The time was January 2014, almost two years before the words of my 2015 Christmas column were written, that Islamic State group forces were racing across open desert toward Fallujah as America's commander in chief President Barack Obama sat idly by.
Forces that just a few days later he would tell writer David Remnick "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." Mr. Obama's flippant dismissal of that threat would lead to a literal Christmas from hell for Assyrian Christians trapped under IS control and a refugee crisis not seen since World War II.
Yes, it was just two Christmases ago that I wrote:
"At this very moment there are literally hundreds of thousands of Christian families in the Middle East that face a homeless and fatherless Christmas. Homeless because ISIS has made sure of it. Fatherless because ISIS murdered them. The women and children that did make it out tell horrific tales of beatings, rapes and others being sold off as sex slaves. And of all them the Assyrian Christians are bearing a disproportional brunt of that brutality.
"When Christ was born in that 'cradle of the world' they had already been calling it home for over 2000 years. They are the last known people to still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ himself, and they are being left to the slaughter by a White House hiding behind bureaucratic process and political legalese."
And I closed that column with a question: "Just who are we, that in this, the 21st century we won't lift even a finger to protect those that have been with us since the 1st?"
It took a presidential election and the upset of upsets, but two years after I first posed that question, America has finally ended what should have been stopped before it ever started.
For all the "sky is falling," "how dare he," "he did not just say that" tweets aside, President Donald Trump did what Obama refused to do. He empowered the professionals within the ranks of the most powerful military the world has ever known to make their plan and execute said plan.
For all the oratorical skills of Obama, it took the inauguration of Trump to at last decimate the JV team. And while the terrorist threat will continue for years to come via radicalization and internet recruitment, the Islamic State group's power to rape and pillage at will is no longer.
One might think that the world would be just a bit appreciative of American leadership finally returning to the Middle East. One would be wrong.
All it took was for Trump to honor the will of the 104th Congress' Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that the Embassy of the United States be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for the ever-increasingly anti-Semitic United Nations to rush to condemn.
Under the guise that the move hindered a nonexistent peace process, the U.N. General Assembly this past Thursday voted 128 to 9 with 35 abstentions to condemn the United States for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Jerusalem is the city where the infant Christ was presented to God in the temple. At age 12, Christ was again in the temple conversing with the much older and supposed learned priests. The city's outskirts saw John the Baptist baptize Jesus. And the very same city where, as a man, Christ preached the gospel, literally turning the tables on the money changers in the temple. That was the beginning of his end as both priests and politicians plotted his removal.
And it was here, in Jerusalem, that he would take his Last Supper, be betrayed by one of his own and ultimately be hoisted upon a cross between two thieves to endure the agonizing death of crucifixion.
So while the United Nations can vote as it wants, it cannot erase the fact that Jerusalem was, is and always will be the capital of Israel no matter what the political winds of the day.
And it is America, not the U.N., that has the sovereign right to decide where it wants its embassy.
The sooner the nations of the world can recognize those simple facts, the closer the world gets to that "Peace on Earth, good will to men" we all want for Christmas.