The Christian Genocide in Syria: An Interview with Yasmine

Posted on March 23, 2017

[ Ed. note – There is a genocide of Christians taking place in Syria. The above is a photo I first posted back in 2014. It shows destruction at the Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady in the Syrian city of Yabroud, and is one of a series of photos I published at the time. The pictures were taken shortly after the city was liberated by the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah forces.

British reporter Robert Fisk was on hand when the city was liberated and wrote: “The Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady is a place of shame, of burnt copies of the New Testament, paintings slashed with knives – many were lying in strips of gold and red fabric beside the altar’s broken cross – and mosaics chiselled from the walls.”

Fisk also mentioned that the terrorists had “gouged out the eyes of the mosaic saints.”

You can go here to access the original post. In it I wrote the following:

What is on display in these photos is not merely abomination and sacrilege; it is loathing and hatred of the spirit of Christ; it is detestation for everything Jesus taught, malice and abhorrence at the mere mention of his name; contempt for his memory. Where does this kind of hatred of Christ come from? What accounts for it?

It’s not an easy question to answer. But clearly the hatred is there. In the same post I noted that the terrorists in Syria were being backed by “the West, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.”

Today, three years later, the terrorist proxy armies in Syria are operating under different names in some cases, but the same ideology, the same hatred of Christ, is still in evidence. And the mainstream media, as before, don’t seem terribly interested in what’s going on. Apparently the tweets of Donald Trump are considered more newsworthy than the murder of Christians in Syria. And when occasionally a news organization does report on the issue, as in the case of this AFP report filed in November of last year, the media spin given seems deliberately designed to convey the false impression that it is the “regime forces” who are intent on destroying churches, not the innocent, Western-democracy-loving “rebels.”

Of course, as the photo below would suggest, it is not, I repeat, not Syrian President Bashar Assad who is waging genocide against Christians. Assad has been president since the year 2000, and prior to the outbreak of the conflict six years ago, Syrian Christians lived in peace and prosperity, free to practice their faith. The hatred of Christ I spoke of is far more likely to be harbored by those who  are backing the terrorists, rather than those actually and genuinely fighting them.  The latter, of course, would be Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

All of which, in a roundabout way, leads me to the following. Recently a Syrian-American writer by the name of Sarah Abed posted an interview she conducted with an Aramean Syriac Orthodox woman named “Yasmine.” The name is an alias. The city of Damascus is nicknamed the “City of Jasmine” (or Yasmine in Arabic). Abed writes:

Yasmine contacted me on Facebook recently after reading my articles and posts. We discussed the situation there and her frustration with the lies being reported. I asked if she would want to tell her story, she eagerly agreed. Shortly after our talk her Facebook account was blocked and she hasn’t been able to come back on Facebook since then. Also, oddly enough only my messages are visible from our conversation. A few days ago her friend reached out to me and asked for my email and she sent me “Memoir of a Syrian girl” detailing her experience living in Damascus before and during the war. I will be putting that in a separate article. I asked her as a Christian in Syria if she would be willing to answer some questions and she agreed.

Yasmine is an engineer who also holds an MBA degree. She was born in Al Qamishly, in the northeast of Syria, but grew up in Damascus, where she resides at this time. Below is an excerpt from her interview with Abed. The letters “KSA” in the interview refer to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ]

***

Q: When the West’s terrorist proxies slaughter and commit genocide against the indigenous Christian population, as they did, for example, in Kessab, Syria, are they attempting to “erase history”?

A: Not only history, When Wahhabists started in KSA they destroyed everything that has relation to history, even the grave of the prophet is destroyed, they do not care for it, in Afghanistan they destroyed statues that were thousands years old, they are a destruction machine of everything that has to do with civilization.

Q: When Western terrorists occupy towns like Maloula, Syria, and destroy Christian religious icons is this an attempt to erase history?

A: They want to destroy the history and Christianity, Christians were always targeted by those radicals, it is their ideology to not accept any one who is different.

Q: When the Western terrorists target Muslim and/or Christian communities, are they, or their Imperial masters, attempting to destroy the country by creating sectarian warfare?

A: Of course, the sectarian warfare serves the agenda, it was the plan for ME to be in perpetual state of chaos, which in the days of Bush jr was called the creative chaos or constructive chaos, this chaos serves Israel.

Q: Are the imperialists attempting to create warring ethnic and/or religious enclaves?

A: Of course, it is their targeted, the religion is the opium of nations, it is the method to lead the whole destruction game

Q: Are the Empire’s divide and conquer strategies in Syria working, or does most of the Syrian population remain unified?

A: There must have been some who sympathise with Wahhabists, and these will never seize to exist unless the world fights the source of them, the sources of Wahhabist ideology are in Egypt and KSA, and unless they are totally fought, they will always have followers around the world. Another thing to be honest, A regime like Bashar Assad was able to protect us from those minority, also in the days of Hafez Assad we were protected, If you like to name him a dictator go ahead, but please do not tell me the west is protecting us. Hafez Assad was protecting us, Bashar Assad is protecting us…

Continued here

Damascus–the city of Jasmine

I had a chance to visit Damascus in 2014. It is indeed a beautiful city…

Daesh Crimes against Christians in Sinai

French presidential hopeful expresses her support for Assad

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has expressed her pro-Syria and pro-Christian views on her recent visit to Lebanon on Monday.

The head of the National Front called Syrian President Bashar Assad “the most reassuring solution for France” and emphasized that to “eradicate” ISIS is the best way to protect the Christian minority, not turning them into refugees.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was told from the presidential hopeful that there is “no viable and workable solution” to the Syrian war beyond choosing between Assad and ISIS.

“I clearly explained that in the political picture the least bad option is the politically realistic. It appears that Bashar al Assad is evidently today the most reassuring solution for France.”

“The way to protect the Christian minority is to eradicate those who have a vision of destroying all the minorities.”

“For me to protect Christians is to make sure the Christians stay in their countries,” not become refugees, she said.

“The Media Coverage on Syria is the Biggest Media Lie of our Time”: Interview with Flemish Priest in Syria

Global Research, January 28, 2017
Signs of the Times 24 January 2017
download_3_

“Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time?

Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.”

Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

Father Daniel: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.

Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”

Interviewer: Mother Agnès-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.

Father Daniel: “mother Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.

When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”

Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.

Father Daniel: “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad: It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed. Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid?Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.”

Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a ‘devil in holy water’, because as foreign minister, she deliberately worsened the conflict.

Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.

What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.”

Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?

Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

مشروع “دستور بريمر” الروسي ينسف هوية سورية العربية والإسلامية ويمنع جيشها من أي دور في فلسطين

 

JANUARY 27, 2017

مشروع “دستور بريمر” الروسي ينسف هوية سورية العربية والإسلامية ويمنع جيشها من أي دور في فلسطين.. ولهذا يجب تعديلة جذريا.. المحاصصة الطائفية “فتنة” دمرت العراق ولا نريدها ان تجهز على سورية.. واليكم قراءة مختلفة

atwan ok

عبد الباري عطوان

يعيد الروس، بطرحهم مسودة دستور جديدة لسورية، تجربة بول بريمر الحاكم العسكري الأمريكي للعراق، التي بذرت بذور الطائفية في البلد، وقسمته الى أقاليم، في اطار صيغة الفيدرالية، واسست لحكم ذاتي كردي بصلاحيات رئاسية توفر كل أسس وركائز “الاستقلال” والانفصال لاحقا.

السيدة ماريا زاخاروفا، الناطقة باسم زارة الخارجية الروسية، نفت هذا “الربط” او “المقارنة” في لقائها الصحافي الأسبوعي، وأكدت ان بلادها لا تحاول فرض شروط التسوية، او دستور على السوريين، انما الهدف من هذه الخطوة تحفيز الحوار السياسي في اطار قرار مجلس الامن الدولي رقم 2254.

من الطبيعي ان تردد السيدة زاخاروفا هذا الكلام، ولكن واقع الحال مخالف لاقوالها تماما، فإختيار مؤتمر الاستانة لتوزيع مشروع الدستور على الوفود المشاركة وباللغة العربية، يوحي بأن موسكو جادة في طرحه، وسيكون العمود الفقري للتسوية وتحديد ملامح “سورية الجديدة”، ونظامها السياسي، ولا مانع من ادخال بعض تعديلات على بعض المواد، لكنها من المرجح ان تكون تعديلات هامشية.

***

كان لافتا ان المعارضة السورية المسلحة، كانت البادئة برفض هذه المسودة الروسية بشراسة، حيث اكد السيد يحيى العريضي المتحدث باسمها “ان تجربة بول بريمر في العراق واضحة”، محذرا الكرملين من تكرار الغلطة نفسها، “فالشعب السوري هو الوحيد الذي يملك حق كتابة الدستور، وأثبتت تجربة العراق بأنه عندما تعد دولة خارجية الدستور فان فرص نجاحه معدومة”، وربما تتجنب الحكومة السورية الصدام مع حليفها الروسي علانية، وفضلت ادخال تعديلات جوهرية على هذه المسودة، جرى تسريبها لبعض الصحف، واكتفت بذلك حتى الآن على الأقل.

اخطر ما في هذه المسودة، التي نؤمن بأنها “بالون اختبار” لقياس ردود الفعل، واغراق طرفي الازمة السورية في جدل وخلافات سياسية، حتى لكأنهم بحاجة الى خلافات جديدة، هو تحويل سورية الى دولة “غير عربية” إرضاء للاقلية الكردية، وإقامة حكم ذاتي للاشقاء الاكراد في شمال البلاد، على غرار نظيره في العراق، واعتماد اللغة الكردية كلغة رسمية الى جانب شقيقتها العربية، وإدخال نظام الأقاليم او اللامركزية، وتكريس المحاصصة الطائفية في المناصب العليا، والنص على ذلك صراحة في الدستور المقترح.

اذكر انني شاركت في برنامج يحمل اسم “مناظرة” يحظى بتمويل غربي في شهر حزيران (يونيو) الماضي في تونس، وكان البرنامج النقاشي يتناول النص على حقوق الأقليات في الدستور، ورفضت ذلك بشدة، وقلت ان هذا يعني التمييز ضدها، وجعل هويتها الوطنية منقوصة، وطالبت بالنص صراحة على المساواة الكاملة في الدستور لكل أطياف الشعب الطائفية والدينية والعرقية في الدستور والقوانين معا في اطار التعايش والدولة المدنية، وفاز هذا الطرح عندما جرى طرحه على الحضور للتصويت بأغلبية كبيرة، رغم انه جرى اختياره بعناية فائقة للتصويت لصلح الطرح الآخر.

اعترف انني ذهلت عندما قرأت معظم فقرات مشروع الدستور الروسي المقترح لسورية، وادركت ان عملية التمهيد له بدأت مبكرا، وفي اطار منظومة من الفعاليات السياسية والإعلامية في بعض ارجاء الوطن العربي، وها هو يتبلور تدريجيا.

الأقليات الطائفية والعرقية والدينية كانت، وما زالت، تتعرض للظلم والاضطهاد من الأغلبية الحاكمة، في بعض الدول العربية، وهذا طرح ينطوي على الكثير من الصحة، ولكن هذا الاضطهاد يأتي في ظل أنظمة ديكتاتورية، ومن المفترض ان ينتهي عندما تترسخ الديمقراطية، فالدستور الأمريكي، ومعظم الدساتير الغربية، ان لم يكن كلها، لا تنص على حقوق حصرية للاقليات، وعلى المحاصصة العرقية والدينية والمذهبية، انما على المساواة في المواطنة والحقوق والواجبات، وتحتكم الى الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الانسان كمرجعية أساسية في هذا الصدد.

روسيا تريد تطبيق نظامها اللامركزي على سورية دون النظر الى الفوارق الكبيرة في المساحة، والخريطتين الديمغرافية والجغرافية، فسورية بلد صغير، بالمقارنة الى الاتحاد الروسي العملاق، وتجربتها مختلفة، وتقع في جوار إقليمي غير الجوار الاقليمي الروسي، وعليها التزامات دينية ووطنية وقومية لا يمكن شطبها “بجرة دستور”، والا لما عادت سورية التاريخية التي نعرفها وتمتد جذورها لاكثر من ثمانية آلاف عام.

وقد يجادل البعض ان هذه المسودة للدستور التي تحرم رئيس الجمهورية، أي رئيس جمهورية سوري، من معظم صلاحياته، وتحوله الى “وسيط”، وتمنع أي دور للجيش السوري خارج حدوده، وتشطب هوية البلاد العربية، وتسقط بند الشريعة الإسلامية كأساس للتشريع، هذه البنود تأتي، ويا للمفارقة، في وقت يسيطر فيه الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين على كل الصلاحيات، ويعدل الرئيس التركي رجب طيب اردوغان دستور بلاده بحيث يصبح رئيسا مطلقا بصلاحيات كاملة، والشيء نفسه يقال عن دونالد ترامب في أمريكا أيضا، والامثلة عديدة.

 ***

لسنا مع الديكتاتورية، وحصر الصلاحيات في يد الرئيس، ونعارض أي دور للجيش، أي جيش في قمع شعبه، ونطالب، وسنظل، بالفصل الكامل بين السلطات، والحقوق غير المنقوصة للمواطن، سواء كان ينتمي الى الأغلبية او الأقلية، وفي اطار سيادة القانون، ولكننا لا نريد تكرار تجربة العراق واليمن وليبيا في سورية، او أي بلد عربي آخر، مثلما لا نريد ان تتحول بلادنا الى حقل تجارب للتفتيت والحروب الاهلية والطائفية والعرقية.

الملامح الأولية لهذا الدستور تؤشر الى محاولة لعزل سورية عن محيطها العربي، ومنع أي دور لها في التصدي للاحتلال الإسرائيلي لاراضيها أولا، وفلسطين التاريخية ثانيا، ولا نعتقد ان السلطة السورية، او المعارضة الشريفة يمكن ان تقل به.

سورية الجديدة التي يجب ان تنهض من وسط هذا الدمار الذي الحقته بها المؤامرة الخارجية، بهوية عربية إسلامية اكثر تجذرا وصلابة، واذا كان هيمنة الأكثرية على الأقلية وحرمانها ابسط حقوقها خطأ لا يغتفر، فأن محاولة تغيير هوية البلاد الوطنية والتاريخية، ومن اجل إرضاء الأقلية خطيئة اكبر، ومشروع فتنة، وعدم استقرار وحروب مستقبلية.

للمرة المليون نؤكد اننا مع المساواة والتعايش ونبذ الطائفية والعنصرية، ونرجوكم اعطونا دستورا مثل الدساتير المحترمة، والمعمول بها في الغرب والشرق، التي توحد ولا تفرق، وتحترم الهوية الجامعة، والكرامة الوطنية.

Related Videos

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard interviewed after her trip to Syria (UPDATED)

January 26, 2017

 

Normally, I would never post an interview by CNN, but Gabbard is so good that I will make an exception.  Also, at a time when we hammered on a daily basis with images of ugly feminist freaks in the media, it is simply wonderful to see a true lady with courage, intelligence and femininity like Tulsi Gabbard.  She is exactly the kind of person the USA need so desperately nowadays.

 

The Saker

 

UPDATE: Make sure to also check this excellent dossier on the The Greanville Post

 

Heroic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: The Syrian People Desperately Want Peace (w. Video evidence)

Heroic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: The Syrian People Desperately Want Peace (w. Video evidence)

By Tulsi Gabbard


Soldier. Veteran. Surfer. Member of Congress. Doing my best to be of service.

Pres. Assad: In the crosshairs of the US Neocons and NATO for many years. His refusal to do Washington’s bidding attracted the wrath of the empire. The main tormentor and butcher of his people is the retiring war criminal Barack Obama and his Neocon crew of global hegemonists.
As much of Washington prepared for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, I spent last week on a fact-finding mission in Syria and Lebanon to see and hear directly from the Syrian people. Their lives have been consumed by a horrific war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and forced millions to flee their homeland in search of peace. It is clear now more than ever: this regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people.
We met these children at a shelter in Aleppo, whose families fled the eastern part of the city. The only thing these kids want, the only thing everyone I came across wants, is peace. Many of these children have only known war. Their families want nothing more than to go home, and get back to the way things were before the war to overthrow the government started. This is all they want.
I traveled throughout Damascus and Aleppo, listening to Syrians from different parts of the country…Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between “moderate” rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS — they are all the same. This is a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. They cry out for the U.S. and other countries to stop supporting those who are destroying Syria and her people.

I traveled throughout Damascus and Aleppo, listening to Syrians from different parts of the country. I met with displaced families from the eastern part of Aleppo, Raqqah, Zabadani, Latakia, and the outskirts of Damascus. I met Syrian opposition leaders who led protests in 2011, widows and children of men fighting for the government and widows of those fighting against the government. I met Lebanon’s newly-elected President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, Syrian President Assad, Grand Mufti Hassoun, Archbishop Denys Antoine Chahda of Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, humanitarian workers, academics, college students, small business owners, and more.
Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between “moderate” rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS — they are all the same. This is a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. They cry out for the U.S. and other countries to stop supporting those who are destroying Syria and her people.

A TRULY DANTESQUE VISION, A RIVER OF PEOPLE FLEEING THEIR HOMES AND A BRUTAL ENEMY. BUT WHO CREATED THIS HELL? The Obama-supported CIA-engineered Syrian war has produced a tsunami of refugees, not to mention destroyed much of Syria and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. By what standard is that not a self-evident, heinous international war crime? What moral right does the US have to commit these atrocities except the big lies it has deployed with the damnable complicity of the Western media? (Please click on this image to capture the true magnitude of this horror.)
I heard this message over and over again from those who have suffered and survived unspeakable horrors. They asked that I share their voice with the world; frustrated voices which have not been heard due to the false, one-sided biased reports pushing a narrative that supports this regime change war at the expense of Syrian lives.
I heard testimony about how peaceful protests against the government that began in 2011 were quickly overtaken by Wahhabi jihadist groups like al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) who were funded and supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the United States, and others. They exploited the peaceful protesters, occupied their communities, and killed and tortured Syrians who would not cooperate with them in their fight to overthrow the government.

I met these amazing women from Barzi, many of whom have husbands or family members who are fighting with al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, or with the Syrian army. When they come to this community center, all of that is left behind, as they spend time with new friends, learning different skills like sewing, making plans for their future. They were strangers before coming to this community center whose mission is empowering these women, and now they are “ sisters” sharing laughter and tears together.

Imet a Muslim girl from Zabadani who was kidnapped, beaten repeatedly, and raped in 2012, when she was just 14 years old, by “rebel groups” who were angry that her father, a sheep herder, would not give them his money. She watched in horror as masked men murdered her father in their living room, emptying their entire magazine of bullets into him.
I met a boy who was kidnapped while walking down the street to buy bread for his family. He was tortured, waterboarded, electrocuted, placed on a cross and whipped, all because he refused to help the “rebels” — he told them he just wanted to go to school. This is how the “rebels” are treating the Syrian people who do not cooperate with them, or whose religion is not acceptable to them.
Although opposed to the Assad government, the political opposition spoke strongly about their adamant rejection of the use of violence to bring about reforms. They argue that if the Wahhabi jihadists, fueled by foreign governments, are successful in overthrowing the Syrian state, it would destroy Syria and its long history of a secular, pluralist society where people of all religions have lived peacefully side by side. Although this political opposition continues to seek reforms, they are adamant that as long as foreign governments wage a proxy regime change war against Syria using jihadist terrorist groups, they will stand with the Syrian state as they work peacefully toward a stronger Syria for all Syrians.
Originally, I had no intention of meeting with Assad, but when given the opportunity, I felt it was important to take it. I think we should be ready to meet with anyone if there’s a chance it can help bring about an end to this war, which is causing the Syrian people so much suffering.

ISN’T IT OBVIOUS? TULSI GABBARD FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES! AND LET HER RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT, WITHOUT THE STENCH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND ITS LONG RECORD OF CRIMES, COLLABORATION WITH THE PLUTOCRACY, AND BETRAYALS.—The Editor


Imet these amazing women from Barzi, many of whom have husbands or family members who are fighting with al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, or with the Syrian army. When they come to this community center, all of that is left behind, as they spend time with new friends, learning different skills like sewing, making plans for their future. They were strangers before coming to this community center whose mission is empowering these women, and now they are “ sisters” sharing laughter and tears together.
I return to Washington, DC with even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government. From Iraq to Libya and now in Syria, the U.S. has waged wars of regime change, each resulting in unimaginable suffering, devastating loss of life, and the strengthening of groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
I call upon Congress and the new Administration to answer the pleas of the Syrian people immediately and support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. We must stop directly and indirectly supporting terrorists — directly by providing weapons, training and logistical support to rebel groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIS; and indirectly through Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey, who, in turn, support these terrorist groups. We must end our war to overthrow the Syrian government and focus our attention on defeating al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. The U.S. and other countries fueling this war must stop immediately. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war.
Thank you,
—Tulsi

MAIN IMAGE: Tulsi’s own caption reads: “We met these children at a shelter in Aleppo, whose families fled the eastern part of the city. The only thing these kids want, the only thing everyone I came across wants, is peace. Many of these children have only known war. Their families want nothing more than to go home, and get back to the way things were before the war to overthrow the government started. This is all they want.”

APPENDIX

Below: Videos with Tulsi presenting her case against US/NATO meddling in Syria. Note (in the case of CNN) the repeated efforts by the anchor to pollute Tulsi’s truth narrative with reference to the US State Dept. talking points and accusations of moral imbeciles like Adam Kinzinger, happily trotted out by war propaganda shills like CNN, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the rest of the complicit mainstream media. 

 

Below, with Blitzer, Oct. 21, 2015:


And here, forced to debate the obvious, with moral idiots like Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

Tulsi Gabbard is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. She was also a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress. She served in a combat zone in Iraq.
NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP. JUST CLICK HERE.

 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Syrian Mufti Gives Stunning Talk on Visit to Ireland – updated

Syrian Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun is part of a delegation of Syrians currently visiting Ireland. The delegation consists of medical professionals as well as religious leaders. The above video shows Mufti Hassoun giving a talk before the Irish Parliament on December 1, comments in which he discusses the toll the war has exacted upon the Syrian people as a whole as well as a personal tragedy in his own family, with the death of his son.

The delegation’s visit reportedly also included a visit to Trinity College Dublin, and the visit has been reported on by a Catholic website (see article below).

Back in August I put up a post on a visit to Syria by a US delegation of peace activists, who had a chance to meet with Mufti Hassoun while they were in the country. Upon returning to the US, the delegation gave a presentation at the UN. You can find more on that here.

***

In Ireland, Doctors, Church Leaders Tell Horrors of Life in Syria

By Sarah Mac Donald

DUBLIN (CNS) — Fifty percent of Syria’s hospitals and medical centers have been destroyed or looted and their staff kidnapped, tortured or slaughtered, a leading Syrian surgeon told members of the Irish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Dr. Bashir Mohammad, a cardiologist, was part of a delegation of high-profile Syrian medical and religious leaders who appealed Dec. 1 for an end to punitive European Union sanctions against his country.

Mohammad was accompanied by Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II; Syria’s grand mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun; and Dr. Ahmad al Khaddour, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Khaddour, a professor of medicine at Damascus University, explained that the group had come to Ireland “to pass the message that Syria needs help.”

“The European sanctions have affected our medical system very badly. We have a shortage of medical supplies on a daily basis. We have children dying because there is no medicine and children suffering because there is no fuel for heating.”

He highlighted how the sanctions had depleted Syria’s “capacity and capability in a very devastating way to manufacture medicines and to treat our patients.”

“The sanctions have killed more people than ISIS,” he said, referring to the Islamic State.

Prior to 2011, when the conflict in Syria erupted, hospitals had always been a safe place, but they became a “soft target,” and the country’s pharmaceutical industry was now no longer able to meet Syria’s medical needs, Mohammad explained.

He contrasted this to the situation five years ago when the country was able to meet up to 95 percent of its own medical needs and was exporting its products to more than 54 countries.

Syria is now “reliant on medication from the black market and, with the weak purchase power of our currency, we are unable to buy medication,” he said.

He told Catholic News Service: “We have lost half of our hospitals and three-quarters of our factories for medication — lift the sanctions please. We are friends to America and to the West.”

Patriarch Laham described the delegation as “ambassadors for peace.” He also asked, “as patriarch, that the bishops’ conferences of Europe gather together to raise their voice for peace.”

Speaking to CNS, the 83-year-old indicated his own personal exhaustion with the conflict. “It is war, war, war. Enough war!”

Referring to the 1,435 years in which Christians and Muslims co-existed together in Syria, Patriarch Laham stressed that faith is “part of the solution” to Syria’s war.

“Faith can really help us to make peace in the world. My slogan is ‘We should stay together to build a new world; we can stay together to build the world; we want to stay together to build a new world,” he told the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Patriarch Ignatius told the committee, “We feel sometimes we are abandoned by the international community because all they talk about are the rebels and what the rebels are suffering. But nobody is talking about the real Syrian people who are under government-controlled areas and what they are suffering.”

“Suffering has gone beyond all bounds,” Patriarch Ignatius said.

The Orthodox patriarch, who escaped a suicide bomb attack last June, spoke about the difficulty of trying to live life in such a dangerous context.

“I live in Old Damascus, not far from the street where St. Paul was led to be baptized. Occasionally we get bombs thrown on us by rebels who live about 2 kilometers away. There is no safe place left in Syria for anyone, and all Syrians need peace.

“We want a new Syria — for all Syrians — that respects diversity and gives a chance to every Syrian to serve Syria. I don’t think that having an opposition that is armed will help Syria; no country in the world would accept that, be it a moderate or unmoderate opposition. Obama and the U.S. government trained thousands of people and spent $500 million on the so-called moderate opposition, but they all joined Daesh (Islamic State) or al Nusra — except for maybe four or five groups.”

As to the situation of Christians in Syria, he confirmed that, along with other people of faith, Christians were being targeted because they were not willing to take sides.

“Our archbishops have been kidnapped and we don’t know anything about them; there are many priests who have been killed and many churches have been destroyed and Islamic scholars are also being killed. All people of faith are being targeted because Daesh and others act in the name of Islam, but they do not represent the real Islam,” he said.

Hassoun, the grand mufti, recalled how when the conflict erupted in 2011, he was told to leave but refused because he wanted to be a “bridge of peace between the opposition and the regime.”

His refusal to leave resulted in his son’s assassination outside his university. Later, his son’s remains were dug out of his grave by the rebels and have never been recovered.

“This is the revolution in Syria — if it were a revolution to reform the regime I would have been with them, but it is a revolution to kill men,” he said, urging legislators to go to Syria and see for themselves “what they have done to us.”

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Published on Dec 2, 2016

The goals of the visit are to firstly send a fact-finding medical, religious, political and humanitarian mission to the Syrian Arab Republic from Ireland, as well as from other independent-minded countries; to encourage Irish charity and NGO groups to send aid to Damascus via Trócaire/Caritas and other transparent and credible conduits Syria’s venerable religious leaders recommend and to lay the foundations for a major international fact-finding and medical delegation to visit Damascus and environs on March 17th 2017, St Patrick’s Day.
The situation in Syria, as East Aleppo’s human shields show, remains very grave for all Syrians. Although this visit is strictly non-political it must be clearly stated that EU sanctions, in which Ireland is fully complicit, are responsible for more deaths than even ISIS. The bulk of the Irish people do not accept that rampant collusion or that of our media, which is a crimson blight on our neutrality.

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