For the second time in Libya, a unit of the ISIS terrorist army has conducted massacres of Christians, this time with captured Ethiopians. The atrocities took place in two different places in Libya, as CNN’s Nic Robertson notes, to send a very particular message. Not only are the Islamists targeting Christians in areas surrounding Libya, they also want to lay claim to controlling Libya itself:
The Washington Post reports that the makers of the video have a clear message to Christians as well:
The killings mirror a video released in February showing militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach. In that video, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) billed the killings as “a message signed with blood to the nation of the cross.”
The new 29-minute video showing captured Ethiopian Christians starts with what it called a history of Christian-Muslim relations and includes scenes of militants destroying churches, graves and icons.
“Despite the cross, we have returned,” the narrator says. …
“You will not have safety even in your dreams, until you accept Islam,” he says. “Our battle is a battle between faith and blasphemy, between truth and falsehood.”
The video alternates between footage of the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach, the AP report says. The AP said the video has not been verified, and it was not clear how many captives were killed.
After two previous massacres of Christians, the White House provoked a lot of criticism when its response failed to note the targeting of Christians in the attacks. This time, they’ve learned, although still only about their post-atrocity statements:
Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Murders in Libya
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the brutal mass murder purportedly of Ethiopian Christians by ISIL-affiliated terrorists in Libya. We express our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Ethiopian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens. That these terrorists killed these men solely because of their faith lays bare the terrorists’ vicious, senseless brutality. This atrocity once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya to empower a unified Libyan rejection of terrorist groups.
Even as terrorists attempt through their unconscionable acts to sow discord among religious communities, we recall that people of various faiths have coexisted as neighbors for centuries in the Middle East and Africa. With the force of this shared history behind them, people across all faiths will remain united in the face of the terrorists’ barbarity. The United States stands with them. While these dehumanizing acts of terror aim to test the world’s resolve – as groups throughout history have – none have the power to vanquish the powerful core of moral decency which binds humanity and which will ultimately prove the terrorists’ undoing.
The first three sentences of the NSC’s statement finally acknowledge the reality of Christians in the Middle East. The rest of this statement is politically correct nonsense, especially the urging for a “political solution to the conflict in Libya,” as if this was a straight-up civil war. It’s not anything of the kind. Libya has collapsed into a failed state thanks to the actions of the US and NATO to destroy the Qaddafi regime without preparing for the aftermath. Western Iraq has collapsed into a failed state thanks to the total withdrawal of American troops in 2011.
In both cases, the states fell into the hands of terrorist networks that had already been operating there for years but who were suppressed by a strong hand, Qaddafi in Libya and the US-run Iraqi army in western Iraq. The US and our NATO allies created a vacuum where no political processes could possibly survive, and only the worst of terrorist groups would be able to hold power. On which political solutions can the people of Nineveh rely? Or the people of Cyrenaica?
Eventually, NATO will have to ask itself whether it can tolerate a failed state in Libya that is just a few hundred miles from its shores, and do what it should have done in 2011 — put boots on the ground to destroy the terror networks and help rebuild the possibility of political processes. Until that time comes, Libya will remain a Somalia on the Mediterranean, and ISIS will continue to abduct Christians and animists for their own peculiar Islamist brand of human sacrifice.