• U.S. ambassador to Syria condemns repeated attacks by U.S.-backed rebels against Christian populace
By Ronald L. Ray
Father Francois Mourad, a Syrian-born Catholic priest and monk, was beheaded on Sunday, June 23, 2013, along with two other individuals in Ghassanieh, northern Syria. The monastery, where Fr. Mourad resided with another priest and a few Sisters of the Rosary, was also desecrated by looting. This was confirmed by the Vatican, although there are conflicting reports.
The militant Muslim group, Jabhat al-Nusra, a branch of Al-Qaeda and part of the United States-sponsored terror insurgency against the legitimate government of Syria, was responsible for the vicious murders. Tragically, this was not an isolated event, but part of the violent daily persecution of Syrian Christians by those, we are told, who are bringing “freedom” to an “oppressed” land.
Israel and its proxies, the U.S., Great Britain, and France, try to conceal the murderous face of the “rebels” for propaganda purposes. But in this case, the criminals uploaded a live, extremely graphic video of the beheading of an Orthodox priest to the Internet, where it immediately “went viral” to such a massive extent that the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford, felt compelled to issue a statement condemning the actions.
In an amazing display of double-speak, Ford claimed:
“The Syrian Revolution against Assad’s tyranny and brutality is a struggle for dignity and freedom—not about butchering civilians and prisoners.”
Apparently forgetting that his government is backing insurgents seeking the establishment of a Muslim caliphate, the ambassador continued:
“We call on all Syrians to protect and respect the rights of all civilians, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion.”
This flies in the face of reality, since it has been President Bashar al-Assad’s secular government which has ensured peaceful coexistence of the different religions, not the mostly foreign mercenaries attempting to topple that government with U.S. funding and weapons.
Mourad began his life as a Religious with the Franciscans of the Holy Land, later spending some time with the Trappists, and finally beginning construction of a monastery in Ghassanieh. After the monastery was bombed, he moved back to the Franciscan convent for safety reasons, where he was murdered.
Father Halim, the Franciscan regional superior, appealed to the West not to aid anti-Assad rebels, who have repeatedly attacked the Christian minority. “Otherwise,” he stated, “there will be no Christians left in Syria.”
The head of the Holy Land Franciscans, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, called for prayers, “…that this absurd and shameful war will soon be over, and that the people of Syria will soon be able to return to their normal lives.”
Those who wish to provide concrete aid to the Syrian people may do so through the website “Emergency Syria.”
According to Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo of the Syrian Catholic Church:
“Lately, [Fr. Mourad] sent me some messages that clearly showed how conscious he was of living in a dangerous situation, and offered his life for peace in Syria and around the world.”
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author residing in the free state of Kansas. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.
Syria the New Afghanistan
• Obama using failed U.S. policies of the 1980s to destabilize region
By Richard Walker
Muslim nations, including Turkey and Pakistan, along with Washington and its allies in Europe and the Middle East, are weaponizing Syria in a reckless free-for-all reminiscent of the days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Back then, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spent billions arming and training a mujahideen force (under the direct supervision of Israel’s Mossad) that included the likes of Osama Bin laden. The success of that war turned on the supply to Bin Laden and his acolytes of American-made Stinger missiles capable of downing Soviet fighter jets and attack helicopters.
In an echo of the past, surface-to-air missiles and antitank weapons are now flowing in ever larger consignments to Syrian rebels, including groups like al-Nusra that recently videotaped some of its members beheading three Christians, one of them a Franciscan friar. The beheading was carried out with a kitchen knife and was a barbarous spectacle.
The weapons reaching Syria are generally assembled in countries like Croatia and Libya and most recently in Jordan where the CIA is fulfilling President Barack Obama’s pledge to arm his chosen elements among the rebels. How he actually hopes to achieve that when the best and most prominent fighters are radicals and terrorists is anyone’s guess.
Turkey, despite all its denials, has been a major transit point for weapons supplied by Pakistan and Britain, as well as by the Saudis. While most major enablers like Pakistan prefer to say little about their roles in transforming Syria into a much more brutal conflict, the tiny oil state of Qatar has no such reservations. To date it has spent billions of dollars arming all groups within the Syrian opposition.
A serving intelligence source within Europe, speaking to AMERICAN FREE PRESS on condition of anonymity, said the Saudis have been growing concerned about Qatar’s apparent lack of judgment in handing out surface-to-air missiles like “chocolate bars” – missiles that could later be used to bring down civilian aircraft elsewhere in the world.
“The irony of all this is that the arming of Syrian rebels is out-of-control because it is coordinated by too many competing elements, some of them reckless. The Qataris in particular have made it clear they want Assad gone and don’t seem to care how they achieve it. There is a real danger that after militants in al-Qaeda and al-Nusra are taught to use surface to air weapons, they’ll move some of them into Europe to bring down U.S. passenger planes. While Qatar and Pakistan have been primary weapons suppliers, they have also put military specialists on the ground in Syria. One of the unreported elements of the Qatari strategy has been their willingness to pay salaries to many of the best rebel fighters, especially ones they recruited in Libya. That means there are a lot of mercenaries on the rebel front lines with a large percentage of them extreme Islamists. Cash for that project is filtering into the coffers of groups that have no love for the West,” our confidential source warned.
Pakistan’s role within the Arab world, and its determination like Turkey to shape the Middle East to fit a Sunni and not a Shiite agenda, is not widely acknowledged. However, its military role in working closely with Arab states, especially Qatar, is made clear in its Pak-Gulf Defense and Security Cooperation guidelines.
The danger of this external involvement is that as Syria descends into an expanded civil war, there is potential for spill-over into Lebanon and Iraq, especially with the arming of Sunni militant organizations. Missing in some of this is the fact Qatar and Pakistan have unique links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and should it decide to take on the military in Egypt, it will be seeking from its friends a similar arms commitment.
One of the most significant suppliers of missiles and heavy weapons reaching Syrian rebels has been Libya and it militias. Qatar has bought many weapons from militias that were backed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the overthrow of Muammar Qadaffi. Qatar has been shipping those weapons through a shadowy arms network run by middlemen in Britain, Croatia, Turkey and Jordan. In some cases, weapons have been moved through ports or flown by transport aircraft into Turkey and Jordan.
There have been unconfirmed reports the late U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, may have known about the movement of weapons into Syria from the port of Benghazi by militants he had contact with. The unofficial consulate where he was killed was in Benghazi and so was a CIA post devoted to monitoring and communicating with Libyan militants, many of whom have since gone to fight in Syria.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.