Ted Cruz is now raising money off his appearance deliberately provoking a crowd of Arab Christians. He is raising money off a speech that insulted the leaders of persecuted Middle Eastern churches, and Washington’s Cardinal Wuerl, by suggesting they don’t know how to follow Christ.
If you haven’t been following along, here are some links:
- Tristyn at TheDC broke the story.
- Jon Coppage with the transcript and a longer write-up.
- Another account from the room.
- Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal Emmanuel-Gobry at The Week; Dougherty touches on what at least appears to be coordination with the Free Beacon. Cruz attended a breakfast with Free Beacon reporters and his national security advisor earlier that morning, just before Alana Goodman’s story smearing some of the clerics in attendance as “pro-Hezbollah.” She also got the interview right after Cruz got offstage. It’s been alleged that the neocons have stage-managed stunts like this before.
- And my great thanks to David Benkof, an Orthodox Jew and strong supporter of Israel, for writing this for us, and adapting his piece for the Times of Israel.
- Update: Here’s Ross Douthat
The senator must think his constituents and donors are stupid; that his remarks are playing well with the evangelicals back home, and this will all be glossed over in time, with anyone who brings it up being treated as disloyal and possibly anti-Semitic. Here’s what to do to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Cruz is officially against arming the Syrian opposition, but you’d think a supposed conservative firebrand like him wouldn’t hesitate to mention the fact that we already are, and have been since probably 2012. As covered here last week, it is far from a remote possibility that weapons collected in Benghazi and transferred to Syria by way of Turkey have ended up in the hands of ISIS, meaning the United States are complicit in the genocide of Middle Eastern Christians.
This has the added bonus of undermining the neocon argument, which in spite of the chaos engulfing the region they have largely stuck to, that Assad must be toppled above all else, because it shows the consequences of that kind of monomania. Look at how the Free Beacon chides these persecuted people for daring to side, out of sheer necessity, with the autocrat who might at least keep them safe.
This should be Obama’s Iran-Contra, but sadly I think neither Cruz nor Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi Select Committee have any interest in investigating what we were doing there; they’d rather establish timelines about the night of the attack and continue to build a case for the administration’s mismanagement. Ted Cruz should not be allowed to get through a single interview without being asked about what he’s going to do to get to the bottom of whether American-trafficked weapons have ended up in the hands of ISIS. The constituents of Cruz, Gowdy, et al, and conservative groups must be prepared to hold their feet to the fire on this question. If it is true, and Cruz et al are uninterested in talking about it so as not to undermine the case for further involvement in the region, that demonstrates a moral obtuseness that even CUFI might be able to see through.
If Cruz were to demonstrate a good-faith effort to investigate this matter, then perhaps he could be forgiven for the unspeakable insult to the church that he delivered this week. He was on the warpath over weapons trafficking to Mexican gangs, and this should be no different. But pressure will need to be brought to bear: Texans who are concerned about the possibility that America, however covertly or inadvertently, aided ISIS savagery, now is the time to stand up.