The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria

China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a ‘Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction’ held in Beijing

By Pepe Escobar

July 14, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over.

The New Silk Roads, or One Belt, One Road Initiative (Obor), will inevitably feature a Syrian hub – complete with the requisite legal support for Chinese companies involved in investment, construction and banking via a special commission created by the Syrian embassy, the China-Arab Exchange Association and the Beijing-based Shijing law firm.

Get me on that Shanghai-Latakia cargo

Few remember that before the war China had already invested tens of billions of US dollars in Syria’s oil and gas industry. Naturally the priority for Damascus, once the war is over, will be massive reconstruction of widely destroyed infrastructure. China could be part of that via the AIIB. Then comes investment in agriculture, industry and connectivity – transportation corridors in the Levant and connecting Syria to Iraq and Iran (other two Obor hubs).

What matters most of all is that Beijing has already taken the crucial step of being directly involved in the final settlement of the Syrian war – geopolitically and geo-economically. Beijing has had a special representative for Syria since last year – and has already been providing humanitarian aid.

Needless to add, all those elaborate plans depend on no more war. And there’s the rub.

With the demise of Daesh (ISIS), or at least its imminent loss of any significant urban center, no one knows in what manner a fragmented, phony Caliphate “Sunnistan” might be manipulated into cutting Syria from its New Silk Road future.

Qatar has already provided a game-changer; Doha has gotten closer to Tehran (common interests in South Pars/North Dome gas-field oblige), as well as Damascus – much to the despair of the House of Saud. So, unlike the recent past, Qatar is not engaged in regime change anymore. But still there are the diverging interests of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and, of course, Washington, to accommodate.

A possible scenario out of what Putin and Trump negotiated in Hamburg – that was not relayed by either Lavrov or Tillerson – is that the ceasefire in southwestern Syria, assuming it holds, could mean US peacekeeping forces in effect sanctioning the creation of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Syrian Golan and the rest of the country.

Translation: the Golan de facto annexed by Israel. And the “carrot” for Moscow would be Washington accepting Crimea de facto re-incorporated into the Russian Federation.

That may sound less far-fetched than it seems. The next few months will tell if this is indeed a plausible scenario.

The other big sticking point is Ankara against the YPG Kurds. Contrary to the ominous and quite possible Balkanization scenario, Washington and Moscow might well decide, in tandem, to let them sort things out by themselves. Then we will inevitably have the Turkish army occupying al-Bab for the foreseeable future.

The bottom line: that Saudi Arabia gets nothing. And Israel and Turkey get political/military “wins”. It’s hard to imagine how Moscow could possibly sell this arrangement to Iran as a victory. Still, Tehran may not have a free flow Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah route totally back in action, but it will maintain close relations with Damascus and be engaged in the expansion of the New Silk Roads.

The key question from now on seems to be whether Washington will follow the deep state “Syraq” policy – as in “Assad must go” mixed with support or weaponizing of non-existent “moderate rebels”; or whether Trump’s priority – to eliminate Daesh/ISIS for good – will prevail.

Beijing, anyway, has made up its mind. It will work non-stop for the Iran-Iraq-Syria triumvirate to become a key hub in Obor. Any bets against a future, booming Shanghai-Latakia container route?

Pepe Escobar is correspondent-at-large at Asia Times.

See also – ‘The Media Coverage on Syria is the Biggest Media Lie of our Time’ — Interview with Flemish Priest in Syria

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Click for SpanishGermanDutchDanishFrench, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

Dehqan: Miserable Saudi Arabia Conspires With ‘Israel’ against Iran

09-05-2017 | 13:44

Local Editor

Iran’s defense minister Hossein Dehqan said Saudi Arabia, which has a history of teaming up with other regimes against Tehran, has now become so miserable as to ally itself with ‘Israel’ against the Islamic Republic.

 

Dehqan: Miserable Saudi Arabia Conspires With ‘Israel' against Iran


Dehqan made the remarks in an interview fully broadcast on Arabic-language Al-Manar TV on Monday.

Brigadier General Dehqan said that over the past 38 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Saudi Arabia has gone out of its way to interfere in regional affairs to oppose Iran.

He said Riyadh spent lavishly to support the former Iraqi regime and the Persian Gulf littoral states against Iran in the eight-year Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s. He also referred to the Saudi intervention in Lebanese politics and said the Saudi rulers offered massive financial and political support to the groups they wanted in power in Lebanon. The Saudis also offered weapons to such groups.

“Then, let’s looks at what they have done in Iraq and Syria today. At what they are doing in Yemen today,” Dehqan said.

Saudi Arabia has been a known sponsor of extremist Wahhabi groups wreaking havoc in the region and beyond. It has also been leading a group of its vassal states in a war on impoverished Yemen since March 2015.

“Today, what we’re seeing is Saudi Arabia has become so miserable. So much so that it has convinced itself to curry favor with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and incite it [the ‘Israeli’ regime] against us,” Dehqan said.

Last Tuesday, the Saudi defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman, claimed in a televised interview that Saudi Arabia would fight what he called Iranian attempts to expand its influence in the region.

Dehqan responded by rejecting the accusation that Iran was after taking over territory.

“We have never been and will never be after occupying any Arab or Muslim country,” Dehqan said.

Responding to a question on how the Yemeni conflict could end, Dehqan said it was easy to think of a solution.

“First [should come] a Saudi withdrawal from Yemen. Second, a Saudi refusal to interfere in the affairs of other Islamic countries. Third, accepting the collective security order in the region, and the pullout of extra-regional forces. Fourth, submitting to people’s rule over their own fate.”

When asked if the ‘Israeli’ regime was capable of launching a war on Iran, Dehqan said he would respond by asking a question of his own.

“I answer your question with a question. Could ‘Israel’ successfully end the 33-Day War [on Lebanon]?” he said.

“Did Hezbollah, in a country limited [in terms of resources] as Lebanon [was], have access to massive financial and arms backup? Did ‘Israel’, in the 33-Day War, have any other means in its inventory not to have used?” he further rhetorically asked.

Once again asked if ‘Israel’ could attack Iran, Dehqan said, “Do not doubt that it would if it could.”

Dehqan said Iran has enough missiles to heavily target any and all aggressors.
Asked about how many missiles Iran had, he said, “Enough to heavily, seriously, and massively target everyone that is standing against us in a short period of time if, God forbid,” aggression is launched against Iran.

He advised ill-wishers, however, not to venture against Iran.

“We advise our enemies, the Americans and their other, feeble servants, not to test us,” Dehqan said.

He further stressed that the United States would not be able to effectively fight Daesh because the US itself “has created it for use as a tool.”

“It has in fact created a mobile ‘Israel’,” he said.

Dehqan said ‘Israel’ was best enjoying the situation.

“Israel is… laying back and does not face any threats. Daesh is fighting on its behalf and is providing it with security. Daesh is destroying the capacities of the Muslim world, which can otherwise be used to confront Israel’s acquisitiveness and aggression.”

Brig. Gen. Dehqan also had some advice for Turkey: “The Turks backed Daesh in a serious manner at first.”

“Their perception was that they could topple the legitimate government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad so that their favorite government would take over there.”

Source: Press TV, Edited by website team

Related Videos

Related Articles

STEPHEN GOWANS LAUNCHES HIS NEW BOOK, ” WASHINGTON’S LONG WAR ON SYRIA”

In Gaza

Highly recommended listening (and reading), Canadian author and analyst, Stephen Gowans, lectures in a clear, coherent and easily digestible manner about what is sometimes a complex subject, nuances of Syria, and Wall Street/Washington (and allies)’s long war on Syria.

*
The lecture was delivered on April 25, 2017, hosted by the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Gowans’ new book is available at Baraka Books.

*His latest article:  The Real Defenders of Democracy: Syria and the Struggle against the International Despotism of Wall Street

*One further highly recommended article, Gowans’ The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t

Related Videos

Mezvinsky, Kiely, Cohen, Lesher & Atzmon – Conference @Theatre 80, NYC

April 04, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

The Post Political Condition

Trump, Brexit, the Middle East… What Next?

5 pm an extended panel discussion, then a jazz concert from 9 pm

5pm Sunday, 30 April

Theatre 80,   80 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003

https://theatre80.

In the post-political universe much of humanity has been reduced to serve the interests of big money and oligarchy. Left and Right have become indistinguishable and meaningless. The freedom to think openlyis now within the domain of nostalgia.  Our Western Liberal ‘utopia’ has turned into an Orwellian catastrophe, and we the people, have been reduced into mere consumers. We are left bewildered and impoverished.

Reality Reversal: It’s Really the Jews Who are Discriminated Against, says Jerusalem Editor

By Richard Edmondson

Caroline Glick is an editor at the Jerusalem Post. In the talk above, she seems to have forgotten who is occupying whom. Glick obviously believes it is Palestinians who are discriminating against Jews, rather than the other way around.

“What they (Palestinians) are saying essentially is that Jews should not be allowed to live there just because they are Jews.”

Glick tries to advance an argument that Israeli settlements are not an obstacle to peace, that the real problem is Palestinian racism, and she alleges that a Palestinian state in “Judea and Smaria” would be so “inherently bigoted” that Jews wouldn’t even be “allowed to live there.” She further claims that dismantling the illegal settlements that have been built would be tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”

Are Palestinians calling for a state that would be ethnically cleansed of all Jews? I have never heard any Palestinian official issue such a call, but Glick is repeating a talking point that has been made by other Israelis, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is not simply a case of twisting the truth; it is standing reality on its head.

Three questions here should be asked:

  1. Does a sovereign state have the right to deport aliens who have entered the country illegally?
  2. Should sovereign states have the right to set immigration policies based upon concerns about national security and public safety?
  3. Should a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, were one to be established, have the right to expel settlers who have carried out, for instance, arson attacks on Palestinian homes, or poisoned Palestinian livestock, or destroyed olive trees?

The answer to all three of these questions is yes. But this is not the same as saying “No Jews allowed.” To the contrary, were Jews who have demonstrated their good will, and there are a number of these, a few of them quite prominent and whose names come readily to mind–were Jews such as these to apply for residence permits or even citizenship in the new Palestinian state, would they be turned down? The answer almost surely is no. But in Glick’s view “this is a racket.” She goes on:

Jews don’t have civil rights. We’re not allowed to live wherever we have property rights to build–just because we’re Jewish? And this is a moral argument? This is a reasonable argument? This is establishing what, exactly? Ethnic purity? This is where we’ve come to?

But wait–is it not Israel which demands to be recognized as a “Jewish and democratic state”?

Recently Stuart Littlewood published a commentary on a publication put out by a pro-Israel advocacy group called The Israel Project. The publication is a 116 page booklet entitled “Global Language Dictionary,” a document intended as a “guide to visionary leaders who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel,” as an official with The Israel Project describes it.

Basically you could think of this as a manual designed to teach people how to stand reality on its head. Littlewood’s commentary on the Global Language Dictionary can be found here. The full PDF is here. Included is a whole chapter devoted to settlements. The following, described as “the best settlement argument,” provides the opener for the chapter:

“If we are to have real peace, then Israelis and Palestinians will have to live side by side. The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians there can’t be any Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don’t say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizen (sic) of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any Palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove all Jews. We don’t accept it. Cleansing by either side against either side is unacceptable.”

You’ll notice that the future state of Palestine is referred to not as a country or nation, but as a “Palestinian area,” and that the passage fails to take into account any Jewish responsibility for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages that occurred in 1948, or for the near 70 years of home demolitions and denial of building permits that have occurred since. Moreover, the idea that Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy “equal rights”–as this “best argument” does claim–is preposterous to say the least. The chapter goes on:

The settlements are the single toughest issue for Israel and the hostility towards them and towards Israeli policy that appears to encourage settlement activity is clearly evident. Unless and until Israeli government policy changes, here’s the best communication approach:

The document then proceeds to list four talking points, followed by tips on how to obfuscate the whole issue with such irrelevant declarations as:

“Peace is not just about settlements. It’s about jobs, prosperity, and hope for all sides of the conflict–for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Every Palestinian child deserves a better future, and so does every Israeli child. If we can agree on that, and stop doing those things that hurt our children, we can start on the road to mutual understanding and mutual respect.”

And if you’ve any doubts this manual for standing reality on its head was written as a guide for fooling Americans especially, then consider that it also advises readers to:

Emphasize solutions wherein nobody has to leave their own homes. Americans are far more favorable towards solutions that are “just a redrawing of borders on the map” and do not require anyone–Israeli or Palestinian alike–to leave their own homes, businesses, and communities. Again–mutuality and the right to live in your home are the key themes to weave in.

Basically, the whole approach comes down to a simple tactic: accuse the Palestinians of being racists while portraying Israeli Jews as the very embodiment of liberal tolerance. And this in effect is the approach Glick takes in the video above. Glick, of course, is Jewish, and the Jerusalem Post, where she works, is one of the most prominent newspapers in Israel. In other words, she is a Jew who holds a high-ranking position in a major media outlet (albeit in Israel).

A couple of days ago I put up a post that included the following graphic:

 photo medialies_zpsefpioihs.gif

One picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and the artwork provides a perfect illustration of how the western mainstream media basically stand reality on its head. In addition to the Palestine-Israel conflict, other areas in which mainstream media news organizations are hard at work inverting truth into its mirror opposite include:

  • Syria, where a democratically elected president is depicted as a dictator and where terrorist, head-chopping cannibals are rendered as “moderate rebels” deserving of Western support;
  • Russia–accused of “aggression” even as NATO builds bases and holds war game exercises on its borders;
  • Ukraine, a country portrayed as a peace-loving democracy but which in reality is ruled by a US-installed puppet government that has been rejected by a sizeable portion of the population–ethnic Russians who have broken away and established a de facto independent state in the country’s eastern region

So far as I’m aware, “Global Language Dictionaries” have not been published in these other areas, but the pattern of “reality reversal” is the same. Reporting on 9/11 has also followed the same pattern, with the “terror attack” vs. “false flag attack” dichotomy serving as the antipodal opposites, and in this case the equivalent of a “Global Language Dictionary” has been published–in the form of the official 9/11 report. The most obvious tip-off that the media are engaged in willful deception on 9/11 is the stubborn and persistent refusal to report the overwhelming body of evidence assembled by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth pointing to controlled demolition as the cause of the collapse of Building 7, but were the media to report even a sliver of this information it would cause the whole house of cards to fall.

So here we have a small group of people who together enjoy the vast majority of ownership and/or executive control of the mainstream media, now engaged, in almost perfect sync with each other, in a number of deceptions so utter and absolute that the truth in each case is almost literally inverted.

Never before in history has one group of people exercised such power.

isrlunatics

So what can be said of such people? Well, a starting point might be their “singularity.”  That at least is the word used in a book review, here, published by Daniel Lazare, a liberal Jewish writer whose articles have appeared in The Nation.

“Eventually, nearly every discussion of the Jews, pro or con, sympathetic or hostile, gets around to their alleged singularity,” Lazare writes in an article which poses the question: “Are the Jews Unique?”

Jews, he says, have always been “stubborn, clannish and standoffish, and even when they stopped wearing those funny clothes in the modern era and tried to blend in–especially when they tried to blend in–something about them remained at odds with the larger society.”

The article, as I say, is a book review. The book Lazare is reviewing is The Jewish Century, by Yuri Slezkine, a Russian-American Jew who holds a faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley. Slezkine’s thesis is that the human race is comprised of two different types of people, “Apollonians,” or food producers, and “Mercurians,” who provide a variety of services to the food producers. Comments Lazare by way of his review:

In Greek mythology, Apollo is the god of livestock and agriculture and hence of settled existence in general. Hermes–Mercury to the Romans–is, by contrast, a trickster god who serves as “the patron of rule breakers, border crossers, and go-betweens,” i.e., less permanent types who prefer to live by their wits. Rather than settling down and blending in, the Mercurians seek the opposite goal: to keep themselves apart by deliberately cultivating strangeness‚ strange customs, strange languages and so on.

In what seems to be an exercise in public relations (perhaps not unlike the Global Language Dictionary), Slezkine argues that the Jews are not the only population group that has played the Mecurian role, and he names others, including the Koli such’ok people of medieval Korea along with a number of tribal groups in northern Africa, who have played similar roles–but of course none of these peoples presently find themselves perched at the pinnacle of world power.

So in evaluating Glick’s comments in the video above, along with similar speeches and commentaries by other Zionist speakers, should we perhaps keep in mind the “trickster” and “Mercurian” tendencies which may be at play?

Back in December I wrote and posted an article entitled “Light and Darkness,” which included a commentary on the following passage from the first epistle of John:

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

Modern day scholars, as I noted, have argued that the “antichhrists” John referred to were the Gnostics, but the early Gnostics–as I also noted–held a reverence for Christ, and I argued that the reference in reality is to Jews–specifically Jewish Christians who, at the end of the first century, abandoned the faith and returned to Judaism. This is what John means by “they went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.”

Jewish Christians were persecuted (by other Jews), thrown out of the synagogue, and following the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, the intensity of these persecutions increased. The “Mercurians” apparently wanted nothing to do with any teaching about loving one another or seeing all peoples as fellow children of God.

In the video above, Glick seems well aware that the settlements are “the single toughest issue for Israel,” and she lays the blame for the turbulent situation on the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Iraqis, Syrians, the British–everybody pretty much is at fault…except of course for the Jews.

And so we find ourselves in a world of inverted realities–where Palestinians who have had their lands stolen are the “racists” and Jewish settlers who believe that “one million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail” are absolved of blame; where Russia is an “aggressor”; where terrorists are “moderates”; where light becomes darkness and where darkness is celebrated.

Haaretz Confirms: Britain Has Been Operating As An Israeli Puppet Within The EU

June 26, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

 “With Brexit, Israel Loses a Major Asset in the European Union,” Haaretz reports today. 

 “Britain helped moderate and balance EU decisions about the peace process, blunt criticism and even harness the member states against anti-Israel moves at the UN; voices sympathetic to the Palestinian cause could now become more dominant.”

The Israelis have started to recognize that the Jewish State:

“has lost a significant asset in the European Union…, Britain leaving would not serve Israeli interests, especially on the Palestinian issue.”

But why was Britain an Israeli asset? How was Britain reduced to act as an Israeli colony? Simple. British foreign affairs are dominated by the Jewish Lobby.

According to the Israeli paper, PM David Cameron met leaders of the Jewish community in London a few days before the referendum.

Cameron asked the Jewish oligarchs,

“do you want Britain – Israel’s greatest friend – in there opposing boycotts, opposing the campaign for divestment and sanctions, or do you want us outside the room, powerless to affect the discussion that takes place?”

At least 52% of the Brits felt neglected by Cameron’s government. Clearly the Jewish community leaders weren’t. Their foreign interests were looked after.

However, the Jews were not totally convinced by Cameron’s plea.

“Quite a few of the participants in the discussions argued that Britain’s leaving the EU would actually serve Israel’s interests.”

The official cited one argument to the effect that

“Britain’s leaving would considerably weaken the EU and its institutions, reduce its international influence, and take the sting out of its Israeli-Palestinian decisions.”

Another argument was that

“Britain’s leaving would undermine the EU’s stability and require its institutions and members to direct their energy toward unifying the ranks, rather than toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Maybe Brussels needs to familiarize itself with the elements within the UK Jewish lobby that seek to weaken or even dissolve the EU. I guess that the Brits can see that their politicians repeatedly compromise their national interests. The emergence of Boris Jonson, Michael Gov and Theresa May is not going to change this fact. The Israeli press has already confirmed that these three are the most devoted Zionist enthusiasts in the Kingdom and beyond.

The Blood of the Saints, Pure Evil, and Zionist Preferences

yabroud1

Ruins left by terrorists at the Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady in the Syrian town of Yabroud in March of 2014

ISIS Sends Parents Rape Video
Plus Body Parts of Their Kidnapped Daughters

“In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State.”

–Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, as quoted January 20, 2016 in Newsweek

“Al-Qaida control over Syria would be preferable to a victory by Assad over the rebels.”

–Senior Israeli officials, quoted by Israel Hayom in 2013

“The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran…We understand that they are pretty bad guys…still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria. With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.”

–Michael Oren, in 2013 interview with the Jerusalem Post

By Richard Edmondson

Some people have a hard time grasping the concept of “pure evil.” It has such a surreal tendency to boggle the mind that for most people, the notions of “purity” and “evil” are seen as opposites, and the fact that you can combine the two together, and in so doing derive an extract, or a concentrate, so hideous it gives rise to primordial fears in the heart as well as a sickening feeling in the gut–well, this is something that busy, workaday people seldom contemplate.

So perhaps that’s how we might explain the comments above by Israeli officials in their preferential views of ISIS–is that these officials simply haven’t grasped the concept of pure evil.

The other possible explanation, of course, is that they have grasped it all too well.

Events testified to at a recent conference on the plight of Christians in the Middle East would suggest that some of those giving testimony have seen pure evil–up close and personal.

sleman3

Jacqueline Isaac (L) with Samia Sleman, a Yazidi girl who at the age of 13 was kidnapped and raped by ISIS terrorists

sleman4

And I would think that their views on the matter might be slightly different from those expressed by the leaders of the Jewish state.

“I was in captivity for six months and twelve days, in the hands of the Islamic State,” said fifteen-year-old Samia Sleman during the #WeAreN2016 international conference, held April 27-30 in New York. Sleman is a Yazidi girl who was kidnapped by ISIS from her village of Hardan, Iraq in August of 2014. She was thirteen years old at the time.

“They raped and violated myself and the girls that were with me in captivity. There were thousands of Yazidi girls in captivity in this headquarters, then they separated us into two different groups,” she said, adding that girls as young as seven and eight years were raped, while older women, along with large numbers of Yazidi men, were killed.

The #WeAreN2016 conference was sponsored jointly by In Defense of Christians, CitizenGo, and the Vatican’s permanent mission to the United Nations. The “N” in the name stands for the Arabic letter “nun,” often spray painted on the homes of Christians by ISIS terrorists when they capture an area. The letter is a reference to “Nazarenes,” and the people in such homes usually are killed or forced to pay a special tax known as the Jizya.

A report on the conference by the Catholic News Agency described the testimonies given as “graphic, brutal and raw.” And perhaps the rawest of all was that of California Attorney Jacqueline Isaac, who works with Roads to Success, a nonprofit organization providing aid to Middle Eastern refugees, and who spoke of the calamity that overtook one family in particular.

“They got a knock on their door. They opened that door and they found plastic, black bags. The bags had the body parts of their daughters…and a video–a video of their daughters being raped and tortured,” Isaac said. “They’re parents. They’re just like us. They’re parents. They’re mothers, they’re fathers, these are not numbers.”

Another story told concerned that of a Christian woman in Mosul whose daughter died when the family home was torched by ISIS, while three Christian clergy, Monsignor Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Father Rodrigo Miranda, and Sister María Guadalupe, spoke of ghastly events in Syria, especially in the city of Aleppo.

“We have seen things you cannot understand,” said Jeanbart. “We have seen people killed because they were Christians. We have seen bishops abducted, priests abducted–myself I have been three times in danger of death, two times in my archbishopric, one on my way to Beirut.”

But perhaps the most powerful presentation of all was that given by Sister María, who discussed not only the agony of the people of Aleppo, but also the outright fictions about the conflict pedaled by the media. Her talk is one of the most engaging and riveting  I have seen in recent memory, and what it reveals about the courage and resilience of Aleppo’s Christian martyrs is quite stunning.

It’s interesting that Michael Oren, who formerly served as Israeli ambassador to the US, would express such concern over what he refers to as a “strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut.” Oren is of course referring to the governments of Iran and Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

I’m sure Israeli intelligence is well aware–and probably even Michael Oren himself knows this as well–that Christians in the Middle East have nothing to fear from either the Syrian or Iranian governments, and I’m guessing they equally are aware that Hezbollah has even forged a political alliance with a Maronite Christian party in Lebanon.

In fact, when I visited Beirut in 2014, I saw the St. Joseph Church, located right in the heart of the Hezbollah neighborhood of Haret Hreik–and I saw no visible sign the church had been vandalized. It was well maintained, looking just as it does in this photo:

maryoussef

No surprise, then, that Hezbollah issued a statement in 2014 denouncing crimes against religious sites–a statement that of course received no coverage in the mainstream media.

Besides posing no threat to Christians, the governments of Syria and Iran and Hezbolla, the “strategic arc” Michael Oren is so paranoid over, have, in combination with Russian air support, done the most by far to defeat ISIS–morethan all 59 countries making up the US-led coalition combined.

In addition to describing the attempts on his life, Jeanbart also talked about the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, defining it as “pluralistic” and “nonconfessional”–describing it as well as a government that had been in need of some changes and reforms, but insisting that these changes could have been achieved peacefully through the political system.

“Changing a few things, mending the Constitution, changing the government–and everyone would have been okay,” he said. “Why did they do all this war to destroy everything in Syria?”

It is an excellent question. Why did they? Another excellent question is why, instead of the present government in Syria, Israeli officials would prefer to see a Middle Eastern nation bordering their own state run by a bunch of blood thirsty maniacs–maniacs with a fondness for dismembering Christian children, and stuffing their body parts in plastic bags, and leaving them on the doorsteps of their families. It almost sounds like an anti-Semitic “blood libel,” doesn’t it? In fact, if you were to hear such a statement made about Israeli leaders in another context you’d likely leap to the conclusion that that must surely be what it is.

 photo mdtrtnetanterrst_zpswdr70kxg.jpg

But it does appear as if this is what they would prefer. Moreover, in addition to the statements quoted above, we’ve had a number of reports of terrorists being treated in Israeli hospitals, while the UN has released reportsdocumenting contacts between Israeli forces and Syrian armed opposition groups in which the Israelis were observed providing assistance to the militants. The reports were compiled by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.

“UNDOF sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85,” said one of them.

A couple of questions here are worth asking:

1. Is Israeli intelligence convinced that such things as “moderate rebels” actually in exist in Syria? If not, then,

2. Have the Israelis intentionally provided assistance, including weapons, to Syrian armed groups, and have they done this knowing the weapons would end up in the hands of ISIS?

Numerous reports have appeared in the past year or so of so-called “moderate rebels” defecting over to Al-Nusra or ISIS and taking their US-supplied weapons with them. In fact, the phenomenon has been discussed in a couple of recent articles.

“While Washington is pouring billions of US taxpayer dollars into various training and arming programs in the Middle East and Central Asia, the US-backed fighters regularly defect to Islamists – Daesh, al-Qaeda, Taliban – taking their weapons and invaluable knowledge to ‘the dark side,’” comments Gordon Duff in a May 5 article published at Veterans Today.

The New Eastern Outlook also published a commentary on the issue, written by Martin Berger, who speculates that the defections are in reality a “planned event.” The idea, says Berger, is that those who’ve undergone US training are then able to pass their knowledge on to the members of the respective terrorist organizations “at a time when Washington was unable to train them openly.”

It’s not an altogether implausible theory. As Berger notes, last August it was revealed that the Pentagon had spent $42 million on two months of training for a group of moderates, half of whom were “immediately” captured by Al-Nusra and agreed to defect.

The only idea that’s farfetched is that a ragtag group of clueless (or maybe diabolical) misfits could arise from out of nowhere, wreak havoc upon the cradle of civilization, flood the Internet with slickly-produced videos…all with no backing or support whatever from any government, and with the intent of killing every “infidel” they can get their hands on but without launching an attack on Israel.

It would seem that these ever-buzzing, ever-replenished minions (of whomever) have a decided predilection for the blood of saints.

%d bloggers like this: