Following the October 31 massacre at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, the dwindling Christian community in Iraq decided to cancel public observances of the Christmas season, in the hope of avoiding further bloodshed at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. Although Muslims attacked churches in Nigeria and the Philippines, it seemed as is the Iraqis might have some respite from the horrors of Jihad.
Violence in Juarez, Mexico — arguably the world’s deadliest city — is now costing not only lives, but livelihoods, as residents flee, abandoning homes and businesses to save themselves. The highest unofficial estimates of the exodus, compiled by social organizations, a local university, and a municipal group, could exceed 230,000, according to CBS News.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, has said that no American troops should remain in Iraq at the end of 2011. “The last American soldier will leave Iraq…. This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed.” The Prime Minister also granted assurances that his nation will not be pulled into an alliance with Iran, even though that is what some Iraqi politicians want (Iran and Afghanistan have recently signed a memorandum of understanding which brings those two nations into closer cooperation).