U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was recently interviewed about Syria. While many of his assertions can be debated, one especially requires a response. Throughout the interview, he repeatedly insisted that, if Bashar Assad would only leave power, everything would go well — especially for all of Syria's minorities.
In his words: "I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Ismailis, Alawites — all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected."
Elsewhere in the interview, Kerry declared that "The world would protect the Alawites, Druze, Christians, and all minorities in Syria after the ousting of Assad."
The problem here is that we have precedent — exact precedent. We've seen this paradigm before and know precisely what happens once strongman dictators like Assad are gone.
As demonstrated in this article, in all Muslim nations where the U.S. has intervened to help topple dictators and bring democracy, it is precisely the minorities who suffer first. And neither the U.S. nor "the world" do much about it.
After the U.S. toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, Christian minorities were savagely attacked and slaughtered, and dozens of their churches were bombed (see here for graphic images). Christians have been terrorized into near-extinction, so that today, a decade after the ousting of Saddam, more than half of them have fled Iraq.
The "world" did nothing.
Ever since U.S.-backed, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have been been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert), their churches bombed, and their nuns threatened.
Not much "pluralism" there.
Once the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, in place of Mubarak — and all with U.S. support — the persecution of Copts practically became legalized, as unprecedented numbers of Christians—men, women, and children—were arrested, often receiving more than double the maximum prison sentence, under the accusation that they "blasphemed" Islam and/or its prophet.
Not only did the U.S. do nothing — it asked the Coptic Church not to join the June Revolution that led to the ousting of the Brotherhood and Muhammad Morsi.
In short, where the U.S. works to oust secular autocrats, the quality of life for Christians and other minorities takes a major nosedive. In Saddam's Iraq, Qaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria (before the U.S.-sponsored war), Christians and their churches were largely protected.
Today, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Libya 13th, and Egypt 22nd.
So how can anyone — especially Christians and other minorities — have any confidence in Kerry's repeated assurances that religious minorities will be safeguarded once secular strongman Assad is gone — and by the "world" no less — leading to a "pluralistic" Syria?
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (Regnery, April, 2013) is a Middle East and Islam specialist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.