SYRIA: Preliminary FAQs

FAQs: These, the beginnings of my own FAQs, are the result of my travels to Syria. Though the Syrian crisis is multi-faceted, the emphasis should be on stopping outside state, NGO and other forces making a very bad situation infinitely worse. Neither the violence nor the flood of refugees fleeing Syria and other countries will end until countries like Saudi Arabia and their terrorist proxies stop throwing financial and logistical fuel on the fire on the pyre that is Syria.  These FAQs do not claim to be definitive; they are given to allow more focused and helpful suggestions to be made. Ebding the Syrian violence will take a lot of work over a lot of years. Some honesty would also help.
Alawite: Syria is NOT ruled by an Alawite elite. In accordance with common colonial practice, the French promoted Alawite and Druze officers in the military on the divide and conquer principle that the Dutch used to promote Catholic and Protestant military officers in Indonesia. Although Alawites may be disproportionately over-represented amongst the elite, this would not be more pronounced than similar distortions elsewhere. Sunnis are well-represented at the highest government levels and in the military and inter-marriages are very common, the marriage of Syria’s President to a Sunni being one such high-profile example. The fanatics of the Muslim Brotherhood apart, Syria’s problems are not sectarian at heart. They are socio-economic in nature and the sectarians’ war against Syria only accentuate those problems.
Al Jazeera Arabic: Is part of the Qatari controlled Al Jazeera network. It is less moderate or, if you prefer, more honest than its English sister station and regularly and explicitly calls for the extermination of Syria’s Druze, Alawite and Shia communities. Irish-based spokespeople for the Muslim Brotherhood terror gang have featured prominently on this notorious Muslim Brotherhood station. Al Jazeera Arabic and its Qatar sponsors are very major contributors to the violence sweeping the Arab world.
Assadist: Calling opponents of the rebels Assadists is just a way to polarise opinion, to help target and murder those who genuinely oppose the ISIS and other rebel gangs and to justify raping, enslaving and murdering them; it is a hate crime, akin to baiting Jews in 1930s’ Berlin. Most Syrians who support the Syrian Arab Army do so because they want to protect their homes and homeland from the rebels who want to kill or enslave them. Most non-Syrians who support Syria’s right to exist do so because they see what the alternative is and the ugly forces trying to impose that alternative against the wishes of the Syrian people. President Assad, his family and his clan are bit parts in this. The Assadist slur is a cheap and nasty one disseminated by cheap and nasty people, who should be robustly taken to task over it.
Ba’ath Party: The Ba’ath Party is a catch-all party. Its most dedicated members are in the front lines fighting the rebels not least because they know that they and their family members are summarily executed whenever the rebels get the chance to kill them.
Barrel bombs: Barrel bombs are widely used as they are cost-effective. The rebels highlight them not out of any real humanitarian concern but because they want a no-fly zone so that Syria might be bombed back into barbarity just as Libya and Serbia were. Barrel bombs are just one in an array of ordnance and Ken Roth of the Human Rights Watch group discredits himself by comparing them to the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack.
Casualties, Civilian and Otherwise: The Syrian Arab Army and its allies have borne the bulk of the casualties to date. This has been largely due to their use of outmoded tactics in the early years of the invasion when Qatari, Turkish and Saudi controlled gangs held the initiative. Currently, about half of all rebel fatalities are foreigners, evidence of the mercenary nature of much of their support.
Christian axe to grind: Although it is true that Christians were far better treated in Syria than in any country contiguous to it, the war against Syria goes much deeper than religion. The rebels are waging war against civilisation and the basic norms of humanity which underscore our modern world. Far from axe-grinding, Western Christian leaders are doing little of practical consequence to help. When Syria’s Christians deliver their tales of woe to the uncaring West, Syria’s enemies parrot the Christians are merely running to report to their paymasters. The truth of course is that Syria’s enemies want to silence all Syrian voices for peace and, as in the case of Syria’s indefatigable Christian leaders, marginalise and discredit those voices they cannot totally muffle.
Free Syrian Army: The Free Syrian Army are not and never have been an effective fighting force. They are a Muslim Brotherhood controlled umbrella group, whose top tiers consist of ex-Army officers and sundry buccaneers with an insatiable sense of entitlement. Their foot soldiers are more interested in rape and pillage than in fighting and footage abounds showing them engaged in all manners of crimes from mass looting to rape to eating the hearts of their prisoners. The very idea that an effective group of secular rebels could emerge in Syria is a patent nonsense. They are a concoction of the Muslim Brotherhood, their paymasters and the Qatari-funded PR companies they hire.

Friday Prayers: Because Friday prayers can be volatile or sensitive times in Muslim communities, the Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian and other authorities have tended to monitor them to ensure passions are not being enflamed and, when they are, they would warn the imam to tone things down or suffer the consequences. The rebels have simply murdered moderate imams and have ensconced their own bellicose puppets in their stead. This has not been helpful at all. The legacy of the press-ganging of child soldiers, the incendiary imams and the sheer brutality with which the rebels have pursued their dubious aims will take generations to overcome.
Gay/transgender: I have met members of Syria’s gay and transgender communities in Damascus and they live peaceably. Although the rebels execute them by throwing them off buildings for visual effects, one has to suspect that they are just using alleged sexual orientation as an excuse to rob and murder them as all the rebels long ago made their views on such issues crystal clear and how such transgressions against their own warped mora “values” were to be dealt with. Either way, the fact that leading members of England’s and Ireland’s gay communities support the homophobic Muslim Brotherhood rebels should be a cause of serious self-reflection for them.
Hezbollah: Hezbollah only emerged following the 1982 massacre of Palestinians and Lebanese Shia by Christian militia at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Hezbollah believe and the evidence, such as the endless saturation bombing of Syrian Shia villages and the endless Al Jazeera Arabic pronouncements, supports them, that should Sunni supremacists get their way, they will again be slaughtered. No less a figure than the homophobic, genocidal mysoginist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to whom several well-known Irish Muslim leaders have sworn allegiance, is unequivocal about this: the Shias, along with homosexuals and various other groups, must be totally and utterly exterminated and, as we see in Syria, his followers are practicing waht he and others preach. For my own part, I have found Hezbollah members to be ok the few times I have met them but then I don’t pick fights with them. The only thing that really surprised me about them was their support for Germany rather than Iran in the World Cup.
Iran: I have found the Iranians to be very reasonable as well during the Easter 2014 Peace Pilgrimage to Syria. Although it is true that Iran’s credit line keeps Syria afloat, that is surely a better way to spend their money than how the idle princes of Saudi Arabia and the micro state of Qatar spend theirs. The fact that Saudi Arabia wants Iran expunged surely is a point in favour of Iran than against it and should, at the very least, get us to question the role Saudi Arabian bribes play in our system and in our ongoing silence over Bahrain where Irish-trained doctors were and are still being routinely tortured.
ISIS: Because ISIS’ (Islamic State’s) form of Sunni obscurantism most resembles Wahhabism, which underwrites the rule of the Saudi Royal family and which they export to the four ends of the earth, one has to assume strong financial and military links between Saudi Arabia and their ideological brothers. Although the Iraqis, the so-called Prussians of the Arab world, are well-represented in its officer corps, military logic dictates there must be a layer from the intelligence community above them and directing them, not least because there are so many distinctly un-Arab traits about them. Journalists, academics and others should be trying to unmask those higher layers, rather than fretting about the snuff propaganda videos non-entities like Jihadi John star in.
Israel/Palestine: Syria is separate to the Israeli/Palestinian question even though both parties to that dispute have questions to answer. Israel should explain why its soldiers openly fraternise on the Golan Heights with al Nusra, why it provides material help to the rebels and why its air force now regularly bombs Syrian soldiers, who last fired a shot in anger at them 40 years ago. Hamas should likewise explain why it colludes with the Syrian rebels and if they do so solely at the behest of their Qatari and Muslim Brotherhood paymasters or if they have some ideological rather than mercenary reasons for doing so.
Kurds: As I told a Kurdish speaker at a recent Stop the War meeting (which the Muslim Brotherhood disrupted) they, as their old saying goes, have no friends but the mountains. Their new-found friends have already betrayed them. Though the Kurds’ future is in coming to an accommodation with those neighbours they can having a working peace with, their rights should not be used to confuse the greater wrong that is being done on Syria, her minorities and all her people.
Media: Although the Western media tends to be very supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and their various front groups, even as the West debates not whether the Muslim Brotherhood are terrrorists but to what degree they are involved in terrorist crimes, supporters of peace with justice could be more pro-active in disseminating their side of the story rather than leaving the field to pro humanitarian bombing NGOS and other Orwellian groups who feed into the Muslim Brotherhood’s sectarian supremacist agenda.
Muslim Brotherhood: The Muslim Brotherhood, in which Egypt’s Morsi, Turkey’s Erdogan, Qaradawi and other Qatari-based sociopaths are all leading lights, is the main terrorist organisation behind Syria’s violence and it should be dealt with accordingly. Following their failed 1982 coup, most Syrian Muslim Brotherhood terrorists fled into safe haven boltholes from where they built a network of dedicated and highly professional cadres to spew their toxins. Although the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has countless professionals and aspiring political leaders in its ranks of exiles, it not only lacks boots on the Syrian ground but it has lost out in that important regard to Nusra, ISIS and the other groups it formerly nurtured. As in Egypt and Syria, so also here: the Muslim Brotherhood should be declared illegal and its leaders charged with directing terrorism in the same way leaders of any other comparable terrorist organisation are charged.
No fly zone: Calls for a no-fly zone are just another way of calling for Syria to be destroyed by air forces in the same way that Libya, Serbia and Iraq were. Those “humanitarians” calling for a no fly zone should be queried as to their true motives.
Palestinians & UNRWA: The Palestinians in Syria, like their compatriots elsewhere, are being used by various people for their own ends. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is one such group which claims to be supporting 95% of all Palestinians in Syria. This is untrue. Most Palestinians in Syria are under the protection of the Syrian Arab Army and are provided for by the Syrian people. UNRWA are, at best, peripheral, if particularly well-funded players.
Qatar: As well as being a major user of slave labour for the corrupt 2022 World Cup, the micro state of Qatar has been a major state sponsor of terrorism throughout the Arab world, most notably in Libya and in all other areas where the Muslim Brotherhood murder gangs operate.
Refugees: There are two problems here, the stock and the flow. Though the flow of people fleeing the war zones has to be addressed, so too do the much larger stock of people left behind. No matter how many refugees are given succour, until the Muslim Brotherhood terror gangs and their state sponsors are emasculated, the flow will only continue. To speak about the current refugee problem and to ignore the forces driving these unfortunates to risk their lives in such a fashion is to address the symptom and to stupidly (or deliberately) ignore the underlying cause. The ethnic cleansing of Syria under any faux humanitarian pretext is not an acceptable solution.
Russia: The Third Rome: Because Russian involvement is the key to solving the Syrian crisis, Russia’s ongoing and various peace initiatives should be, if not fully supportedm at least thoroughly considered. Although Russia may well have some self-interest in pursuing peace, no-one could honestly dispute that Russia’s hands are much cleaner on recent Middle Eastern issues than are those of most NATO and Gulf States.
Safe areas: The idea of setting up some bantu-style Christian safe havens in Northern Syria and Northern Syria should be resisted as they serve only the cause of those who are driving the Christians and others away from their ancient homelands. The solution to the Syrian and Iraqi problems is secular governments, protected by peace-keeping forces from Vietnam, Russia, China, Iran and South American and other countries that can be seen as honest brokers and who can also protect the oil wells and attendant cash flows and thereby help secure the necessary funds for regeneration. The forces which destroyed Iraq and Libya should have no major part to play in this as they are seen as part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Saudi Arabia: One wonders how British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond recently kept a straight face when his Saudi Arabian equivalent, standing beside him, informed the world that Syria must have a more representative and democratic form of government. Critics would argue that the leaders of Saudi Arabia must be made join Turkey’s leaders in the dock and that Saudi Arabia’s role as a major state sponsor of terrorist ideology needs to be ended, that those responsible for Saudi war crimes in Bahrain and Yemen be brought to justice and its future as a single entity examined with, perhaps, the oil-rich, Shia dominated areas being given a form of self-rule and international peace-keeping force being deployed throughout the rest of Saudi Arabia to ensure women, Christians, immigrants and all other oppressed groups there are treated as fairly as they are in Syria.
Sunni Syrians: Most Sunnis support the Syrian Arab Army and comprise the bulk of its forces. Most Sunni tribes support the Syrian Army and fight and die alongside it. Whatever genuine community support the rebels enjoy is generally to be found amongst the rural poor who have been promised the wealth of others or who have been bought off with the looted spoils of war. Once peace returns and a programme for reconstruction is put in place, Sunni support for the rebels will dissipate, leaving only the embittered Muslim Brotherhood cadres to renew their plotting for their next bloodbath.

Sunni Tribes: The Sunni tribes in the eastern half of Syria play a key role in the crisis. Though most of them remain loyal to the Syrian government and fight and die alongside the Syrian Army in places such as Deit Elzzor, ISIS and the other rebels have put a lot of work into winning over younger zealots and using them as a Trojan horse to coerce older leaders into obeying them. The many massacres of tribesmen bear withness to that.

Syria and Sectarianism: The genesis of the sectarian card can be traced to the promotion which Sam Harris’ screed denouncing received after the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks. Harris’ tract began a cottage industry of God-bashing where Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens and a mini-army of others wrote best-selling tracts essentially regurgitating the works of Thomas Paine for a modern audience and convincing a large number of people that religion rather than politics and politicians was the root of today’s political problems. In practical terms, this has led Western forces to undermine the secular underpinnings of Iraq, Libya, Syria and a number of other countries and to encourage and promote sectarians. These forces have allowed Saudi Arabia and similar countries to adopt a sectarian laager stance and to simultaneously export their own radicals to cause mayhem and to serve nefarious agendas in countries such has Syria.

Turkey: Turkey’s role in the dismemberment of Syria should be examined with regard to putting Erdogan and his key collaborators on trial in the International Criminal Court for war crimes and for sponsoring the Free Syrian Army, ISIS, the Grey Wolves and the plethora of other terrorist groups it controls and that operate with impunity in Turkey. Evidence of Erdogan’s compicity in the the rape of the Armnian town of Kessab, the Kurdish town of Kobani, Idlib, Aleppo and many other places is as overwhelming as is evidence of their Syriac and Armenian genocides a century ago.
Yarmouk: Yarmouk Camp, which I visited in April 2015, is the only Palestinian enclave in Syria with a sizable rebel presence. Prior to the violence, it was a prosperous commercial hub, which, fatally, was given much autonomy by the Syrian authorities. This autonomy allowed the rebels gain a foothold. Currently, most Yarmouk Palestinians have fled to government-controlled areas and Palestinian forces allied to the Syrian Army control one part of Yarmouk whilst a volatile coalition of the Free Syrian Army, their ISIS and Nusra allies and some sundry other gangs control the rest. Yarmouk has been used as a propaganda tool by the rebels’ supporters and they have even published fake pictures from them in an attempt to swindle even more money from gullible people for their dishonest cause.

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We Save Syria: The attached, done gratis by professional Vietnamese graphic designer friends of mine, is our We Save Syria logo.
FAQs: I have published an exploratory list of FAQs on the Syrian conflict at www.taigs.com
Syria’s Problems, Syria’s Solutions: Though the delegation’s religious, medical, community and academic leaders will comprehensively cover all relevant Syrian topics, their focus is on offering practical ways we can help redress the awful human, social, physical, archaeological and community damage Syria’s social tissue has suffered in this vernichtungsschlacht gegen Syrien.
Irish Exports Killed by The Syrian Arab Army include Alaa Ciymeh, Shamseddin Gaidan, Hudhaifa ElSayed, Hisham Habbash and Muthenna Abu Taubah, all of whom had Irish passports/roots. Eamonn Bradley, Mahdi/Mehdi al-Harati and Housam “Irish Dave” Najjair aka “The Dublin Sniper” are amongst those assets who have returned here. Though this hall of Irish shame includes at least one Nusra terrorist, one ISIS terrorist, one Army of Islam terrorist and four Liwa al-Umma terrorists, Harati’s Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance network bears especial mention.
The Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance murder gang has, with Turkey’s Grey Wolves and its other affiliates, been pivotally involved in summarily lynching sub-Saharan Africans in Libya, in trafficking Yezidi and Assyrian sex slaves in Syria and Iraq, in fencing precious artefacts throughout Europe and in all the other crimes that are the hall mark of the Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan “revolutionaries”. Dubliner Harati, its founder, together with his “Dublin Sniper” side kick, is one to be very wary of, not least because, as this link http://thepassionateattachment.com/ suggests, some Irish radicals, who logistically succour the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (who are now officially merging with the Ahrar ash-Sham murder gang), regard these sociopaths as broth-of-a-boy heroes.
13 January 2013: Harati’s Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance and allied groups murdered 82 architecture students from Aleppo University; some photos of those dead students are here www.taigs.com as are photos of and comments on Damascus’ fantastic crop of current architecture students and staff. Two days after I left Homs at the time of the 2014 Presidential election, rebel suicide bombers deliberately targeted a kindergarten I visited, killing over 50 of its small charges. Outrages like these are a daily occurrence in Aleppo and other areas under siege by Harati’s Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance.
Irish archaeologists hand-wringing over Palmyra and Nimrud or Irish clerics offering cloistered prayers for orphaned Syriac children, gang-raped Armenian teenagers, kidnapped Greek Orthodox nuns or God-forsaken unfortunates drowning in the Mediterranean does not negate the deep concern that Irish criminal godfathers who regard these pre-school Syrian toddlers as legitimate targets fit only for extermination remain at large plotting more mayhem.

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These architecture students (above) at Aleppo University were amongst a large group of their fellows the rebels murdered. Aleppo University has been a key target of the rebels and their Turkish sponsors, who wish to bring Syria to its knees. Turkey’s deliberate destruction and looting of Aleppo’s industrial zones has played into Erdogan’s expansionist aims as it opens the door for Turkish hegemony.

The students below are architecture students from Damascus University. When I visited the university in April 2015, I viewed their exhibition which explained how they intend to rebuild Syria. Although I have supervised literally hundreds of post-graduate theses and have a good few other relevant academic and practical achievements under my belt, I have never been as impressed as I was with those students and their mentors. Their plans were thoroughly thought out, structured and costed and they answered al lof my many questions with aplomb. Though the rebels may have murdered hundreds of Aleppo’s brightest, the students of Damascus seem determined to fill the boots of their fallen Aleppan colleagues. With Zenobias like them, we can save Syria.

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Syrian Update

Progress is being made in Belfast and, the pending election notwithstanding, also in Dublin and the West of Ireland with a number of women and other groups coming on board. The considerable practical experience groups like CAIN, the various conflict studies centres, ecumenics centres and the human rights centres have accumulated over the last very many years will be of good practical benefit, over both the shorter and longer terms.

Dr Ahmad al Khaddour is here http://tinyurl.com/ahmadsyria with fellow cardiologist Mr Joel Dunning giving a very informative albeit rather technical interview and, 13 minutes into this next video http://tinyurl.com/syria-ahmad, he gives a less technical but equally informative one to George Galloway and Putri Gayatri Pertiwi. In the former interview, Mr Khaddour urges his fellow-surgeons to take the road to Damascus. “The Lawless Roads” must be trod by at least some of us if peace is ever to return to Syria. The delegation will be urging academic, political, medical, religious and community leaders to take that most famous of roads with us in December.

Prof. Seham al-Danon, who is a leading member of Syria’s Druze community, is the deputy dean of the Faculty of Arts at Damascus University, where she is also Professor of Regional Geography. Prof. al-Danon was very seriously injured in a targeted rebel assassination attempt in June 2013, which necessitated both of her legs to be amputated. Though not nearly as badly affected as Aleppo or Homs Universities, Damascus University nevertheless has had 60 students, 5 lecturers and 15 employees murdered as well as a further 200, including Prof al-Danon, very seriously injured. Prof. Al-Danon continues both with her academic administrative duties and still writes and speaks on the role of culture in combatting extremism and in building peace and reconciliation.

Prof. Maria Saadeh’s professional page http://tinyurl.com/MariaSaadeh makes plain she is the type of urbane high achiever we would all like to have in our Parliaments. Yet the rebels revile representative Syrians like her and Prof Danon, from their dress to their independence as modern women and their determination to shape the modern world rather than be literally shackled to a kitchen stove.

Prof. Khaled al Assaad, age 82, former Director of Antiquities & Museums for UNESCO’s jewel of Palmyra, author of over 20 scholarly tomes on Palmyra and honoured by numerous European academic societies, has now joined Syria’s long list of martyrs http://tinyurl.com/nwq3qv4.

Joseph Louis Lagrange, along with Euler, the greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century, lamented Laurent de Lavoisier’s murder with these words “It took them only an instant to cut off that head, but France (Syria in Prof Assaad’s case) may not produce another like it in a century.”

All Saints’ Day in Ireland: Our plans for 1 November include a major link-up to Syria where good people like Prof. Assaad continue to be martyred every day of the year. The pastoral needs of relevant minority religions on the island of Ireland, most of whom are based near Waterford, will also be accommodated then.

Lord Molyneaux at Belsen: was mentioned in the last email. Please click these links http://tinyurl.com/nqtzrca & http://tinyurl.com/c49hd4m, especially the second one of his account of the Catholic Mass he attended at Belsen. It is probably the most harrowing thing you will ever read in your life. Syria is not dissimilar. However, as he said regarding that Tridentine Mass, good eventually triumphs. But it will only triumph if people bite the bullet, stand up for what they profess and not leave it all to octogenarians like the late Prof. al Assaad and his good friend, Patriarch Gregorios Laham, who will be with us all in late October.

Update: Syrian Delegation to Ireland

Syrian Delegation’s Main Aim: The previous email, (scroll down to view), gave details of the eminent Syrian delegation visiting the island of Ireland in late October. These eminent Syrians will propound practical ways political, academic, community and religious leaders and all others on the island of Ireland can help end Syria’s nightmare.
Ulster Says No: Because just 13 votes defeated the British government’s August 2013 Commons’ motion to bomb Syria back to the Stone Age, Ulster’s MPs, not one of whom supported the proposed bombing campaign, swung the Syrian scales to peace rather than to war, to life rather than to death, against ISIS rather than to it. Countless Syrians are alive today, thanks to those Ulster MPs and to their constituents who lobbied them and Syria is eternally in debt to them for that vote and for those that lie ahead. Securing those peace votes is a key objective of the visit.
Irish Death Squads in Syria: Ulster’s MPs notwithstanding, Ireland has the highest number of jihadists per capita from Europe in Syria. Though the most infamous of these murderers have also committed similar atrocities in Libya, their handiwork has left a very acrid taste in Syria. This visit allows us to make redress for their crimes.
The Late Lord Molyneaux, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, very seldom spoke about his role in liberating Belsen, though his two obituary clips here http://tinyurl.com/nqtzrca where he describes it as “the work of the devil” are worth watching, as is his very unsettling piece here http://tinyurl.com/c49hd4m worth reading. Lord Molyneaux’s Belsen comments put today’s evil incarnate sweeping Syria, Iraq, Northern Nigeria and Libya very much into context.
Background Reading: Will Dalrymple’s superlative From the Holy Mountain contrasts how Syrian Christians fare in Syria to how they fare in those contiguous countries laying waste to Syria. Though Gerard Russell’s excellent Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms neatly summarises the belief systems of the Druze, Alawi and Mandaeans amongst others, it is particularly relevant in the case of the Yezidi who are suffering unspeakable horrors at the hands of ISIS’ devils incarnate for their own supposed Satanism, which is, in fact, only a Babylonian residue to which leaders as diverse as Saddam Hussein and Pope Francis made no particular objections on meeting them. Patrick Cockburn’s The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution is the only book worth reading on that grizzly topic.
http://prayersforsyria.com/ is a website run by Fr Dave Smith, a kick-boxing Australian Anglican priest who was on several trips to Syria with me. His photos are worth a look as they show us in Syria with those of all Abrahamic faiths and none, working and hoping for a better day. Hopefully, we will get more takers from the island of Ireland for our December visit, people who, like Fr Dave, can contribute in practical ways.
We Save Syria: The photo of little Syriac kids out trick or treating on Halloween 2014 a few weeks before the rebels kidnapped them is attached as a reminder of why we must help the Syriacs, Assyrians, Western aid workers and Yezidis being abused as sex slaves in rebel-held Syria this and every day. Little Sarah’s tribute to her murdered father is attached for the same reason. We will build on this key theme as the October approaches.
Next Steps: The basic outline and itinerary of the visit is in place and all that remains is to draw appropriate political, academic, pecuniary and publicity benefit for Syria from it and to form the basis for follow-up action. Since the last general email, another crucial meeting has been scheduled for Belfast, with others made in Cos Galway and Dublin as well. As things currently look, the visit, particularly in Ulster, will be a success and will serve as a prototype to replicate in Scotland, in England and much further afield as well.

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Syrian Delegation to Ireland

The following eminent Syrians are amongst the delegation visiting the island of Ireland in late October:
• His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem 11, the Supreme Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, is the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and a National University of Ireland (Maynooth) graduate. The Syriac Orthodox Church, which traces its roots back to Antioch in 37AD, uses the Liturgy of St. James the Apostle, Christianity’s oldest extant liturgy and includes Archbishop Mor Gregorius Yohanna Ibrahim, who was kidnapped and most likely murdered on the Turkish border along with Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church amongst its members. Because the Syriac Orthodox Church is in communion with the Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Malankara Syrian (Indian) and Armenian Apostolic churches, members of those esteemed communities in Ireland will be accommodated to meet His Holiness during his stay. His Holiness’ pastoral duties make him a frequent visitor to the Kurdish areas of North Syria and Northern Iraq, where countless Syriacs, along with Yezidis and others, have suffered unspeakable hardships at the hands of the rebels and he will brief Ireland’s Kurdish community in Leitrim and Dublin on developments there.
• His Beatitude Gregorios 111 Laham, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem, is the Supreme Head of the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church, which is also Syria’s (and Israel’s) second largest Christian community and the fourth largest church in communion with the Latin Catholic Church headed by Pope Francis, with whom Patriarch Laham regularly confers concerning Syria.
• The Rt. Rev. Bishop Louka H El-Khoury, Patriarchal Auxiliary, Patriarchate of Greek Orthodox Damascus. The Greek Orthodox Church forms Syria’s (and Israel’s) largest Christian community and members of Ireland’s esteemed Orthodox community will be similarly accommodated. Bishop Louka, who has been one of Syria’s most consistent and eloquent spokespersons for reconciliation and peace with justice, will brief relevant Irish Parliamentarians on Syria on 4th November.
• Prof. Maria Saadeh, Opposition Member of the Syrian Parliament, professor of architecture at Damascus University. Prof. Saadeh, who is an award-winning authority on Maaloula’s ravaged UNESCO adobe structures, has recently briefed Pope Francis and the United Nations on the situation in Syria. Though Prof. Saadeh is an MP for Damascus, she is from Saidnaya, the burial site of Abel (in the Cain and Abel story) and a place of joint pilgrimage for both Christians and Muslims for well over 1000 years. The gallant people of Saidnaya have withstood, with huge loss of life, well over forty full-scale assaults on them by rebel forces and the last of these onslaughts was only stopped by the last minute arrival of Lebanese reinforcements. Without their intervention, Saidnaya would have ended up like the nearby Aramaic-speaking town of Maaloula, with scores beheaded, dozens of nuns kidnapped and churches, monasteries, mosques and homes looted and destroyed.
• Dr Seham Danon, Professor of Literature at Damascus University, a leading spokesperson for Syria’s embattled Druze community and a prominent peace activist, whose legs were recently amputated following a rebel booby trap bomb attempt to permanently silence this brave woman and her fellow Druze, who are one of the pivotal communities in this whole conflagration. Prof. Danon’s quiet voice, through which reverberates the voice of millions of her compatriots, is one we have to hear and it is one we must not allow those who have invaded her homeland and attempted to murder her to muffle.
• Ms Awatef Danon, nurse and joins the delegation solely in her role as registered carer to her sister, Dr Seham Danon.
• Dr Ahmad al Khaddour, Cardiologist, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, professor at Damascus University, physician to the delegation, and delegation’s chief spokesperson on Syria’s medical and health catastrophes, where the war’s constrictions cause patients to die for the want of simple over-the-counter medicines that are freely available in any pharmacy in Ireland.
• Members of Lebanon’s Maronite community will accompany and support the delegation, as will members of the Irish diaspora in Lebanon and Syria.
Significance: This delegation is the most important visit of Syrian community and religious leaders to either Britain or Ireland since their Troubles began and it is also the most prestigious (inter-faith) visit of religious to Ireland since Pope John Paul 11’s 1979 visit. Even more importantly, this entire delegation speaks on behalf of all citizens of all religious persuasions and none in the Syrian Arab Republic in calling for peace, for reconciliation and for an end to the war on the Syrian people, as the Irish delegation going to Syria in December can freely attest for themselves.
Intra -Irish affairs: These eminent Syrians are visiting Ireland to help their stricken homeland and, pastoral duties apart, for no other reason. Given both the scale and the immediacy of the humanitarian disaster Syria faces, they have neither the desire nor the time to be embroiled in intra -Irish affairs except insofar as they directly impinge on the Syrian catastrophe.
All future emails will be directed towards the logistics and other practicalities of the visit. More general background information will be periodically posted here: http://www.taigs.com/
Some of the pertinent Irish dates are as follows:
• Wednesday October 28th and Thursday 29th: Two closed meetings, one for academics and the other for relevant charities, NGOs and similar bodies, and one open meeting in Queen’s University, Belfast.
• Wednesday October 28th and Thursday 29th: Possible additional meetings in Coleraine, North Antrim and Dungiven.
• Friday 30th October: Magee College Derry, with further meetings in Derry and Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula planned for around the same time.
• Saturday 31st October. To be decided between Derry/Donegal, Belfast and Clare/Galway.
• Sunday 1st November, All Saints’ Day: A number of religious venues have been suggested in Derry, Armagh, Antrim, Mayo, Galway and Dublin and plans are afoot to accommodate as many of them as is practicable in conjunction with the various Churches of the East as well as Ireland’s own more established Churches.
• Monday 2nd November: Talks proceeding with University College Galway as well as other venues in Cos Clare and Galway.
• Tuesday 3nd November: Talks proceeding with National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Patriarch Aphrem’s alma mater.
• Wednesday 4th November am: Irish Oireachtas (Parliament), Dublin.
• Wednesday 4th November pm: Trinity College Dublin.
• Tuesday 27th October, Thursday 5th November: We expect to have a number of smaller, practical meetings with Irish politicians and others who have helped immensely in the past and who we can depend on in the future, subject to their other considerable commitments. Places of academic status have been chosen to enable all politicians from all backgrounds and from all mainstream political persuasions on the island of Ireland (as well as England and Scotland) to converse with these Syrians to channel practical help to Syria.
These are the bones of the tour. Although there are other visits scheduled to relevant community centres, schools, churches, mosques, and shrines, the emphasis will be on solidifying practical deliverables in terms of establishing peace with justice in Syria. These key deliverables include:
• Allowing these eminent and irreproachable Syrians state the case of the Syrian people in the most appropriate forums the island of Ireland offers. Critical though this is, other practical deliverables are also essential.
• Getting political, academic, religious and NGO help to help highlight and alleviate the plight of Syria’s displaced, the vast majority of whom remain in areas protected by the Syrian Arab Army. Mechanisms are needed to streamline that help.
• Initiating WeSaveSyria, a zero overheads and zero expenses charity conduit to channel money and other resources directly to irreproachable conduits, such as those who are on this delegation, within the Syrian Arab Republic; all monies raised in Ireland during their visit will be transferred to them via Beirut before they leave Ireland. For activities after they leave, three major logistical sources will be approached after I return to Dublin on September 1st.
• Seeing what, if any, practical help can be given from Ireland for Syria’s Palestinians, the vast majority of whom live in areas controlled by or affiliated with the Syrian Arab Army. The only significant Palestinian area in rebel hands is that ISIS/ Nusra/Golan Brigades-controlled part of Yarmouk Camp, from where most Palestinians have now fled for their lives to be cared for by the over-stretched Syrian authorities. These Yarmouk Palestinians the Syrian authorities billet and protect in nearby schools and mosques need practical, quantifiable help and this visit will give those interested parties in Ireland a chance to help the Palestinians directly.
• Ditto for the embattled Armenians of Aleppo, Syria’s Stalingrad, and Kessab, whose numbers have been swelled by their fellows who managed to flee from the rebel hell holes of Raqqa and Deir Elzzor, both of which were recently home to sizable Armenian populations.
• Arranging for appropriate people from the island of Ireland to visit the Syrian Arab Republic between 10 December and 20 December 2015 to gauge the situation for themselves with a view to allowing relevant people and organisations on the island of Ireland help build a pathway to peace. Such people would include elected politicians, academics, religious and charity groups in a position to offer practical help. The visit, for the most obvious security reasons, will only be to areas controlled by the Syrian Arab Army so that the Irish, in this case, will definitely be “home by Christmas”.
• The invitation to relevant and responsible political, community and religious leaders on the island of Ireland will be made by Syria’s two Patriarchs and the rest of the delegation not only on behalf of all Syria’s Christian leaders but also in the name of His Grace, Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, The Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as Dr. Mohammad Hassan Al Kurdi, the President of Damascus University, and all of Syria’s other religious and academic leaders.
• Finessing in Ireland, in conjunction with Australian, Italian, French and other concerned peace activists who have recently initiated similar peace conduits from their own countries, systems that can help deliver peace to the people of Syria.
Finance: Although this ambitious task will not come cheaply and Syria’s financial udders are bone dry, the necessary funds will be forthcoming from private sources. This is not to say that money is not needed: tens of billions of euros, pounds and dollars are needed and it will take more than the several hundred people this email is going to to put any significant dent in that tab. However, if done properly, given our various impressive track records, hopefully much money and support will be raised over the medium term in Ireland by the appropriate people and organisations for Syria.
Prototypes: Because Ireland has, of course, produced a vast number of such prototypes over the years, ranging from the more traditional ones we all grew up with to impressive newer initiatives such as the Alan Kerins Project in East Africa, the Niall Mellon Trust in South Africa and Christina Noble’s most noble project in Ho Chi Minh City, together, we can make a significant impact on this Great Syrian Calamity.
Focus: Though finance is important, getting the desired result from this visit is infinitely more so and that is why we are trying to do so much in the little time window we have. Though this is one small united step for all of us to make, it can not only make a very significant contribution towards peace in Syria but it can also show to each of us that we, in our time, are, in the pivotal case of Syria, very clearly and very unequivocally making the right, the proper and the only moral stand that there is.
You: If you can help in any way in any of the areas mentioned above, please email me now so that this visit can be an even bigger success.

Faith of Our Fathers

Though Faith of our Fathers is usually associated with Irish Catholics, it was originally written in homage to those English who stayed in communion with Rome, “in spite of dungeon, fire and sword”, something Syria’s abandoned Christians could relate to.  Most of the photos below were taken in Maaloula on Easter Sunday 2014, shortly after the Syrian Arab Army retook it for the second time and when I visited together with all Syria’s Christian leaders. The photos show the destruction the moderate rebels did to it. Other photos are of the Greek Catholic Cathedral on Palm Sunday, the wrecked Syriac Church in the old quarter of Homs and some damaged mosques to show that the moderate rebels are equal opportunity destroyers.

The Arab words which a moderate rebels scrawled on the door of a Maaloula convent reads: We get closer to God by slitting throats.

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Syrians to Ireland: Fight, Flight or Freeze

As the Irish battle ship, the LE Niamh, continues to haul hundreds of drowning Syrians, Libyans, Nigerians and Eritreans from the Mediterranean, as the British Defence Forces go on full alert to stop the “swarms” of human beings “massed at Calais” to invade their green and verdant land, our plans for bringing Syrian Druze, Christian and Muslim leaders to the island of Ireland from 26 October to 5 November proceed.
These Syrians are, however, slightly different from those dying in the Mediterranean and further afield in that they and those they primarily represent are determined not to flee their embattled homeland for the white cliffs of Dover or even the relative Valhalla of Sweden. Instead of flight, they have chosen to fight the good fight. All members of the delegation have paid a very high price for their non-violent actions and some have been the target of repeated assassination attempts by the moderate rebels. I have seen others, even more eminent, given the runaround in London, similar to how they were most disgracefully treated In the USA and I ask: why is this? What is the real agenda?
Just what is going on? Just why, for example, has the Chilcot report still not been published? Why also must Ireland’s First Lady visit an elderly family friend imprisoned for protesting Ireland’s complicity in these awful crimes? Just why is Mahdi-al-Harati, the Dublin-based commander of the notorious Tripoli Brigade, a Libyan version of Hitler’s SS, allowed to operate without any constrictions in Ireland in much the same way that Staf van Velthoven, Waffen SS Officer and explosives expert in SS-Standartenführer Otto Skorzeny’s elite 502 Division, was some years previously (as was Herr Hitler’s all-time favourite soldier, the legendary Skorzeny himself)? Why has Harati not even been questioned about the mercenaries’ war crimes or, at the very least, his illegal trips to Syria, a country he has no family connections with and, as a West Dublin resident, he should have no quarrel with? Just why are Irish-based supporters of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual commissar of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood terror network, given unending positive media coverage in Ireland, when Qaradawi calls for the total extermination of the world’s 100 million Shias, as well as homosexuals, apostates and countless others?
Just why do Mary Fitzgerald and other Irish journalists give such a positive media spin to these deranged sociopaths? Is she the Irish equivalent of BBC’s Dr Saleyha Ahsan, who openly confesses to getting “a rush” when she watches Libyan ISIS executioners at work on the throats of their prisoners? Given that Ahsan also “starred” in Panorama’s totally discredited Saving Syria Children propaganda piece, just what is going on?
Why the great Irish silence on the fate of the 19 Yezidi women executed since the last email for refusing to be raped by the moderate rebels and why not a bleep about the hundreds more Christians and Muslims kidnapped over the last few days after the rebels stormed Qaryatain? Why the collusion? Just what exactly is going on?
This delegation will give us some small insight into what is going on and some indication of who precisely “we” are attacking and who “we” are aiding and abetting in Syria. In this connection, I am attaching a photo of myself near the Turkish border with soldiers of the Syrian Arab Republic I bummed a lift from; the soldiers had just pulled back from engaging with al Nusra forces some miles up the road when they found me in a heated altercation with their comrades. Though I attach other important photos of Syrian soldiers here http://tinyurl.com/SyriaIreland along with previous emails, these soldiers, Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Druze, Armenian, Syriac and so on have repeatedly told me what soldiers in their position have always said from the dawn of time: they are fighting for their families, for their homelands, & for all that is good in them and from them. Many of these soldiers, when you meet them, look like they haven’t had a good night’s sleep in four years and most have not seen their families in all that time. For far too many of them, their return home will be in a cheap casket and all for what?
Syria’s social mix is almost as convoluted as that of Lebanon, another country which is in “our” crosshairs. Without, for example, the active support of Syria’s Sunni tribes, the Syrian government would fall in a day. However, because the tribes have seen time and again what the moderate rebels do to them and their families, they fight and die side by side with the Syrian Army regulars in such black spots as Deir Elzzor.
From their point of view, having seen untold numbers of their friends and families slaughtered (the moderate rebels summarily slaughter family members of Syrian soldiers, irrespective of sex or age unless they can ransom as well as rob them) these Syrian soldiers and their weapons have an understandably very blunt message for Irish and British passport holders who have the brass neck to join the invasion forces ravaging their Syrian homeland.
Just how do we get out of this mess? Neither the LE Niamh nor the entire Irish navy will solve all the problems of Syria, Libya, Eritrea, Nigeria and the various other countries we have lined up for dismemberment. The Irish, Fijian and Filipino UN peace keepers cynically put in harm’s way on the Golan Heights will not, on their own, bring “peace in our time” when forces infinitely more powerful than Hitler’s are aligned against them.
Peace will only reign when enough people and institutions, big and small, famous and not so famous, work for it and where the purveyors of the arms industry, as well as the post-modernists and other facilitators of the incendiary ideas, which fuel the fires of war, are called out for what they are in the language most appropriate for the particular arena. These arenas and conduits include academic forums, the media, and churches and mosques throughout the island of Ireland. To date, all of these venues and conduits, big and small, famous and not so famous, that have been approached have responded favourably, an indication perhaps that no matter how dark the night, a better morn is possible if people of good will work for it.
That better morn for the people of Syria and those other countries being shoved into the mince grinder will take much hard work and very many shoulders, big and small, broad and narrow. Your country may not need you but I certainly do to help in this noble initiative. If you can provide practical help, please get in touch.

Pictures Below:

1.2 Syrian Army/National Defence units as we barrelled into Malloula, Easter Sunday 2014.

3. Syrian National Defence sleep out in a destroyed shop and fix up Maaloulah as time allows, September 2014.

4. Syrian National Defence troops with children in Maaloula, September 2014.

5. 6: Syrian children again relax under the protective watch of the Syrian Arab Army, Maaloula September 2016.

7. Lebanese car honourng two fallen Lebanese irregulars, the road to Damascus, April 2015.

8. Syrian Arab Army soldiers enjoying ice crea, Damascus, 2014.

9.10.11 With the Syrian Arab Army, Turkish broder, September 2014.

12.13.14:  With the Syrian Arab Army and Syria’s Christian leaders, Maaloula, Easter Sunday 2014.

15.  With the feared Shabiha. This dude showed me the strangulation marks on his neck from when the rebels tried to lynch him. He said only his strength saved him. These guys work out and pump crap into their muscles.

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Syrians to Ireland: The Unsung Heroes

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Since the last email (go to http://tinyurl.com/SyriaIreland & scroll down for previous emails and for the pictures referred to in this email), there have been further very solid offers of help, along Ireland’s Western shore in particular. That being so, though there remains a mountain of work to do, the delegation of Syrian Druze, Christian and Muslim leaders visiting Ireland from 26 October to 5 November will probably achieve the desired results: publicise Syria’s plight, highlight the effects of the diplomatic, political, academic and economic bullying of Syria, raise money to help save Syria, lay the groundwork for an Irish visit to Syria in December and arrange for a return visit to Ireland in 2016.
Friends in Vietnam, no strangers to foreign-imposed mass violence themselves, are designing banners for us and other unsung heroes are also beavering silently away for peace. As these photos show, so many ordinary Syrians (and Vietnamese) are doing extraordinary things to preserve all that is good, wholesome and holy in life. Thankfully, there is now a growing number of people on the island of Ireland prepared to do the same and to thereby affirm our own humanity in the face of this untrammelled evil of our day.
I attach only one photo: a copy of a drawing little Sarah did in memory of her father, who was murdered defending little Sarah and all that binds little children like Sarah to all that is good in life. Syria is awash with orphanages, where unsung heroes take care of smaller heroes like Sarah. Current storm clouds indicate Syria will have to build plenty more orphanages to house thousands more little Sarahs. Syria does not need more tiny orphans. Syria needs people to stop the attacks on it.
The other photos are: me with Aleppo native Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, former Vicar General of Jerusalem, in the Palestinian Embassy in Rome. Mgr Capucci has, amongst his many other achievements, which have seen him honoured by six separate Arab nations, raised money for some 50 fully-equipped ambulances to send to Syria. Though in his mid-90s, he remains a tower of indomitable moral strength.
Beneath his picture here http://tinyurl.com/SyriaIreland are children and Iranian peace pilgrims (both Sunni and Shia) attending a Palm Sunday Mass in Damascus with Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios Laham who, though in his 80s, is doing everything humanly possible to achieve peace not only for his small charges but for all Syrians.
Next is a little Armenian girl in the front-line Syrian border town of Kessab holding up the Turkish licence plate of an ambulance we came across that was used to transport munitions for the moderate rebels, who ravaged Kessab. Salpi, the Armenian lady in the middle of the two soldiers, used to get her simple kicks from singing in the local Armenian church. The moderate rebels torched her church and they robbed everything, windows and doors included, from her house and those of everyone else in Kesab. Good people like Salpi continue to fight the good fight and so too do little Syrian Armenian children, even though the Western world has abandoned them.
The next four photos are from the part of Yarmouk camp the Syrian Arab Army with their Palestinian allies control: a heroic young girl helping to keep younger girls’ minds on the right path; lovely little Mohammad and his young mother and friend, enduring, living and partly living; refugee Palestinian women and children, smiling to maintain their dignity in the clean, crowded but spartan sleeping quarters the over-stretched Syrian Army billet them in; an older woman giving a young Maaloula refugee a shoulder to lean on; and some of the wonderful Damascus University students who helped myself and Kave (with silly red hat, part of the Australian Boxers for Peace contingent).
Although the Syrian delegation to Ireland may speak about the various entire families in Adra the rebels cooked alive in bakers’ ovens, or the young Druze women burned alive in Dara or the 86 year old Christian the moderate rebels shot through the face in Idlib because he ran an inconsequential liquor store or any of the countless other atrocities Irish and other foreigners have visited upon Syrians, they will also tell you about the good things that are being done and that can more effectively be done with your help.
Residents of Ireland should not allow themselves be fooled by the base propaganda that is being thrown their way. Those powerful forces who support “the rebels” are the same forces which plunged Iraq and Libya into the abyss and which cheer on the air force of Saudi Arabia, a country that is the antithesis of everything that is wholesome in life, as it blitzes the people of Yemen.
This October/November visit can work wonders not only in Ireland but further afield as well, where it is already serving as a template. Though I append Syria’s six demands in the previous emai, I can probably summarise them as follows: stop killing Syrians, stop facilitating the murder of Syrians, help Syria’s unsung heroes and, for God’s sake, cop yourselves on.
These are the messages the esteemed delegates will deliver to forums big and small, religious and secular, political and academic, formal and informal and let the cards fall where they will. Although Western stock markets continue to soar as “market impediments” are removed in the Arab and Slavonic worlds, someone, somewhere, somehow has to stand up for those unsung heroes who not only stand by Sarah and Syria’s other “market impediments” but for all that is decent as well.
If that someone is you, please email me directly.

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Ireland: Saving Syria’s Children

The delegation of Syrian Druze, Christian and Muslim leaders to Ireland is now tentatively scheduled to spend 26/27 October in Dublin, 28/29 October in Belfast, 30/31 October, 1 November in Derry/Donegal and 2 November in Galway before returning to Kildare, Dublin and environs. Go to http://tinyurl.com/SyriaIreland & scroll down for previous emails.
This is a necessarily ambitious tour, aimed to allow interested people hear about Syria from esteemed Syrians, who are trying to extricate their compatriots from its ongoing nightmare and who need the pro-active help of all people of good will on the island of Ireland to have even the remotest chance of success. Though you can sign and circulate this petition http://tinyurl.com/syriasign a lot more than that is needed and that is where you come in.
The main Belfast, Derry, Galway, Maynooth and Dublin meetings are being organised in conjunction with some of Ireland’s (and the world’s) leading academic institutes on conflict and conflict resolution and because the schedule is so crowded, the six or so offers of meetings in the counties south of the Dublin Galway line most likely will not be taken up this time round. Because there are a core group of extremists, some of them with much Libyan and Syrian blood on their hands, operating with impunity from Dublin, because Ireland has Europe’s highest rate per capita of jihadists ravaging Syria and because of my brushes with these hard chaws in England, I do have to be a trifle coy, so please bear with that.
The title of this email is taken from BBC Panorama’s now notorious programme extolling those who collaborate with ISIS, Nusra and the mercurial Free Syrian Army under the figleaf of providing medical and other humanitarian aid: the actual programme is forensically fileted at some length here www.tinyurl.com/fraudbbc and, though the various attacks of those behind the show on me and others are dealt with here: www.tinyurl.com/HandSyria the threats these fanatics and their oddball post-modernist supporters pose cannot be totally ignored.
Because the delegation will be in Ireland for Oíche Shamhain, I attach a photo of Syriac kids out trick or treating last Halloween. The moderate rebels subsequently kidnapped these little innocents, whether for ransom or to turn them into suicide bombers I do not know. Note also this short article: www.taigs.com/Syria/kidskidsKasab.docx which juxtaposes the experiences of some of the kids I met in Syria with those of the ISIS cubs on the rebel side of the lines. Imperfect as that rushed note is, what some of those kids and their guardians told me is much too horrific to recount beyond murmuring that war is hell.
Yet recount we must. Although Féile will, to their credit, have a children’s festival finishing in Belfast on 31 October, Halloween, the delegation will have to be elsewhere for, though Syria needs the pro-active help of all the children of Belfast, Syria’s story is too shocking and upsetting to relate to even those of their guardians, who experienced the worst of the Troubles along Belfast’s various Murder Miles.
Instead of Belfast, Halloween may instead be spent in Donegal and Derry, with the members of the delegation recounting their own horrific stories and the fate of Syria’s survivors and looted treasures to select journalists and other reputable conduits. The gang rapes, the mass murders, the mutilations, the lootings, the sackings, the burnings, the systematic destruction, are all part of a coordinated plan to make Syrians either submit to demonic “rebel” rule or to perish and Syrian tongues with defter turns of phrase than mine will catalogue them so that, together, we might help end this grotesque nightmare.
November 1st is All Saint’s Day and it is hoped members of the delegation can speak in churches and cathedrals, such as St Eugene’s, to drive home the point that Syrians, Christians and Muslims alike, are being slaughtered on an industrial scale for base political reasons.
Although lighting candles may be now less fashionable in Ireland, Syrians are still into it. I attach a bog-standard photo of Syrian Muslim women lighting candles in the sacked Maaloula monastery the moderate rebels kidnapped 13 Greek Orthodox nuns from. Note the profusion of cell phones, taking souvenir selfies, evidence if it were needed, that almost all Syrians just want a normal life free from their demented “liberators”. Note also that the moderate rebels put Muslim women like these, who light candles in Greek Orthodox churches, to death as witches, wiccans or whatever.
I also attach a telling photo of myself and Fr Dave Smith, the Australian Anglican kick-boxing priest, from Syria’s far-famed Umayyad Mosque, which houses the remains of John the Baptist, who the extremists of his day beheaded. This particular photo is at the tombs of Saladin (right), whose Ayyubid army defeated the Crusaders and internationally acclaimed Sunni scholar Dr Mohamed Said Ramadan Al-Bouti (left), who was murdered along with 40 others in a suicide bomb attack on March 21 2013.
In noting the respect which the Syrian authorities afford both tombs, note also that these tombs are very pertinent for a number of practical reasons: after Saladin dispensed with the Crusaders, he slaughtered countless Alawi around Aleppo. Syria’s President is, of course Alawi (married to a moderate English Sunni who is barred by the UN from travelling home to London, where she was recently billeted in Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty, the Queen). The rebels’ Western supporters tried to pin Al-Bouti’s murder and that of his 40 followers on the Alawi, who may be loosely described as part of the wider Shia family, a cynically absurd accusation that makes no tactical, strategic, political or religious sense. The obvious fact that the moderate rebels murdered Al-Bouti by a suicide bomb (a militant Sunni rather than a militant Shia tactic), to weaken moderate Sunni support for the Syrian government (an ongoing rebel tactic, as hundreds of moderate Sunni preachers have been so dispatched and replaced by frothing foreign extremists and the proof of that particular pudding is in the unspeakable depravity of their “Free Syria” caliphates) and then blamed their own outrage on the Syrian authorities (they have done this on countless occasions and they even tried to pin the recent London gangland hit on Syrian Muslim Brotherhood mobster Abdul Hadi Arwani on the over-stretched Syrian authorities, who cannot spare the resources to neutralise some two-timing, two-bit punk in London). These tombs, these tangible monuments to tolerance, counter the incessant “rebel” propaganda we are incessantly drip-fed that Syria is only a simplistic white hat, black hat Hollywood set that should not concern us. The moderate rebels would, of course, loot and destroy the Umayyad Mosque were they ever allowed to over-run Damascus which, you may recall, was the game plan when Panorama produced the farcical Saving Syria’s Children.
Although Syria’s historical determinants need not be spelt out in massive details here, Syria’s Six Demands, as per the petition mentioned above and summarised below, can form the basis of a political plan of action by all Irish-based politicians, academics and others of good will.
**Syria’s Six Demands**
1. Call on the United Nations to respect and uphold Syria’s sovereignty.
2. Enforce UN Security Council resolutions 2170, 2178 and 2199.
3. Hold countries in breach of Security Council resolutions 2170, 2178 and 2199 accountable.
4. End unjust sanctions against Syria.
5. Mandate UNESCO to restore Syria’s looted Syrian antiquities in coordination with the Syrian government.
6. Restore full diplomatic relations with the Syrian Arab Republic.
Though these six simple demands should generate much useful dialogue, they can only be a start for those of us for whom concepts of peace, human rights and civilisation actually are something more than poison-tipped arrows in the quivers of the rulers of the darkness of this world, those purveyors of spiritual wickedness in high places as Ephesians 6:12 puts it. I refer here to those faux human rights groups who are paid to propound such Owellian crimes against the peace as “humanitarian bombing” “no fly zones” and “safe corridors” all of which are designed to further balkanise, fragment and emasculate the Levant and to pulverise Syria’s fragile social fabric, just as those of Iraq and Libya were destroyed before her, with countless more innocents consigned to watery graves and choreographed ISIS execution squads.
The treatment of the Nigerians, Eritreans, Syrians, Libyans and Iraqis at the hands of the proxies of “the rulers of the darkness of this world” demands an unequivocal response from all people of good will on the island of Ireland. Although we can, like Michelle Obama, send a meaningless tweet to “bring back our girls,” that will not bring those of “our girls” who have not been already turned into suicide bombers back. Only concerted action by people of good will throughout the world will stem the crimson tide.
This delegation offers us the chance not just to act on behalf of the people of Syria but to truthfully look ourselves, now and in time to come, in the mirror and to say that we at least tried as best we could to preserve humanity from its nemesis, those foreign-funded, foreign-trained and foreign-controlled proxy gangs who have turned large swathes of Syria, Libya, Nigeria and Iraq into hell on earth.
The road to Syria’s salvation will be a long, hard and tortuous one. But the longest and hardest road has to begin somewhere and this road to recovery and civilisation reborn has to be begin with you. This is your moment to stand up and be counted. To see how you can seize the day and help us stem this crimson tide, please email me. Syria, though defiant, is bankrupt. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood and the other murder gangs attacking her, Syria does not have oceans of Saudi Arabian and Qatari cash to dispense and nor does it have the military muscle and diplomatic protection Turkey can call on as it ladles out death all along its borders. All Syrians can hope against hope for is that someone, somewhere, somehow will come to their aid and that Syria’s children will be saved from their liberators and those collaborating with them. This delegation is enabling residents of Ireland to be part of that improbable miracle. Please email me to see what you can do.
This email is not advocating that you be David or that you pick a fight in a lion’s den. It is not asking you to visit Syria’s killing fields. It is asking you to do something infinitely more important, to work for what you believe in. There is no point crying empty tears into the rivers of Babylon, Belfast, Ballymun, Ballyfermot or Ballybrit over the ruins of Nimrud, Palmyra or Maaloula unless you are prepared to do something about it. The people of the Syrian Arab Republic need lifelines of hope thrown to them. Though a respectable number of politicians and academic institutions on the island of Ireland have begun the process, many more are needed to tether Syria to a solid Irish mooring and to thereby begin the process of really saving Syria’s children.

 

holloween

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