The world tension is growing as strikes delivered by the United States against Syria become imminent. For the first time in two and a half years the militants, elated by promises of support coming from overseas, attacked Maaloula – an ancient Christian site of three monasteries, including Mar Thecla. This news evokes special concern. They killed 6 men at the check-point. There were no other forces deployed there, the place has no military importance, it’s a purely cultural and religious site. Many local volunteers were killed. As village dwellers and the nuns of Mar Thecla testify, the attacking militants fired mortars and heavy machine guns at the heart of the populated area.
Around fifteen hundred local Christians were prepared for painful death. That’s what has already happened with many their coreligionists in Syria. The army command managed to make reinforcements come in time, after heavy fighting the regular Syrian army troops made the large jihadist formation retreat. It did not go far taking positions at a neighboring height where a pilgrim’s site and a Christian cemetery are situated. The place is protected by UNSESCO being as ancient as the monasteries. Like vultures the militants dug in among ancient graves waiting for strikes by American «civilizers» so that they could eradicate the traces of the very same civilization that gave birth to their overseas allies.
On September 8 the reinforcements came and Al Qaeda captured Maaloula. The death toll was estimated in dozens. Other ancient Christian settlements were under the deadly threat…
Maaloula is known as one of three places where Western Neo-Aramaic is still spoken. This is the descendant of the language which served as a universal means of communication in the ancient Middle East. This is the language Jesus Christ spoke and the apostils preached in…
The Church of St Mark is a place where the Aramaic language is used for service which is conducted by those who come from Maaloula. Now the thin line connecting the humanity with biblical times is severed. Buildings could be restored, but the language will die forever.
They say that the truth is the first victim of any war. The death of the truth is what is happening now as the events in and around Syria unfold. John Kerry is a zealous Catholic. What made him lie at a congressional hearing? A congressman asked Mr. Kerry: ‘Is al-Qaida there?’ He said: ‘No, we are telling you responsibly that they are not». This is a brazen lie pronounced by the man who is perfectly aware of the real state of things. Even the Voice of America reported that the government troops defended the Christians. The local dwellers were afraid that once out of volunteers control the Al Qaeda connected militants would start to kill Christians.
Why the Catholics who are close to president Obama, including State Secretary John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, former National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon disregard so callously the tragedy of Syrian Christians? Or is this disrespectful attitude towards the whole Eastern Christianity is an echo of perpetual claim to superiority of the religion’s Western branch? Today even Pope Francis is calling on the US administration to reject the plans to strike Syria. Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham of Antioch and All East and the spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, said the majority of countries in the world stand for political solution of the Syrian crisis. Few want a military action and that’s the start of the way to victory. Speaking at a service in the al-Zaytoun Church in Damascus he commented on the Pope’s call for worldwide peace vigil for peace in Syria saying most countries supported a political solution to the crisis in the country and few wanted military action. «This is the start of the victory», he told the Damascus faithful. «No to war. Yes for peace». It’s not without reason that Italy joined the camp of staunch advocates for peace.
Why American congressmen so doggedly do their best to avoid any opportunities to discuss Syria with their Russian counterparts? Why President Obama, while preparing for combat actions, preferred to meet the representatives of sexual minorities in Saint-Petersburg instead of meeting the President of Russia, who has different information at his disposal, so that this issue of paramount importance could be discussed?
Polls show the people of Western countries are against the planned intervention. Obama enjoys no majority support in the House of Representatives. The members of his team do their best to keep away the information that contradicts the official propaganda.
It’s evident, that a large-scale international provocation took place in Jobar on August 21. There are leaks of information proving the involvement of US military intelligence and US private arms traders, who collaborate with the US government, including Tech Wise from Colorado.
Other provocations planned to be used as excuses for striking Syria are becoming public knowledge. For instance, false information about a US destroyer attacked in the Mediterranean (remember the Tonkin Gulf accident that started the Vietnam war). That’s why the White House keeps away from any debates and is hasting to push through the decision to go to war. The reputation of US administration is at stake.
Even the moderate (secular) Syrian opposition inside the country has been recently opposing the US military action against Syria realizing that in this case radical Islamists will gain. Hassan Abdel Azim, the general coordinator of the Syrian opposition’s National Coordination Committee (NCC), said in an interview with As-Safir that «any intervention in Syria will lead to a regional war» and that «the situation is different from the earlier Iraqi and Libyan scenarios», pointing out that «the NCC rejects outside interference and considers the external opposition’s welcoming of military action to be patriotically questionable». Abdel Azim emphasized the need for a political solution, which, he said, is the only way to ensure Syria’s unity and end the fighting. The NCC’s secretary general, Raja Nasser, said that now is the time for «last-minute diplomacy». This is a revolutionary political force which is allegedly to be supported by the planned US strike. It opposes the action. So, there is one more lie! It’s absolutely clear that the White House plans run contrary to the interests of Syria people. This way the United States is actually going to act as an ally of Al Qaeda terrorists, which, as State Secretary John Kerry says, are not there. It’s all defined by the policy, a dirty one, which is even not defined by the United States but rather by Israel, an ally of US top establishment.
Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and serves as Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion. According to him, if the United States and its allies strike the regime of Bashar Assad, it will collapse bringing to power radical anti-Western forces which will exterminate or force out of the country a few million of Alawites and Christians. It’ll be a political, religious and humanitarian catastrophe unparalleled since the times of genocide against Armenians. Under a new Sunni government the plight of religious minorities will be similar to their plight in the neighboring Iraq, where the Christian population has gone down from 8 percent in the 1980s to 1 percent today. At least the Iraqi Christians had where to escape to – Syria, for instance. Now, where will Syrian refugees go? They are oppressed in the areas under the opposition control, the news about murders, rapes and plundering is plentiful. Phillip Jenkins thinks it’s a puzzle why the United States is so stubborn in its desire to eradicate Christianity in one of its cradles? But is it a puzzle that the incumbent United States government implements the Syrian policy that meets the interest of another state – Israel?
An American journalist writes from Damascus that he is frequently asked by common people on the street: what kind of democracy is it, that the US has invented and defends globally, when the President turns a blind eye on the will of the majority of his own people while planning a military action against Syria?
Gallup experts report the support among Americans against the planned military operation against Syria is the lowest in comparison with the support for other conflicts the US has been involved in the recent twenty years. 82 percent of US responders supported the intervention against Afghanistan in 2001, it was 59 percent in the case of Iraq, 43 percent in the case of Serbia. Finally, according to Reuters/Ipsos of September 3, only 19 percent of US citizens support the action against Syria.
Where are you precipitating, America? Please, answer. No reply!