Selective outrage, selective memory

In 1938, the Evian Conference was held in France, presupposing that the 38 nations in attendance would accept more Jews from Germany and Austria.  Hitler promoted Jewish emigration, both voluntary and forced, as a "solution" to his Jewish "problem."  Notwithstanding, Jews constituted but 0.1% of the population of Germany, so the issue was to be decided on principle rather than on vast numbers in migration.  To the shame of history, only Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic increased quotas for Jews, and the doomed conference was lost in memory.

Part of the argument against President Trump's executive order is that it gives preference to Christians.  This is widely interpreted as a reflection of both religious preference and a bias against Muslims.  For reasons that are not at all clear, the logic behind this aspect of the order has not become part of the public debate.

Christians constitute about 10% of the Syrian population, with the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Eastern Catholic Church as leading denominations.  Christianity in Syria dates to 431 A.D., predating the founding of Islam itself by over a century.

The European Parliament estimates that over 40% of Christians have left, a proportion greater than the 27% of non-Christian Syrians who have emigrated (4.1 out of 15 million.)

If February 2016, the European Union unanimously declared that the Christians in Syria were victims of genocide.  The United States followed suit in March.

The basis for the affirmation of genocide has hardly made headlines.  A U.S. State Department report detailed the murder of 1,131 Christians and the destruction of 124 Christian churches. 

After the fall of Mosul, ISIS demanded a complete Assyrian Christian exodus, save for those willing to convert.  This marked the end of 1,600 years of continuing Christian presence.  Ironically, the main adversary of ISIS, and our emerging battlefield ally, the Saudi-supported "Army of Conquest," by its own declaration, supports an Islamic state under sharia law. 

Thus, from either victor will come a problematic prediction as to the perpetuation of Christianity in Syria.

Oliver Wendell Holmes offered that "hard cases make bad law," which now can be modernized to biased interpretation of policy prevents good law.  Christians have met any rational criteria for protection.

The Jews in 1938 became victims of genocide because of the willful decision not to protect them.  For Christians in Syria, a genocide as already been accepted by both the United States and the E.U.  No matter how much fun it is to find a "deplorable" motive behind every Trump policy, our moral obligation is self-evident.

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