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.