McCarrick: Withdrawal Requires 'Marshall Plan'

The ancient Christian communities that once thrived in Iraq "now face potential extinction," said U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, urging the United States to develop a postwar plan to help Iraq resolve the humanitarian consequences of the seven-year war. The fact that U.S. combat forces are expected to leave by Sept. 1 "is good news for our American servicemen, their families and the nation," the cardinal said. "But this departure should not be accompanied by a withdrawal of our support for the Iraqi people, particularly for the millions of displaced Iraqis." After Sept. 1, as combat forces leave, violence could increase against those who have been displaced, including Christians. Although the international community, led by the United States, has provided basic assistance and resettled a small number of Iraq's refugees, Cardinal McCarrick said in an op-ed piece at politicsdaily.com, a long-term solution to such massive displacement "has proven elusive." Cardinal McCarrick said a postwar plan, such as the Marshall Plan that restored Europe after World War II, should be developed in cooperation with the Iraqi government and the international community to find solutions for Iraqi refugees and displaced people. Of special concern are Iraqi Christians and other minorities who he said continue to be the targets of systematic violence. "Even now," Cardinal McCarrick wrote, "Christians continue to flee Iraq at levels comparable to the rate near the beginning of the war, a deeply troubling sign." He said withdrawing from Iraq without a restoration plan will not only affect Iraq but neighboring countries—Jordan, Syria and Lebanon as well, with many Iraqis fleeing to these countries and causing a strain on those populations and their resources. "Abandonment of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced cannot be an option," Cardinal McCarrick wrote. "We cannot leave behind a humanitarian crisis in the hope that it will correct itself."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pro-life advocates participate in the annual March for Life in Washington January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Describing abortion as a “key social evil” in the United States, the Jesuits say: “The most fundamental building block of a just social order is respect for human life.”
America StaffJanuary 19, 2018
Men carry a replica of Peru's most revered religious icon, the "Lord of Miracles," during an Oct. 18, 2017 procession in Lima. Each year thousands of Catholics gather to commemorate the image's survival in a 17th-century earthquake that destroyed Lima. (CNS photo/Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
Father Ernesto Cavassa was provincial of the Jesuits in Peru from 1998 to 2004, and president of the Conference of Latin American Jesuit Provincials from 2005 to 2012.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 18, 2018
For over 45 years, Feminists for Life has been committed to ending the practice and legality of abortion and promoting the feminism of Susan B. Anthony.
Serrin M. FosterJanuary 18, 2018
A President Donald Trump supporter is see seen at the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 27. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
During their tenure in office, President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush all addressed the march via telephone or a radio hookup from the Oval Office.
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 18, 2018