Tag Archive | Middle East

Mesopotamia Thrived With NO Ruling Elite*

Mesopotamia Thrived With NO Ruling Elite*

By Gregory Sams

There is a remarkable discovery that has not yet emerged from our renewed interest in ancient civilization. Yet few remark upon this glaring omission from the relics and records we dig up and discover. I first recognized its absence at a visit to the British Museum, and made a point of going back a few years later for another check. Their Mesopotamian rooms begin at 6500 BC, and as you wander through the exhibits and look at the artifacts and depictions of their culture there are none depicting warriors or warfare, chariots or combat, clubs or swords – for nearly four thousand years. As for kings and rulers, there was a single image thought to be a king because it looks like he’s wearing a crown. And what is this king doing? He is feeding flowers to sheep.

Thriving Ancient Cities with No Ruling Elite?

Around 2700 BC the first inter-city state dispute turned into what could be termed a war. Little is known, other than that the Sumerians made off with the weapons of the losing Elamites. Things went downhill from there and within a few centuries a psychopath named Sargon of Akkad murdered the existing king, seized power, and conquered 21 thriving and successful cities in Mesopotamia, cities that had operated without top down control by a ruling elite, but by bottom up organization – something at which people naturally excel. He obliterated the city of Kazalla when it resisted, encouraging total compliance from the rest, and called the process “unification,” titling himself Sargon the Great. He started an unfortunate trend.

Bronze head of Sargon of Akkad was the first Mesopotamian ruler to control both southern and northern Babylonia, thus becoming the king of Sumer and Akkad and inaugurating the Akkadian Empire. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The Root of War

Some assume that humans had been slaughtering each other since the beginning of time rather than cooperating with each other, and that the first war in 2700 BC was simply the first one recorded, since writing had only recently appeared. But the evidence discovered to date does not support the assumption, and writing was widely believed to have arrived with taxation. Taxation is what pays for standing armies and warfare, with our earliest written history telling us how many chickens farmer Fredi brought to market.

So, what does this mean? Why is this non-discovery so important? How did humans manage to live in cities and trade with each other, enjoying life much as we do today, without rulers? After all, aren’t death and taxes supposed to be immutable facts of life? Death may be, but taxes are no more than a recent invention in most of the world.

Palaces and Monuments Built with the Blood of Slaves

Since writing began, almost all the recorded history of the world tells us of top-down control by rulers demanding a proportion of everybody’s productivity in order to support their elevated work-free lifestyle. We marvel at the great palaces and monuments that survived the collapse of empires and rulers throughout the world, rarely bewailing the fact that so many millions of ordinary human lives like yours and mine were sacrificed to create them, or destroyed at the time of their overthrow.

Palaces and monuments were built on the back of slaves and lower-class civilians (public domain)

 

Tiwanaku Flourished Without a Ruling Hierarchy

We think, based on our limited history (as written by the conquerors) that war, conflict, and top-down control are the natural order for humanity. It is important to recognize that it has not always been so. The great Tiwanaku Empire of South America flourished for six centuries with no need for, or evidence of, a ruling hierarchy with weapons, soldiers, and armies of conquest. Though they had no written language we know they flourished in what is now Bolivia, Peru, and Chile between 300 AD and 1000 AD, with some suggesting that their culture may have extended many thousands of years deeper into the past. Their power came not from swords or clubs but from a highly desirable civilization with a religion based upon Sun worship. Agricultural and social skills were key to Tiwanaku power, as well as their knowledge of how to brew alcohol from maize, and make psychedelic drugs from local plants. These were generously administered at the great festivals that were integral to Tiwanaku life. People did not need force to encourage them into such a union.

The Tiwanaku enjoyed trade and commerce, religion, art, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, irrigation, fashion and a highly integrated and cooperative social structure. In short, they maintained an equitable sustainable civilization for longer than did the Roman Empire, and organized it from the bottom up without the need of kings and military structures.  We are community animals by nature, blessed with high intelligence. Living together should not be a difficult task but a joy. When Tiwanaku civilization eventually collapsed it came about not by conquest but by climate change, after decades of prolonged drought.

The ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia (public domain)

 

Cooperation and Peace Were a Way of Life

Without writing, there is scant evidence of how early civilization functioned, or proof it was ruled by coercive force. Without the evidence of conquest and weaponry, so apparent in subsequent ages, it seems probable that cooperation and peace were more commonplace than conflict and slaughter. Perhaps excavations at Gopekli Tepe and other ancient sites will shed more light on the subject.  Though we know that Egypt enjoyed civilization before it was unified around 3000 BC, we know little about life in that period – nobody thought it necessary to keep records.

The Peasant Communes

If we fast forward to more recent, and recorded, history we discover that hundreds of medieval cities managed to kick out the lords or dukes or kings who taxed them, taking management into their own hands. A classic example was 14th century Florence, a city of 90,000 that was run from the bottom by so-called “peasant communes” in which the bakers, architects, jewelers, bankers, doctors and builders were not titled nobles. They all belonged to trade guilds ensuring quality and safety for their customers, and did all the things we think require top-down rulers to initiate (apart from waging war). In 1340, there were eight thousand children of both sexes in primary schools, with four universities servicing six hundred in higher education. There were thirty small hospitals with over one thousand beds in total. It worked, and perhaps it is no coincidence that Florence was the engine of the Renaissance. We are clever enough to get along together without a shepherd and sheepdogs directing.

In Ditmarschen, a free republic of farmers enjoyed significant autonomy for over four centuries until 1559, when it was finally invaded (it is now part of northern Germany). They had successfully repulsed an army of 12,000 sixty years earlier with a hastily-formed peasant’s army just 1000 strong. My maternal ancestors originated in that area.

No Coercive Rule

Might I suggest, in closing, that one of the greatest discoveries we could seek from the study of ancient civilization is the ongoing non-discovery of evidence for coercive rule by a select group possessing weapons and men trained to use them. We have been on this planet, as “modern humans,” for at least 100,000 years and, depending upon location, rule by force has existed for anything from a few hundred to less than five thousand years. It is not a “natural” way to govern humanity and, despite all the hard evidence left by those who followed in Sargon’s chariot ruts, it is important to recognize that we are looking at a very small segment of ancient human history, which dominates because of its enduring giant construction projects. I close now with an extract from my current book, and readers may take comfort in the closing sentence.

Claims are often made for the civilizing effect of having rulers and empires, citing the patronage of the arts and the ability of an iron hand to keep things stable enough for culture to develop. Yet the world is full of magnificent ruins from civilizations past—the temples, statues, and fortresses remaining as monuments to the pomp and paranoia of rulers past. Had the Iron Age known dynamite, it is unlikely that even these would be left behind.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

The New Imperial Roman Empire*

‘Unless G20 Summit is Held on a Deserted Island, there will be protests’

Tens of Thousands Swarm London in Massive Elite Uprising, Media Silence*

And One Ring to Bind Them All*

Biblical Garden of Eden Discovered in Iraq’s Marshes?*

The End of Times and ‘The Lost Book of Enki’: Sumeria

50 Ways to Starve the Beast*

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U.N. Declares Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, of Course Israel is Upset*

U.N. Declares Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, of Course Israel is Upset*

By Ian Deitch, Monika Scislowsk

Israeli police stand guard on a site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron

Israeli police stand guard on a site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron

The U.N. cultural agency on Friday declared the old city in the West Bank town of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site, a decision that outraged Israeli officials who say the move negated the deep Jewish ties to the biblical town and its ancient shrine.

The move was the latest chapter in Israel’s contentious relationship with UNESCO, an agency it accuses of being an anti-Israeli tool that makes decisions out of political considerations.

While the Palestinians welcomed the action, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “another delusional decision by UNESCO.”

Both Jews and Muslims revere the same site in Hebron as the traditional burial place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs — Jews call it the Tomb of the Patriarchs, while for Muslims it is the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The 12-3 vote, with six abstentions, came on a secret ballot at an annual UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland. The proposal came from the Palestinian side. Israel contended that its historic links to Hebron were ignored and its ambassador to UNESCO left the session.

UNESCO spokeswoman Lucia Iglesias confirmed that Hebron’s old city was put on the agency’s World Heritage list and on the list of sites in danger. She would not elaborate, saying the exact wording would be decided later.

The decision obliges the World Heritage committee to review its status annually.

“This is a historical development because it stressed that Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque historically belong to the Palestinian people,” said Palestinian Minister of Tourism Rula Maayah.

But Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said UNESCO’s “automatic Arab majority succeeded in passing the proposed resolution that attempts to appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people.”

She added: “This is a badge of shame for UNESCO, who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies.”

Netanyahu expressed outrage that UNESCO determined the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron “is a Palestinian site, meaning not Jewish, and that the site is in danger.”

“Not a Jewish site?!” he asked sarcastically.

“Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah — our patriarchs and matriarchs!”

Netanyahu pointed to extremists blowing up religious sites in the Middle East and said,

 “It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured.”

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the vote “does no one any good and causes much harm.”

“It represents an affront to history. It undermines the trust that is needed for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to be successful. And it further discredits an already highly questionable U.N. agency,” she said in a statement.

She had sent a letter to two senior U.N. officials before the vote, urging them to withhold the designation from UNESCO, according to the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

Hebron is part of the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. The international community considers it to be occupied.

Palestinians claim the West Bank is an integral part of a future independent state, a position that is widely backed internationally.

Israel says the territory’s fate, along with other core issues like security, should be resolved in negotiations.

In the meantime, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the West Bank housing about 400,000 Israelis. The Palestinians — and most of the world — consider these to be illegal obstacles to peace. Israel says the future of the settlements also must be decided through talks.

Hebron is especially contentious. Several hundred ultranationalist settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves in the city, amid about 170,000 Palestinians. There is frequent friction between the two populations.

Many viewed Friday’s UNESCO decision as the latest example of an ingrained anti-Israel bias at the U.N. and its institutions, where Israel and its allies are outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.

Although their rocky relationship goes back decades, recent resolutions by UNESCO also drew outrage in Israel for diminishing the deep Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

In September, Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO after it adopted a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.

The UNESCO resolution, titled “Occupied Palestine” and sponsored by several Arab countries, used only the Islamic name for a sacred hilltop compound in Jerusalem. The compound is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads Israel’s national UNESCO committee, said after Friday’s vote that

“Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization.”

In a statement, Netanyahu said he would cut another $1 million from the membership money Israel sends to the U.N. and use it to establish a “Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Hebron and Kiryat Arba and Hebron” and for other heritage projects related to Hebron.

Yitzhak Reiter of the independent Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research said UNESCO’s decision would allow the Palestinians to “score points” in negotiations over the future of West Bank territory, since they could claim that UNESCO has sided with them.

It also could bolster their efforts to fight what they believe are Israeli attempts to take over disputed religious sites in the Holy Land.

Israel strongly rejects Palestinian claims it is trying to change the status quo in either Hebron or in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“They want to make sure that there will be an international forum to monitor the situation in Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs that will prevent Israel from future transgressions or overstepping its current presence in the city,” Reiter said.

Hebron has a long history of violence.

In 1929, Arabs killed 67 Jews in a rampage still seared into Israeli minds. In 1994, an Israeli settler shot and killed 29 Palestinian worshippers at the holy site before he was beaten to death.

Many of the Palestinians involved in the current wave of attacks that began in 2005 came from Hebron. The attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces since then have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbings, shootings and vehicle assaults. In that period, 251 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Israel identified most of them as attackers.

Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian religious and political leaders, compounded by social media. Palestinians say it stems from anger over decades of Israeli rule in lands they claim for their state.

Source*

Related Topics:

Lord Rothschild Discusses How His Family Created Israel!*

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

Palestine to Sue U.K. for the Creation of ‘Israel’*

A Sacred Place

Palestine Before Israel*

The Protocols of Zion

The ‘Jewish National Fund’ and Its Role in Israel Thus Palestine*

Iran Arrests 4 Saudis on a Vessel inside Its Territorial Waters*

Iran Arrests 4 Saudis on a Vessel inside Its Territorial Waters*

By Tyler Durden

On June 19, just around the time it emerged that Israel had been secretly funding Syrian rebel groups and was explicitly aligned with Saudi Arabia in the Syrian conflict, Saudi media reported that the kingdom had captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a boat as it approached the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi Centre for International Communications added that the boat carried explosives, and the Iranians aboard “intended to carry out terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters” with the Marjan Saudi offshore oilfield allegedly targeted.  In other words, Saudi paraded that it had caught what appeared to be three Iranian terrorists belonging to IRGC, suggesting this was an operation ordered from the very top.

Of course, Iran’s take on things was different: Iran’s Tasnim news agency said that Saudi border guards had opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves. So on one side terrorists, on the other fishermen: about par.

Three weeks later, there has been no resolution to this alleged hostage crisis, however in a new development, on Friday Iran’s Fars news agency reported that Iran has returned the favour.

According to the Iranian news agency, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards – this time on the offensive – intercepted a Saudis boat for violating Iran’s territorial waters, and arrested the four passengers on board.

According to the Fars report, the boat came from the Saudi port of Darien and violated Iranian naval water borders where it was stopped by the Revolutionary Guards in the waters of the Bushehr province in southern Iran.

The Iran source told Fars that the IRGC had started an investigation regarding the four passengers on board the boat.

So far there has been no official statement on any Saudi news agency either confirming or denying the report, which likely means that a “behind the scenes” transfer of hostages on both sides is already in place.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Qatar for Not Wanting War with Iran*

Hacked Emails Show Top UAE Diplomat Coordinating With Pro-Israel Think Tank Against Iran*

Russia and Iran Escape the Petro-dollar*

Russia, Iran, Turkey Reach Consensus on De-escalation Zones in Syria*

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

Aged U.S. Hawks Planning for Iran at Adelson Backed Conference*

U.S. Fires Captain Detained by Iran in January*

U.S.-led Coalition Killed Nearly 500 Civilians in Syria during Ramadhan*

U.S.-led Coalition Killed Nearly 500 Civilians in Syria during Ramadhan*

The U.S.-led coalition has killed nearly 500 civilians in Syria during the month of Ramadhan in its military campaign against ISIS.

Around 470 civilians, including 137 children, were killed in air strikes in ISIS-held cities of Deir Ez-zor and Raqqa in eastern Syria between May 23 and June 23.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the period saw the highest civilian death toll in U.S. bombing campaigns for a single month since they began on 23 September 2014.

The figure has more than doubled from the previous 30-day toll.

SOHR claim the number is higher than those killed by Russian airstrikes and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces during the same period.

SOHR’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman, said that the new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the US-coalition’s campaign in Syria to 1,953, including 333 women and 456 children.

Human rights groups have warned for months of the increasing human cost of the U.S.-coalition’s bombing campaign, particularly as the battle for ISIS’s capital of Raqqa intensifies.

The U.S., Britain, France and other coalition members have provided air support for their allies Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground.

The coalition has stated on numerous occasions that it takes vigorous precautions to avoid killing civilians, but local residents say they have become collateral damage.

In March, more than 200 mainly children and women were reported to have been killed while they sought refuge in a school in the village of Mansoura.

Shockingly high civilian death tolls are also being reported in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where the battle to defeat ISIS is in its final stages.

Source*

Related Topics:

Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”*

Rothschild’s Israel Pushes Russia and U.S. Towards Nuclear Confrontation Over Syria*

Syria’s More Confident Assad gives Eid Prayers in Hama*

Israel Paying Syrian ‘Rebels’ to Protect Rothschild, Murdoch Oil*

Ron Paul: Why The Hell Are We Attacking Syrians Fighting ISIS?*

Australia Halts Airstrikes in Syria*

Russia Threatens to Target U.S.-Led Coalition Planes in Syria

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

Turkish MP Sentenced to 25 Years for Exposing MIT Arms Aid to Terrorists in Syria*

Syrian Troops Move Closer to Raqqa as the U.S. Drops Chemical Weapons on the Citizens*

What the Media Won’t Tell You about Syria*

Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”*

Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”*

By Bahar Azizi, Fr. Daniel Maes

Father Daniel Maes

Father Daniel: “This is a very recent picture with Fadia (4.5 years old) who was born when her mother was in danger and when we were heavily attacked by terrorists. We took her mother in safety when she was pregnant. Fadia is, I think, normal and lively, but she hasn’t spoken yet. She survived the shootings and bombardments in the basement together with us. Meanwhile, the family is reunited and has a home in Qara, but the mother and Fadia still visit us now and then to say hi.”

Since 2010, Father Daniel Maes (78), from the monastery of Postel in Belgium, has been a resident of Syria’s sixth-century Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometres north of the capital Damascus. He has returned to his home country several times in the intervening years to give seminars, but remains living in Syria.

I interviewed Father Daniel recently. The following is his story. He told me why he went to Syria in 2010, and how he experienced a culture shock when he first arrived there. He also explained that there never was a civil uprising in Syria, touched on the propaganda surrounding chemical attacks, relayed heartbreaking stories from Syrians themselves and praised the great support they receive from Hezbollah, the Syrian Army, and Russia.

A harmonious society

During one of the international ecumenical gatherings, I met Mother Agnes-Mariam, the founder of the Mar Yakub monastery – which once was one of the most famous monasteries of the Middle East. I was very impressed by her modesty and work, and I invited her to come to speak in Belgium several times after that. Her talks were very successful. At one point, she asked me: “I have visited you so many times. When will you visit us?” And that’s when I decided to go to Syria.

I had never had any contact with an Arabic country, so I had many prejudices. I thought that one had to be very careful in a Muslim country. To describe my experience in just a few words: It was nothing less than a culture shock to me. The hospitality that I experienced there was amazing, and the majority of youth, and the different kinds of people, from all walks of life and religions – Shiite, Sunni, Orthodox, Catholic, any possible religion – were all united. Regarding the country as a whole, life was harmonious; I have never seen such a harmonious society.

Hospitality was not only shown to Christians; there was no distinction made between Muslims and Christians. In all of Damascus, I think, there was not even one door that was locked. On a certain evening, I met a Christian woman who has a tourist office in Damascus. She told me: “I’ve been in many countries, and places. I’ve been in Brussels, I’ve been in Paris, and there is no other city like Damascus, where you can go out at night in safety.”

She was a beautiful lady, and she could safely walk the streets. In addition, treatment at hospitals was free, except medicines (all made in Syria!), and following a program of study at the university cost around 20 euros. On the whole, I witnessed a prosperous, safe, hospitable, and harmonious society. And refugees, about one million from Iraq and some from Bosnia, were treated as their own citizens.

Monastery Deir Mar Yaqoub in Qara, Syria – © Daniel Demeter/Syria Photo Guide

 No civil uprising took place in Syria

As soon as the lies started pouring in, I started my fight against those lies with the truth. One journalist claimed that when he was in Syria, he “asked for bread, but received bullets instead” – as if to prove that there was a civil uprising. Let me tell you, when I was in Syria before the war, 10 loaves cost 10 cents – a tenth of a euro. What nonsense this journalist was spouting. That has been my battle; against those lies. The West was trying to ‘find’ any reason to murder that country.

On a Friday evening we went to the priest in Qara. We would occasionally go out here and there to Christian families to pray for those who were ill. At some point we went to the presbytery to get food, we were walking, and on the street there was the main mosque, where we saw a group of young people.

They were screaming, yelling and held anti-Assad and anti-Syria banners. The priest told us later on that they were not Syrians. They came from abroad. They were filming their ‘demonstration’ and were paid generously by Al Jazeera for that. That was the so-called civil uprising. Thankfully, that was still at the very beginning, otherwise we would not be alive today. It was a very unpleasant feeling as we walked by those people to go to the presbytery.

At the time we didn’t know it was so organized. We heard from friends that the same occurred in other places. Since troublemakers are not wanted in any of our villages, this group of young people were not supported by anyone in the village. Still, they managed to grow. It grew to arson attacks and armed violence. The priest was also attacked, robbed, and was able to barely escape from strangulation by masked men with strange accents.

The organized and armed ‘opposition’ were now calling the shots. In Homs and Quosseir, children from Christian families and moderate Muslim families were threatened or even killed if they refused to participate in anti-government demonstrations. As the local archbishop, Jean-Clément Jeanbart, said: “If the people of Aleppo had not resisted these armed gangs energetically, and helped the army, the city would’ve been taken by rebels in a single day.

There was NO uprising, or so-called ‘civil war’; from within, there was no reason for it.

The great majority of Syrians continue to support their democratically elected President, as well as the Syrian Army.

 Chemical attack propaganda

The story surrounding the chemical gas attack in August 2013 was a disgrace. Not a single journalist reported on the irregularities, and didn’t ask any critical questions. In early August 2013, 11 villages were attacked in Lattakia. People were killed and homes destroyed, and many children were kidnapped. We tried to help find them. A list was compiled with their name, gender, and a note on whether they were missing, had been kidnapped or were murdered. There was not a word on this from the media.

Obama had announced in 2012, under intense media interest, that the use of chemical weapons was a ‘red line’. In other words, a reason to invade or attack Syria militarily, which the ‘international community’ was impatiently waiting for. Syria gave the U.N. and its agencies dozens of letters with evidence of chemical attacks by rebels, which was confirmed by nuns at a hospital in Aleppo. Not one letter has been answered and not a single attack has been investigated.

An official commission of inquiry was sent to Damascus and, while they arrived safe and sound, a massive chemical poison attack took place in nearby Ghouta under their noses. Western heads of state immediately expressed their horror at the atrocity, which they assumed had been ordered by Assad, and before the commission even began investigating it. In addition, the heads of state gave very different figures, ranging from 200 to 1,000 deaths. Apparently, they were better at agreeing amongst themselves who the culprit was (Assad) than they were regarding the number of victims.

The 35 professional videos, published right after the attack, showing a great number of dying children, went around the world. Left out was key context; that region had long been abandoned by families because of the fighting. And nowhere was a mother or an elder to be seen! Parents from Lattakia recognized their kidnapped children. Some were lying in different positions in the pictures.

How is it possible that no parents were present in those photos and footage? How could they even publish all that documentary evidence so soon after the attack? Why were the bodies of those innocent children neatly put together in one room? And that in a Middle Eastern village which was already emptied – how could there have been children there to begin with? Instead of asking these questions, accusations were thrown around before any investigation took place, making it clear to me that it was a set-up.

In my efforts against the lies, I try to make it clear that what people say or think is not neutral. It is important to ask: Are you standing side-by-side with the murderer or do you stand on the side of truth and the innocent victims?

Also, everybody should know by now that the WMDs story of Iraq was nothing but a lie: there were no WMDs. Now they’re telling us that Assad is killing his people? Everyone who has even a bit of a brain will understand immediately that all this is a set-up, that these allegations do not hold water.

The Syrian people know who their killers are; the terrorists – and they know who their protectors are, the Syrian army and their allies.

So I can’t help but ask journalists: are you so stupid to think that the people here are too stupid to know who the murderers and saviors are?

To this day, there are posters and pictures up all over Syria praising Assad and Putin – that is the reality.

While Western nations continue to lie, Russia tells the truth

Heartbreaking stories

I have many stories from Syria. I will tell you a couple. In early May 2016, dozens of Syrians and Lebanese came together at a festive meeting for martyrs. There were such touching stories. A woman with a baby in her arms was there, with a tear in her eye and a smile. Her loved one was killed by the terrorists. These people greeted me kindly as a European foreigner, but you can’t help but feel ashamed.

There was also the Muslim family of Fawad. The Christian neighbourhoods of Homs were the first ones the media reported as ‘freed’ by the so-called rebels, who had murdered, plundered, and destroyed. 130,000 Christians were expelled, and Muslims also suffered a lot due to the horrors of the ‘liberation’. Fawad’s father told how his only son was a student at the University of Homs. On a certain day, he didn’t come home; he had been kidnapped. All searches were in vain.

After some time, the parents received a phone call: “Would you like to see your son again?” The father promised to give everything or do anything in order to get his son back. A couple of days later, someone rang their doorbell. They opened the door and they saw a picture of their son on a plastic bag, after which a car drove away quickly. In the bag was the body of their son, in pieces. At first the father was furious. Later he was present at the Musalah meeting. The father continues to speak with great conviction:

 “We forgive those who killed our son. Let us forgive on behalf of Fawad and on behalf of God. That is the price we have to pay for peace.

They felt so lost, and so tired of suffering.

Before and after pictures of Syria. Do people truly think ‘rebels’ have Syria’s best interests at heart?

Our experience in Qara, liberated by Syrian Army and Hezbollah

Since 2012, our town of 25,000 residents quickly grew to 80,000 with strange bearded and heavily-armed men. Tens of thousands of armed terrorists attacked Qara and used it as a base from which to carry out attacks. However they were only able to carry out two or three small attacks from there.

Together with Muslim families, including children, we hid in the basement of the church, not giving away any signs of life. Muslims took care of us and we took care of them, while we entertained their children as best we could. We all had our hands full to keep them busy. Also, to keep them from being afraid, while for us there was no time to be afraid.

We moved some furniture inside, and behind the furniture the Muslim women slept. We slept on the other side. For a whole week, we had no water, but luckily there was snow. We had a garden which provided us with some almonds, cherries, figs and grapes. We also had bags of corn in the basement, which we ate from. It was an eye-opening experience, living together.

On a Sunday morning, the door was opened, a man came in and said, “It’s over“. His name was Ruah Allah, i.e. ‘Spirit of God’!

Hezbollah helped a lot in fighting off those terrorists in Qara. They were the first to provide help; along with the Syrian army, they protected and saved the people of Syria. The fact that we’re still alive is otherwise inexplicable. Qara was very dangerous in November 2013.

Hezbollah was originally set up because Zionists murdered their wives and children and destroyed their homes. They’re young idealists who joined Hezbollah as resistors, who want to serve and protect their people, but also, as it were, have sworn to help those who are similarly being threatened by the same kind of brutal aggression. And, if Syria would fall, then Lebanon wouldn’t survive more than a few days after that, either. The idealism of those young people was inspiring. As Shiites they work together with Syrian soldiers, most of whom are Sunni. They also work well together with Christians. It was a pleasant experience. They continue to protect the population and therefore us.

Near the end of 2013, the army and Hezbollah cleared the town of terrorists. One after another terrorist group fled. We don’t know how exactly it happened, but the Syrian army and their allies had the upper hand. There were still some small groups of rebels left at the time. But, soon after, some residents returned, shops and business re-opened and the spirits of the people were lifted. Some residents came back to help to rebuild. Our garden has been more or less damaged, but we are working on restoring it.

Brave Hezbollah soldiers, putting their lives in danger to protect the Syrian people.

 Enter Russia

We are also very thankful to Russia. If Russia didn’t come in 2015, then we would not be here today and Syria would not exist anymore. Russia says what it does and does what it says. We haven’t had direct interaction with Russians. Northern Aleppo had more contact with them. But we have seen trucks full of humanitarian supplies from Russia. A lot was organized.

Certainly, the Russians have their own reasons for being there. Just as the U.S. is there to serve its own agenda, which wants to achieve it by destroying Syria and putting puppets in charge there, as they have done to other countries in the past 25 years, with 20 million deaths as a result. Russia on the other hand wants to do anything it can to create stability for the country, and also for its own safety.

They support the idea that the country itself should choose its own government and president. They want to protect the stability, integrity and sovereignty of the country. And if Russia has some kind of an agenda in all of this as well, well, then my choice regarding whether I’d want the U.S. or Russia here has been made quickly. We have nothing more than appreciation for the Russians. As I said, we didn’t have personal contact with them. But based on what I’ve seen and heard from Syrian citizens, I know enough.

And you have to admit, Putin sure is an artist. Russia put up no-fly zones, against the U.S.! It is exactly the opposite of what the U.S. wanted to do: to provide no-fly zones in favor of the terrorists, not in favor of the Syrian army. And, while the so-called international coalition has more military power, Russia manages to do so much more. Russia is four times better than all those who protect and transport ISIS puppets to serve their political interests.

Syrians feel immense gratitude towards Russia and President Putin

Situation now in Qara: Help from the community and the church

Since the beginning, Mother Agnes-Mariam established three centres: in Jerama (Damascus), Qara (the Monastery) and Tartous. We’re receiving many containers, but you can’t do anything with those supplies if they aren’t organized. There are a lot of medical supplies for many hospitals, everywhere people need medical help. We work day and night on organizing these supplies, and other kinds of supplies. We receive medical supplies, clothes, and food at our storage room, then we select and organize them. We quickly first take food out from the containers (due to their expiration date). We put everything neatly in boxes, and write down what and how much is in each box. These boxes are then sent out.

It’s tragic. The terrorists are very well cared for and armed by their sponsors, while Syrians are in need of medical help. Terrorists destroyed many hospitals, a whole series of hospitals in fact. Thankfully, in cooperation with the Red Crescent, Sweden has offered us a big hospital including all equipment. It’s a perfect and modern clinic, which we are very thankful for. And since the beginning, we received very great help from the Dutch organization Dorcas.

In addition, Mother Agnes-Mariam, with the help of hundreds of volunteers and some paid workers, have been providing warm meals in Aleppo since September last year. 25,000 warm meals, five days a week, for two months, using products from the region – which also supports the work of the region. The miracle is that it was foreseen happening for two months but continues to this today!

There’s been much emphasis on rebuilding. This month I went back to help do that. Families with children have moved elsewhere, they said they want a future, certainty and safety. However, others have stayed, especially a group of enthusiastic young people, who have many ideas and provide much work and effort in rebuilding Qara. And every day, one of our sisters sets up creative knitwork for 35 women in the village, which the women receive an income from. The knitwork is sold, given or sent to friends abroad. Many have thanked us for our work.

We also grow mushrooms, and there are many other small activities that help people earn an income. There were people with a handicap in the town because they had isolated themselves, but we invited them to the monastery for Easter; it was a unique experience for all of us. They then felt part of the community and have started working also; they have now been integrated into society. We’re also working on a carpet factory, where people can work on making carpets. The population is probably not waiting for carpets! But we will try to sell them outside to help citizens gain an income. We have to truly be thankful for what we have.

We’ve also worked on restoring our gardens and orchards. This area has the best cherries in the whole world. They used to sell containers full of cherries to Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, much have been destroyed. But we have planted thousands of tiny plants and small trees.

Monastery of Mar Yakub ‘If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.’ (Lev 26:3-4) – Cherry trees in Qara.

Hope for Syria

The country has become much more united. During the festive meeting of martyrs, one could clearly see the unity of the people, between Alawites, Catholics, Shiites, Sunnis, Christians… We have become one family that continues to become bigger and stronger. Certain people can murder, kill, destroy infrastructure, but bringing a country to its knees will not happen.

Figure this: Alawites are probably ‘worse’ for Muslims than Christians, as the Alawites haven’t taken anything from Islam. And it is this man, President Assad, who is being supported by all, including the 70% Sunni Syrian population. We live together as one family. We work together towards the same society – and that is very strong.

There is hope. Solidarity will grow, and the harmonious connection is still there. Every country has its shortcomings, but in all of the misery, there are heroes. There are heroes and there are holy men. Amongst Muslims and others.

We can also see that there is a move from a unipolar world to a multipolar world, and I hope that for Syria this year we’ll continue to make progress. We’ve been through many years of war, but our unity has only become stronger.

Father Daniel lastly thanked me for the opportunity to speak about what he has experienced in Syria. He recalls two journalists who visited him in Qara. One of them started with the question:

Are you a fan of Assad?” To which he answered:

If I publicly say that I am against terrorists killing our Belgian Prime Minister Michel, then does that make me a fan of Michel or a paid fan of the Belgian regime?

Journalists also tend to ask about the ‘civil war’, to which he replies that there never was one.

They want to paint a certain picture. They want to hear stories of the brutal dictator. I’m pretty certain those interviews were never broadcasted,” he told me with a laugh. He didn’t give the answers they wanted to hear. He told the truth.

Consider a donation to help the Monastery of Mar Yakub in Qara, Syria, through which Father Daniel and others continue rebuilding what was destroyed by Western-backed terrorists. Father Daniel is also the author of a book (in Dutch) on natural family planning.

Source*

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Eyewitness: Foreign Terrorists from Neighbouring Countries Armed, Trained and Financed by the U.S, and Co. in Syria*

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Israel Paying Syrian ‘Rebels’ to Protect Rothschild, Murdoch Oil*

Rothschild’s Israel Pushes Russia and U.S. Towards Nuclear Confrontation Over Syria*

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U.S. Claim of Killing 50,000 ISIS Terrorists ‘Fairytale’ says Ex Diplomat*

U.S. Aircraft Directly Transporting ISIS Fighters Out of Raqqa*

U.S. Aircraft Directly Transporting ISIS Fighters Out of Raqqa*

By Rachel Blevins

As the death toll climbs in the city of Raqqa, the United States is now being accused of transporting ISIS fighters to safety, before embarking on an offensive that has included reports of cluster bombs and white phosphorus.

Iranian news agency Fars News reported that Ammar al-Assad, a senior Syrian lawmaker, said the U.S. has “allowed over 120 [ISIS] members to leave Raqqa with their weapons and go towards al-Sukhnah to create insecurity in Palmyra.”

“The U.S. is highly coordinated with the Syrian Democratic Forces as some of the group’s commanders are from the U.S., Britain, France and certain regional states,” al-Assad reportedly said.

“Actually what is happening in the battlefield is against what the media says. Many surprising events happen.”

Al-Assad claimed that “three weeks ago, the U.S.-led coalition planes staged heliborne operations in Raqqa and transferred a number of ISIL ringleaders to unknown places.”

He also questioned how groups such as ISIS and Syria’s Democratic Forces could arrive at such an agreement, given their ideological differences.

One of the most notable things Ammar Al-Assad reportedly told Fars News was that the leaders “were not Syrian, Iraqi or Chinese, but were the western commanders” of ISIS.

Reports of the U.S.-led coalition transporting ISIS leaders out of the city of Raqqa is especially interesting, given the fact that the city they are fleeing from is the same city that has been a direct target of the coalition’s wrath in recent weeks.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, an army backed by the U.S.-led coalition, began its effort to capture Raqqa on June 6, with an onslaught of airstrikes and ground troops.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, there have been multiple claims that the coalition dropped a cluster of airstrikes on Raqqa—a city housing at least 200,000 people—containing chemicals such as white phosphorus, which is illegal in residential areas.

Xinhua News, China’s state press agency, reported that

“Tens of civilians were killed on Thursday when the U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syria’s northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus,” citing a report from Syria’s Sham FM radio.

After just one week, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, told the Human Rights Council on Wednesday that the coalition’s sharp increase in attacks has led to a “staggering loss of civilian life,” and has “led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes.”

“Coalition air strikes have intensified around the city,” Pinheiro said.

As the operation is gaining pace very rapidly, civilians are caught up in the city under the oppressive rule of ISIL, while facing extreme danger associated with movement due to excessive air strikes.”

Karen Abuzayd, an American commissioner, told the council that the independent panel has documented around 300 deaths in the region since March.

“We have documented the deaths caused by the coalition air strikes only and we have about 300 deaths, 200 in one place, in al-Mansoura, one village,” Abuzayd said.

Reuters noted that the death toll could be much greater, but because U.N. investigators do not have access to Syria, they are limited to conducting interviews with “survivors and witnesses in neighboring countries or by Skype with those still in Syria.”

If the latest claims out of Syria are found to be true, it would mean that the United States has now been accused of transporting the leaders of the enemy it claims to be fighting to safety, and then using chemical weapons to torturing the innocent civilians of that city—which is arguably a war crime.

If these types of accusations were made against Russia or Syria, the U.S. government would band together with the mainstream media to demand WAR. However, when the claims are made against the United States, both entities fall eerily silent.

Source*

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U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

U.S. Coalition Cause ‘Staggering loss of civilian life’ during U.S.-backed siege of Raqqa*

Syrian Troops Move Closer to Raqqa as the U.S. Drops Chemical Weapons on the Citizens*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

A brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria has been created by an international team of researchers.

Finding what makes a person resilient, can lead to what makes a person less resilient. There are more immediate actions to improve the lot of Syrians

 

Researchers from Yale University, together with partners at universities in Canada, Jordan, and the United Kingdom, have developed a brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria. Over 5 million people have been forced to flee the six-year-old conflict in Syria, and over 650,000 Syrians are now rebuilding their lives in neighboring Jordan. Building resilience in people affected by war is a priority for humanitarian workers, but there is no established measure that could help assess the strengths that young people in the Middle East have in adversity. This makes it difficult to assess the nature of resilience and to track changes over time.

The researchers, in partnership with humanitarian organizations working on the Syrian-Jordanian border, have designed and tested a culturally relevant tool in English and Arabic languages. They describe their findings in an article published June 15 in Child Development.

“Humanitarian organizations strive to alleviate suffering and also nurture the resilience of refugees — their ability to overcome adversity,” said Catherine Panter-Brick, professor of anthropology and global affairs at Yale University and the study’s lead author.

“If you only focus on the negative — people’s trauma — then you’re missing the full picture. We have developed a tool for accurately measuring resilience in Arabic-speaking young people.

This survey will help researchers and service providers to craft effective interventions that bolster people’s strengths.”

The tool is useful for quickly measuring resilience in both refugee and host communities. It identifies strengths at the individual, family, and cultural level, thus including individual, interpersonal, and collective sources of resilience. It asks respondents to rate 12 statements, including “I have opportunities to develop and improve myself for the future,” “my family stands by me in difficult times,” and “education is important to me,” on a five-point scale from “not at all” to “a lot.”

In consultation with groups of young Syrian refugees and Jordanian hosts, the research team first examined local understandings of resilience. Then they adapted and translated a tool that has been successfully used in other cultures with vulnerable populations — the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) — to make it contextually relevant for use in Arabic-speaking refugee communities. To test the tool, the researchers interviewed 603 11- to 18-year-old boys and girls, including refugees and non-refugees, living in five towns near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

As expected, they found that higher levels of resilience were associated with less stress and fewer mental health problems. They also found interesting differences in sources of resilience within the populations surveyed. Boys and girls placed a different emphasis on the importance of family support, participation in religious activities, and education as a gateway to “the future.” And while Jordanians identified role models as important to resilience, Syrian refugee youth drew strength from overcoming their traumatic experiences, feeling re-settled, sustaining ambition, and believing that formal education was still important. For all these young people, reliance on family ties was paramount, more so than relationships with peers, the researchers noted.

“This new survey tool measures an important aspect of well-being, one that examines positive strength, rather than vulnerability and difficulties,” said co-author and team leader, Rana Dajani, professor at the Hashemite University in Jordan. “It will help humanitarian organizations evaluate their programs for young people and their families.”

Source*

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Rights Group Sues Trump Admin for Legal Explanation of Syria Missile Strike*

Syria, and Why Your Patriotism is Misguided*

Unity on U.S. Hands Off Syria Coalition*

Desperate Cabal Use UFO to Attack Caught Over Syria, Countless Structures Destroyed*

The Occult Reasoning behind the Cabal’s Battle for Syria*

U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

What the Media Won’t Tell You about Syria*

Goldman Sachs Financial Tricks to Prop Up “The Economy is Great!” Claim, Fund Syrian War*