Kerry in 2014: ISIL’s Campaign Against Christians and Yezidis Bears ‘Hallmarks of Genocide’

by TERENCE JEFFREY March 15, 2016

( - Secretary of State John Kerry warned in a statement issued on Aug. 7, 2014that the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) was conducting a "campaign of terror" against Yezidi and Christian minorities and engaging in "targeted acts of violence" that he said "bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide."

"ISIL's campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yezidi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide," Kerry said in the 2014 statement posted on the State Department website. "For anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it."

Language included in the omnibus spending bill that President Barack Obama signed in December 2015 requires Kerry by March 17 to declare whether ISIL's attacks against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East "constitute mass atrocities or genocide."

Despite his statement in 2014, Kerry has not yet done so.

Testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State on Feb. 24, Kerry said he was having an "additional evaluation" done to help him now determine whether ISIL's systematic slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities should be declared "genocide."

"I will make a decision on it as soon as I have that additional evaluation and we will proceed forward from there," Kerry said then.

The House of Representatives is planning to vote tonight on H. Con. Res. 75, which declares that "the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide."

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R.-Neb.), the sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement on Friday:"When ISIS systematically targets Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities for extermination, this is not only a grave injustice-it is a threat to civilization itself. We must call the violence by its proper name: genocide." 

Here is the complete statement that Secretary of State John Kerry made in 2014 in which he argued that "ISIL's campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yezedi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide:"

President Obama has acted expeditiously and appropriately in authorizing targeted military action and providing significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq at this very difficult moment when it is vitally needed.

The stakes for Iraq's future could not be clearer, and today's crisis underscores the stakes profoundly. ISIL's campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yezedi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide. For anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it. ISIL is not fighting on behalf of Sunnis. ISIL is not fighting for a stronger Iraq. ISIL is fighting to divide and destroy Iraq - and ISIL is offering nothing to anyone except chaos, nihilism, and ruthless thuggery. With a gut-wrenching humanitarian crisis unfolding, and the rolls of the starving and sick growing daily, there's not a minute to waste. The United States is acting and leading, and the world cannot sit by and watch innocents die. We will continue to coordinate with our allies in the region and the international community to assist Iraqis to confront ISIL's brutal ideology which poses a severe threat to Iraq, the region, and the United States.

President Obama has been unequivocal that he will do what is necessary and what is in our national interest to confront ISIL and its threat to the security of the region and to our own long-term security. He has been equally clear, as I have on my visit to Iraq and in all my conversations with Iraqi and regional leaders, that the only durable way to stop ISIL is for Iraq's real leaders to unite and form an inclusive government as rapidly as possible within their own constitutional framework, including the selection of a prime minister. Iraq's leaders must confront the growing humanitarian and security crisis with the urgency that it demands. They must do so knowing that ISIL finds an inadvertent, unwitting ally in any delay in the political process inside Iraq. Only ISIL wins if Iraqi political leaders avoid making tough choices rapidly to tip the balance in favor of inclusive and effective governance.

The safety and security of our men and women serving overseas is fundamental. Every day we wrestle with difficult choices to keep our people safe. I will remain closely engaged with Ambassador Beecroft, Deputy Assistant Secretary McGurk, and our team on the ground as we work to ensure that our personnel in Erbil, Baghdad, and across Iraq are secure.

Courtesy of 

Terence P. Jeffrey started as editor in chief of in September 2007. Prior to that, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events, where he is now an editor at large. Terry was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, the seventh of eleven children. Both his parents were doctors of medicine. Terry writes a weekly column for the Creators Syndicate. He and his wife, Julie, have five children and live in the Virginia suburbs outside Washington, D.C.

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