carried out with precision and overwhelming force in order to remove the immediate threat, and with every possible precaution to avoid harm to innocents.”

However, Farr also said he believes that the religious ideology fueling the Islamic State group cannot be defeated by force alone. Instead, he urges Muslims in the region to rise against the extremists.

“It must be eliminated by Muslims who live in the nations where it is incubated. In order to do that, Muslims must have religious freedom, which they currently lack,” Farr wrote.

The plea supports President Barack Obama’s decision to perform airstrikes, but states that there is still much more to be done to combat Islamic State aggression. It also endorses The Washington Post’s call in a recent editorial for the United States to provide arms to the Kurdish and Sunni people in Iraq, since their lack of modern weapons makes it difficult for them to counter Islamic State group attacks.

Nicolo Donna dalle Rose (SFS ’15), a member of the Middle East Youth Network, said he has mixed feelings about this initiative.

“Supposedly, most of these would go to the Iraqi Kurds and some of these to factions in Syria, however, every single time in the last decades that Kalashnikovs or other weapons of this sort have been injected into the region, they stayed in the region, and switched sides very often,” Rose said.

The plea also includes an appeal for humanitarian aid by demanding its expansion. It urges the United States to take leadership in providing food, water, medicine and other essential supplies to innocent people impacted by ISIS.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve got a novel idea. Let’s do nothing. Let the Muslims deal with their own problems for a change. Let’s let countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait with their endless ocean of money and Western-bought armaments figure it out instead. Surely they – being practitioners of the religion of compassion and peace – will step right up to the plate in our stead.
    OK, you caught me there. You knew I was kidding! You knew what I know which is that there is no answer to these Islamic cesspools. Whatever we do will be discredited and if we do nothing then Syria will become just another country in the endless line of Hell on Earth Islamic countries.
    We cannot save Muslims from themselves. It is like trying to save an alcoholic. Until they are ready to abandon their religion – a religion that emphasizes aggression and violence and sadism – anything we do will simply be a band-aid on a gaping wound.
    Let them go through their DTs on their own. Only then will they be ready for our friendship and help, and only then will we find a way forward together as friends.

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