Tags: America's Forum | ISIS/Islamic State | Francis Rooney | ISIS | Islamic State | World War II | Christians

Ex-Ambassador Rooney: ISIS Threat a WWII Level of Conflict

By    |   Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:48 PM

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney contends that the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the various terrorist branches amounts to a conflict on par with World War II and demands a global response.

"We have an almost World War II level of conflict in the world right now where the threat of ISIS and the related radical terrorist groups ... are creating ... [an] Islamic terrorist war," Rooney, who served under former President George W. Bush, told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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"The White House doesn't want to call it an Islamic terrorist war, but that's what it is," Rooney said.

"Therefore, we need a more concerted global response to it — like we applied in World War I and II — to try to contain the threat, to interdict it and ultimately eliminate it," he said.

Part of that global response ought to include religious groups worldwide, a point Rooney recently made in an opinion piece for The Hill.

In the piece, he argued for a response from religious leaders, much like the aid that was given President Harry Truman by the Catholic Church "to broadly and openly attack communism," and like Pope Benedict XVI, who "spoke out more clearly and aggressively against the evil of using religion to inspire hatred and violence — and of the fundamental incompatibility of  the prophet's command to 'spread the word by the sword.'"

According to the former ambassador, "we need to go back to the Iranian Revolution in 1978 and the rise of Arab nationalism to see how the terrorist, strictly anti-Christian, anti-Jewish trends have come about.

"Prior to the Iranian Revolution there were Jews and Christians in the Iranian parliament and their beef was with the Sunni Arabs, not with Israel," he said.

"This whole thing has been turned on its head, and the persecution of Christians continues to increase to the point where we face a world war," he said.

In order to combat ISIS and the growing terrorist threat, the world needs "a much broader effort" other "than just military."

"One of the things that we're starting to see now is people pick up the mantle of the Holy See's soft power diplomacy and call on the religions of the world to unite and speak up against this religiously inspired or disguised terror," Rooney said. "And, particularly, calling on the Muslim religion to take responsibility for its own religion and try to work to bring it into consensus with modernity."

Just like in World War II and the Nazis rise to power in Germany, "when [an] entrenched, radicalized, horrible group takes over and holds a country hostage, some really bad things could happen," he said. "We face that right now with ISIS."

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations, recently said that the ISIS threat demands "a coordinated and well-thought-out coalition to do everything possible to achieve a political settlement without violence. But if that's not possible, then the use of force will be necessary," the BBC reported.

Tomasi, Rooney said, "pretty well said almost any means is justified to prevent genocide and that is kind of the essence of the 'just war theory' ... the threat is so heinous, broad and it's pan national — it's not just limited to one or two sovereigns — that extraordinary force and global force is justified to repress it."

The former ambassador added that "the 'just war theory' calls for a threat that is supernumerary and broad, not just a sovereign versus a sovereign."

That is what "Archbishop Tomasi was referring to yesterday" when he called for a response that comes from "a broad community of nations and especially, including Muslim nations, who are closest to the problem and have the most to gain from solving it," Rooney said.

"The other thing it calls for is proportionality — and that was a problem with Iraq, too, where the Vatican felt that taking Saddam Hussein out was not necessary to solve the problem."

But, he added, "I don't think anybody would say that the most aggressive response wouldn't be proportional to the heinous crimes that ISIS has committed."

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Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney tells Newsmax TV that the battle against the Islamic State and the various terrorist branches amounts to a conflict on par with World War II and demands a global response.
Francis Rooney, ISIS, Islamic State, World War II, Christians
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:48 PM
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