Syria represents a virtual lab experiment in what happens when oppressive Ba’athists try to rule multi-faith societies indefinitely through fear and oppression. Is the argument that Iraq, unlike Syria, would have been somehow immune to jihad had we not invaded? Let’s not forget that Saddam’s own experience with sectarian violence and jihad was remarkably similar to Assad’s. In other words, he didn’t put a “lid” on sectarian violence, he was the sectarian violence — using the power of a motivated, armed religious minority to commit mass murder. Saddam’s regime was as unstable as Assad’s. Perhaps more so.
In other words, in Syria we have a probable answer to the question: “So, what would have happened to Iraq if we didn’t invade?”
Earlier this week, progressive Christian writer Jonathan Merritt called me out by name as an Evangelical supporter of the war in Iraq, claiming that people like me share the blame for persecution of Iraq’s Christians, noting (correctly) that Iraq’s Christians suffered during the Iraq War (as did all Iraqis), then claiming I should be “pleading for forgiveness.”