High-Profile Syrian Delegation Visiting Ireland in late October/ November

Following last week’s important email – http://tinyurl.com/SyriaIreland & scroll down- concerning the October/November visit to Ireland by Syrian Druze and Christian academic, community and religious leaders, there have been more positive developments: the date for one of the key Dublin meetings has been changed from 28 October to 4 November, thereby extending the visit into November; there have been further very significant offers of support, most notably from Derry, Donegal and the Midlands; a number of overseas journalists have expressed their desire to cover the events and we’ve also been proffered more thousands of dollars for medical aid. I also had meetings with Syrian professionals in London who have now returned to Damascus and who have conferred with the Beirut and Damascus coordinating teams.
So far, so good. However, as this recent important article http://www.taigs.com/Syria/kidnapped_priests_value.pdf makes plain, because the moderate rebels target clerics and other community voices for ransom, discretion is necessary. Priests, bishops and archbishops, of course, are not the moderate rebels’ only targets as the attached photos illustrate:
1. A Syriac girl makes her First Holy Communion in the Old City quarters of Damascus, 24 April 2015, the 100th anniversary of the Armenians and Syriac genocides. The moderate rebels gang-rape Syriac children like her in north-eastern Syria as they did in Qusayr before they were sent packing. The girl’s mother gave me a souvenir of their big day, which I passed on to a very supportive Irish TD, whose office had earlier been subjected to intimidation campaigns because of her principled stance on Syria. Also in the photo is my good friend, prominent journalist Kaouthar Bachraoui, who currently has about 15 fatwas, mafia-style hit contracts, taken out on her life by the Muslim Brotherhood moderate rebels and their allies.
2. The next photo is of me and Rianne, a chart-topping 5-year old Syrian Muslim who has a $1 million dollar bounty on his cute little head. The moderate rebels, who have already assassinated two of his three brothers simply for being his brothers, will pay $1 million to have him murdered because he sings songs for peace.
3. The next photo is of the White Hands, a largely unsung group of truly heroic women who work tirelessly in Syria’s Qalamoun Mountains offering help and sustenance to the countless victims of the moderate rebels. They should not be confused with the White Helmets, al Nusra’s Western-funded designated undertakers.
4. The next photo is of a Sunni tribal leader I interviewed who had been kidnapped by the moderate rebels; he described to me how scores of his fellow tribesmen were sliced up like streaks of bacon and strung up like macabre decorations on Christmas trees and that he only escaped by virtue of his position as a tribal leader. He is photographed with a number of Syrian and Palestinian women, one of whom acted as my translator and who had gender reassignment surgery some years previously. That is noteworthy as Tom MacMaster, the American agent provocateur based in Scotland, helped the moderate rebels’ cause gain huge traction by publishing his bogus Gay Girl In Damascus blog (which is now being released as a movie). The moderate rebels commandeered this transgender’s Ghouta home, turning her into one of the millions of internally displaced the Syrian Arab Army protects. The moderate rebels give all women like these excruciating deaths by burning them alive, tossing them off buildings, driving over them, burying them alive or whatever sadistic fashion takes their fancy on any particular day.
5. The final photo is from Yarmouk Palestinian camp. Sunni tribal chief Cheikh Mohammad Izzat Al Matroud, who is wearing a white top on the far left of the photo, organised our trip there as part of his tireless work for peace; the moderate rebels later lured him into a trap on the pretext of brokering a local peace deal and brutally killed this good, simple, big-hearted man. Note the toy car the girl on the right is holding behind her back: this was part of an aid consignment Iranian peace activists brought with them; whatever one may think about Iran or Iranians, they were exemplary on this peace mission, where they spent almost all their time either in churches meeting internally displaced Armenians and other Syrians or doling out aid; it was a privilege to be with them. The singer in the centre was part of the Australian peace contingent and, as can be seen, he went down a treat with the Palestinian nippers who have been starved of any vestige of normality by the moderate rebels. Fr Dave Smith, who was also on that delegation with us, has just completed his latest Syrian visit where he and his fellow Australian “Boxers for Peace” brought tens of thousands of much needed dollars to Yarmouk Palestinian Camp and other front-line Syrian communities.
Though there are countless other inspiring people involved in this campaign to save Syria, Syria and the Syrians will not be saved by amassing selfies. Because Syria needs practical peace-brokers and practical hope-givers at all levels, this Irish visit must reap huge peace dividends. A number of high-status venues and convenors have been secured, as have a number of more minor venues, all of which will allow Irish residents to contribute in practical ways to securing peace with justice in Syria and each of these must maximise its individual and collective peace potential.
Although assets will argue that we should emasculate our efforts by getting representatives of the various rebel gangs and their sponsors along, that is not our mission. Our mission is conceptually quite simple: it is to engender dialogue to foster peace. We can best do that in Ireland at the moment by bringing the best civil society team we can muster from the Syrian Arab Republic to state their case, warts and all. Should others, either concomitantly or at some other time, wish to showcase rebels of one hue or another, that is their prerogative. Should the media wish to present contrary views when the delegation is in Ireland, then that is their prerogative, notwithstanding the fact that most coverage to date has favoured the rebels, none of whom seem to be moderate, about half of whom are not Syrian and all of whom seem to be the vilest sectarians imaginable.
We, however, cannot squander time debating, discussing or arguing inane, irrelevant and tangential points or even explaining incisive summaries like this http://tinyurl.com/q3kjyj9 as there is too much work to be done, and too many lives to be saved. For my own part, I will be based in Dublin from early September to get this entire project to rights. The more help I get from all people of good will, the bigger the peace harvest will be. So far, however, so very good.





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High-Profile Syrian Delegation to Visit Ireland in late October
A high-profile delegation from the Syrian Arab Republic will visit Ireland in late October. The delegation will include two Patriarchs, a bishop from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy of Damascus, a Greek Catholic priest from a heavily-contested front-line village, leading members of Syria’s Druze community, an Irish-trained surgeon in an overworked and under-supplied government-held hospital, an opposition MP in the Syrian Parliament as well as prominent members of Syria’s various Muslim communities. This will be the biggest, most important and most representative visit from Syria to either Ireland or Britain since Saudi Arabia and Turkey unleashed their jihadist hordes on Syria.
The delegation’s specific objectives are: having the voice of the ordinary Syrian people heard; garnering political, secular, religious and public support from outside Syria for their peace initiatives and raising money to allow as many Syrian children as possible survive the encroaching winter. Ireland and the Irish can and must play important and innovative roles in achieving all those objectives. Though they will also present a six-point plan to extricate Syria from the abyss, because such plans are only of import if we and our leaders act upon them, the delegation will concentrate as much on what we can do at the micro short-term as well as the macro longer-term level.
The situation in Syria remains grave on every imaginable level. On the military front, Turkey and Jordan continue to allow jihadists, Irish and British passport holders included, swarm into Syria at will and subject the Syrians, civilians and soldiers alike, to unspeakable horrors. On the diplomatic and media fronts, Syria’s powerful enemies continue to mute the voice of Syria’s representatives, even as they showcase the flesh-eating representatives of Syria’s supposed “freedom fighters”. The humanitarian situation could hardly be worse: children freeze to death in winter and die from dehydration in summer (the moderate rebels cut off the water supply as a war tactic and NATO sanctions bite hardest in winter), government hospitals have long ago run out of essential supplies (Syria was a major exporter of pharmaceuticals until Erdogan ordered the wholesale destruction and looting of Aleppo’s industrial quarters) and I have personally witnessed the teenage Palestinian mothers in Yarmouk cradling their malnourished infants as rebel mortars aimed at them bounce off the pavements a block or two away. To imagine the Apocalypse, picture modern Syria: a God-forsaken land, where the rebels, moderate and otherwise, continue to squeeze all human hope out of Syrians of all ages and all walks of life.
We Irish must not further collude in their demonic project to ethnically cleanse the Levant. Ireland must be a lodestar in offering Syria political and humanitarian lifelines and in inducing others to do the same. In these extermination wars of the Orwellian-named Arab Spring, there can be no shades of grey just as there could be no moral equivocation with Hitler and his henchmen or should have been with the Turkish and German perpetrators of the Armenian, Pontic Greek and Syriac genocides. Just as Hitler’s übermensch brooked no guff from their untermensch, so also do Syria’s supposed liberators, who continue to descend on Syria like vultures plucking at the limbs of a dying child, tolerate no dissent from their subjugated Syrian slaves and serfs.
Although Syria may well die, it is not dead yet and we must help resuscitate both her and the other peoples at the business end of the fake Arab Spring before they perish. It is our duty to ensure that, unlike Hitler’s time, Syria’s untermensch are heard, despite the unholy alliance of state actors, “pro-humanitarian bombing” NGOs and Muslim Brotherhood fanatics working to their own nefarious agendas.
The point of this delegation is not to waste valuable time arguing with Irish or British representatives and fellow-travellers of these heartless gangsters but to instead bear witness for the Syrian people. Although the delegation is composed mostly but not exclusively of Christians and Druze, they witness for all Syrians for, in the areas still held by the Syrian Arab Army, they live and die side by side with their Sunni Muslim compatriots, over two million of whom have fled for their lives to where the flag of the secular Syrian Arab Republic still defiantly flies. Tellingly, in Will Dalrymple’s superlative and much-recommended From the Holy Mountain, the Syrian Arab Republic was the only country in that entire region where Christians could live in peace and as full citizens and there is nowhere in rebel-held Syria where any vestige of secular or pluralist tolerance holds sway.
The Druze, whose belief systems, not unlike those of the Alawi, stem from a distilled blend of Islamic mysticism and Pythagorean thought, are further important witnesses for their priests, once consecrated, remove themselves totally from all worldly matters and devote their lives totally and exclusively to the aesthetic. Yet their unworldly priests, like the Mandaeans, Yezidis and so many more before them, have been summarily slaughtered by these invaders who include Irish citizens in their ranks and who have had prominent Irish journalists embed themselves with them and uncritically sing the praises of these sociopaths to what they hope is an opiated and uncaring Irish public.
Notwithstanding their crass propaganda, there is nowhere in rebel-held Syria that minorities can live in peace. There is nowhere in rebel-held Syria where normal school or university classes, as we would understand them, are held. The forced conversion of Druze and other minorities by the moderate rebels is designed to obliterate their communities, turn their historically-rooted cultures to dust and, as in their Nigerian “caliphate”, gang rape and pressgang kidnapped children into being suicide bombers and cannon fodder for their bellum internecinum.
This bellum internecinum, this war of extermination is not about religion, about this cult or that cult, this form of worship or that form of worship. It is much more fundamental that that. It is now about us helping a beleaguered people who have had unspeakable horrors visited upon them by the same dark forces that plunged Libya and Iraq into the abyss, and that stand silently by while the children of Gaza are pummelled into mushy pulp.
Ireland is not immune from this blowback. Not only have jihadists massacred Irish and British citizens on Tunisian beaches, blown up British and Irish citizens on London tubes, hacked the heads off Irish and British citizens in Iraq and slammed British and Irish citizens into New York’s Twin Towers but Irish soldiers peacekeeping with the UN on the Golan Heights have, along with their gallant comrades from the Philippines, come under sustained attack from these very same rebels and, were it not for the help of the Syrian Army and its air force, Ireland would have had another Niemba calamity on its hands in the Golan Heights. We cannot accept this barbarism, which must be actively opposed and extirpated from the face of the earth.
Surely we can agree on the need to have the voice of the ordinary Syrian people heard; to garner political, religious and public support from outside Syria for their peace initiatives and to raise money to help the children of Syria defy the odds and survive another winter. Our primeval humanitarian instincts must impel us to ensure that Ireland and the Irish can and must play important and innovative roles in achieving all these objectives.
Those who shill for the destruction of the Arab peoples will oppose this peace delegation. Prof. Gilbert Achcar of the SOAS will no doubt assemble the usual gaggle of post-modernist flunkeys and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood toadies to argue, as Al Jazeera Arabic incessantly does and as the odious Carole Malouf does on Al Jazeera English, that, as in Iraq and Libya, only the hard love of “humanitarian bombing” and a final solution, eine endlösung, to Syria’s Druze, Alawi, Ismaili, Armenian, Shia and Christian “problems” will bring peace.
That too is unacceptable for the truth, as the upright Arabs of this delegation will argue, could not be more prosaic. Though Syria, like every other Arab country, needs root, branch and nodal reforms, these obviously cannot be done, as our liberal war hawks argue, at the sharp end of a Saudi bayonet or a blunt Qatari club. No matter how much those in hock to the arms industry wish it, whatever reforms are needed to allow all the peoples of Syria achieve their potential and live lives of quiet peace will not be achieved by dismembering and pauperising their homeland to assuage Gulf despots or other dubious entities seeking their own Levantine lebensraum under one supremacist pretext or another. Those who propagate that line have countless dead Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni and Iraqi lives to atone for.
Though the delegation will be based primarily in central Dublin, it will address meetings and services in a number of counties including Antrim, Armagh, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Roscommon, Tipperary and Westmeath, with a number of other counties in the frame as well..
Although the impending Irish general election might superficially dent these plans, the quest for peace must go on. Indeed, one of the most striking aspects of the recent British general election was the total absence of foreign policy as an election issue – despite the complicity of successive British governments in the destruction of Libya and Iraq and their ongoing complicity in the campaigns of terror against the Yemeni and Syrian people, members of this delegation, their families, friends and congregations included.
Life need not be so. If you can help or if you require further information, please get in touch by email in the first instance. Though these plans are now quite advanced, there is still quite a lot of work to do to make this visit the success the Syrian people need it to be.
There will be a relatively small number of further general emails as October draws near. Though there are a number of other initiatives afoot – members of Ireland’s Muslim community have a peace protest on Sunday 26 July opposite the GPO, the Australian-based Boxers for Peace are again in the Syrian ring, punching above their weight in the noblest of causes, the Awareness Foundation are having a gala dinner in London on November 17th, and the British-based Aid to the Church in Need group are bringing Archbishop Jean Clement Jeanbart from Syria’s Stalingrad of Aleppo to London on October 13th, I am devoting my efforts for now on this joint Irish Syrian initiative, which will try to harness all people of goodwill on the island of Ireland behind this noble cause and this noble people.
Although much more than this Irish initiative is needed to solve this great calamity, we will at least help the Syrians amplify their voice and we might therefore help alleviate this horror for at least some of them and, if we achieve that, we can hold our heads high that we gave it our best shot with the best means available to us.
For my own part, I have been to Syria four times in the last year and what is seared indelibly into my soul is the silent sense of abandonment veering on hopelessness in the deadened eyes of the countless widows and orphaned children I met. I have seen at first hand Patriarch Laham’s reaction to the horrors they have unburdened on him and the stolidity, stoicism and sheer determination of this 82 year-old holy man to see this disaster through to the bitter end should be a clarion call to our inner selves to come to the aid of those of his compatriots who have survived thus far. Though I do not know how graphically he or other members of the delegation will address those unspeakable horrors, I do know that all of them will agree that we are all duty-bound to come to the aid of this great people before they perish.
In the years of “The Great Hunger” we Irish have been down this road before, as have others, not least the Armenians, whose genocide by the same supremacist forces now ravaging Syria began 100 years ago in 1915. In the years of “The Great Crime”, as the Armenians call their Holocaust, the Syrian people, along with the Lebanese, Iraqis and Palestinians were selfless in throwing them lifelines. Now it is our turn to return the favour. Let us arise!

Dr Declan Hayes
I attach three photos from my various visits to Syria:
a. Elias, a Palestinian Christian from the little town of Bethlehem with me and a Druze community leader who had just voted in the Presidential elections in June 2013 in Homs.
b. With Syria’s (Sunni) Grand Mufti, whose apolitical son was brutally murdered by the moderate rebels for no other crime than being his son.
c. With Greek Catholic Patriarch Laham shortly before we and all Syria’s other Christian leaders, headed to the Aramaic speaking town of Maaolulah, very shortly after the Syrian Arab Army and Lebanese irregulars had just wrested it back from the rebels, whose atrocities have stained the town forever. The photos beneath are of Maaloula, residents who were systematically beheaded by the moderate rebels. The smaller photo is a plaque to three locals who were also summarily executed by the moderate rebels for refusing to join their cult.

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Syria’s Blood Fountains

Syria’s enemies, it seems, will not rest until the last drop of blood flows from the last dead Syrian. How, one might ask, did Syrians become so mired in their own blood and how may Syria be stopped from drowning in it?
Like most crimes, it is best to go back the beginning of this false rebellion when Lonely Planet travellers remarked on how safe Syria was to travel in and how William Dalrymple’s superlative From the Holy Mountain showed that it was the one country in that entire region where Christians and other minorities were regarded as equal citizens.
The Syrian economy seemed to be buzzing as well, with Syria’s President being a guest of the Queen at Westminster and meeting America’s leaders on matters of concern to their two communities and, perhaps, to the general international community as well. For those of us with no great interest in ancient Rome, ancient Christianity or ancient relics, there was nothing much to see in Syria and so we, along with our media, generally ignored it, just like we did with Ukraine, Armenia or a host of other countries before they got their colour-coded counter-revolutions imposed on them or as we ignored Iraq and Libya before Nato decided they had to be blitzed into the nether regions of Dante’s Inferno.
Syria’s colour-coded counter-revolution began inauspiciously enough with a handful of draft-dodgers apparently taking to the mattresses with whatever weapons they cold pilfer. As the media began to beef them up, amateur observers, myself included, gave them a couple of weeks at most before the Syrian Army obliterated them. Far from being crushed, Syria’s Contras became the darlings of the West and seemed set to take Damascus before the Syria Army stopped them in their tracks and, with the help of their Lebanese allies, sent them packing. Then, when we figured the Syrian Army had prevailed, the Contra gangs made spectacular gains in Northern Syria and attempted a full-scale invasion from Jordan while Israel helped Contra units attack Syria from the Golan Heights and the USAF allowed ISIS run riot in the East. Bafflement time again.
Clearly then, Syria has a formidable alliance of countries aligned to it. Equally clearly, this has not been made clear, for whatever reasons, in our media, which seems to concentrate on telling us that ISIS veterans pose a direct threat to our friends, families and neighbours in the sleepy suburbs that we live in and that we should concentrate on that direct threat to all we hold dear and not bother analysing why they are allowed to create more mega-lakes of innocent Syria blood as the fancy takes them.
We are told that the Syrian government, which cooperated up to very recently with their British and American counter-parts, is a global pariah, that we must wreck their economy and social fabric with sanctions, boycotts, threats, and that we must handsomely fund our humanitarian organisations to turn them into global pariahs because, like a naughty child in a playground, it is all their fault and they need some tough love so they know not to be naughty and break Nato’s rules.
To justify Nato’s amoral stance, we are told that the Syrian authorities have used chemical weapons on the Contras, that they have used barrel bombs, an apparently particularly brutal and brutally cheap form of aerial ordnance and that they are now using chlorine bombs, something, it seems, we are supposed to recoil from in much the same way Dracula would flee a crucifix.
One wonders if there is another side to all this? Syria’s enemies, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, are amongst the world’s vilest and most repugnant regimes and they and their media outlets have been rightly slated by all relevant scribes with even a token amount of decency in them. The Nato countries, Britain and the USA in the main, have already plunged two Arab countries, Iraq and Libya, into the abyss and, as their eagerness to bomb Syria in the wake of the 2013 chemical gas attack shows, they would dearly like to add Syria’s scalp to their gruesome collection. Because of their complicity in those monstrous crimes, British and American war hawks should be made curtail their genocidal gut reactions and sit the Syrian war out. The same goes for Italy, Libya’s former colonial power, and France, which has previous form in bombing Syrian civilians and which, along with Italy and the “usual suspects” of Britain and America, bombed Libya into rack and ruin.
What then of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Turkey should cede western Armenia to Armenia to Turkey, the Shias of the oil-rich sections of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia should be given their independence, and Qatar should not only be made cease to exist but its confiscated reserves should be used to fund Syrian reconstruction.
And what about Syria itself? Were Russia and Chinese ground troops allowed to finish off the rebels, guard Syria’s borders and vital installations, then Syria could once again have positive cash flows.
What then about the rebels? There are the brains and the brawn. The Muslim Brotherhood are the brains of the non-ISIS factions and they have to be corralled. Though ISIS brawn must be defeated in the field, their brains must first be identified before being splattered around whatever parts of Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia they hole themselves up in?
And what about the rest, the Nato powers and how they are portrayed? Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nato has proved to be the world’s most lethal user and abuser of both soft and hard power. There is barely a war theatre in today’s world where either they or their arms are not to the fore in fomenting the crimson blood fountains they thrive on.
And, as Syria amply demonstrates, there is barely a media outlet where their cynical spin does not convince most of us that right is wrong and good is bad. We read about the moderate rebels like we read about the moderate Wehrmacht but all the evidence indicates that even the most moderate of them are a blight on humanity. We read about the Syrian Army’s atrocities but all the independent forensic evidence indicates that most of these supposed acts were, if not committed by the Contra gangs, were the work of the well-paid PR firms Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia employ on behalf of their respective rebel gangs.
And do, what is to be done? One thing we could do is to give the Syrians a voice so that their side can, at least be heard. But even that is denied them. They cannot get visas and, when those of them who have non-Syrian passports, manage to speak at one forum or another, Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, ISIS fellow-travellers or intellectually vacuous Westerners physically attack them just as the Brownshirts used the boot and the knuckleduster in their day. Yet we must persevere against the TV stations and newspapers which, for whatever perverse reasons of national security, wish to deny us the voice of truth only the victims of the rebels can supply.
I have no idea whether Martin Luther King Jr was right when he said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. But I do know one thing: in life, we have to pick moral sides and in many areas there is no grey. The Nazis’ atrocities cannot be batted away by the moral equivalence arguments that have held such sway in recent years. Nor can the crimes of the Syrian Contra rebels or of the countries who finance and arm them or of the media outlets which shill for them. They must be opposed and they too must be beaten so that Syria’s rivers of blood can be stemmed.