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A Chaldean Catholic priest who was kidnapped and tortured by Islamic militants a decade ago in Iraq said Tuesday in Washington that while the American invasion of his country in 2003 was a “big mistake,” President Obama’s decision to withdraw American troops in 2011 was “a bigger mistake.”
After Obama ignored his generals’ recommendations and pulled the last U.S. troops out of Iraq, the president boasted that “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq… This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.”
But Fr. Douglas Bazi, a priest at the Mar Elias Catholic Church in the Chaldean Diocese of Erbil, pointed out that the U.S. troop withdrawal was a catastrophe for the indigenous Christian population of Iraq, which numbered 2 million before 2003.
“Now there are less than 200,000,” he said. Continue reading