Whatever you think about the politics of the drone strike that eliminated an Iranian general, it has consequences for U.S. citizens in Iraq. Why? Because Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed revenge.
In case geography wasn’t your best subject in school, Iran, with a population of 81 million people borders Iraq on its eastern side. Iran’s ambassador to the UN called the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani “an act of war,” and vowed that it would be met with “revenge, a harsh revenge.”
The embassy told US citizens to leave the country. Embassy and consular services have been suspended. Airlines are beginning to suspend flights into Baghdad. So far, Gulf Air, the National Carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Royal Jordanian have suspended flights. More airlines are likely to follow as commercial airlines don’t like flying into war zones.
If your organization has a written security policy that specifies conditions that would require departing a country, this probably should be mentioned. When the US government says its time to go and the airlines start to stop operations, might be a time to get out. Stay longer and insurance won’t work.
Give prayerful consideration to the Iraqi civilians who might be harmed if you stay when Iran comes looking for Americans. Do you want them to possibly die because of you?
Prudence was one of the classical virtues. Peter alludes to it when he mentions moral excellence. You can go back when things calm down, but you can’t undo getting someone else killed. We understand if you want to die for your faith. Do you want an Iraqi Christian to die trying to protect you?
If this doesn’t seem like a reasonable time to depart a nation, what exactly would be a sign it was time to go?