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Author Topic: Russian Church Is a Strong Voice Opposing Intervention in Syria  (Read 2885 times) Average Rating: 0
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dhinuus
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« on: May 31, 2012, 11:59:53 PM »

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 12:04:54 AM »

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html
The area of Syria involved in the uprising has been cleared of Christians.  Do we think they will change if they take Damascus?
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 12:46:27 AM »

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html
The area of Syria involved in the uprising has been cleared of Christians.  Do we think they will change if they take Damascus?

Can you provide a reference?
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 09:05:59 AM »

The area of Syria involved in the uprising has been cleared of Christians.  

Can you provide a reference?

http://www.christianpost.com/news/islamists-nearly-wipe-out-christians-in-syrian-city-72025/
http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=72500&pageid=17&pagename=News
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42992.0.html
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 09:06:28 AM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 09:13:10 AM »

thanks, I didn't have time to look, as I found this out from Christians on the ground, who can't be posted.
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 09:22:39 AM »

War is ugly and Civil War is the ugliest. No easy answers here. I suspect that the slaughter fields of Antietam/Sharpsburg or Gettysburg would not have been possible had there been 24/7 instant coverage as we endure today. On the other hand, our need for instant gratification or outrage probably makes decisive action almost impossible in the modern world. Can you imagine the attack on Normandy being streamed live to 4 billion smart phones? The carnage would have sickened the masses.

The irony is that our modern media forms probably make these types of wars lag on in a trickle of unending misery.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 09:23:50 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 10:21:49 AM »

This makes me incredibly sad and angry. As much as I think it is important to defend Christians from persecution, this should not be done at the expense of justice. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." ~2 Timothy 1:7. Assad's regime (as well as any rebels that were not acting in self-defense) must be held accountable for its crimes against its own people, regardless of whether or not Christians benefit from his secular policies. It is the job of the church to be the voice for the "least of these" - the victims of these atrocities, not the voice for those in power. Earthly persecution that could result from Assad's fall can be seen as an opportunity to witness to the power of the gospel, but being motivated by fear rather than justice betrays that same gospel and weakens us spiritually. It is laudable to support a government because you feel the government is just, but it is quite another thing to support a government because you are afraid not to - the former is what we are called to do as Christians, not the latter. We are to walk in righteousness in whatever circumstances we face; trust the rest to God. For He promises that even in the face of persecution:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." ~Matthew 5:10-12
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 10:31:32 AM »

This makes me incredibly sad and angry. As much as I think it is important to defend Christians from persecution, this should not be done at the expense of justice. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." ~2 Timothy 1:7. Assad's regime (as well as any rebels that were not acting in self-defense) must be held accountable for its crimes against its own people, regardless of whether or not Christians benefit from his secular policies. It is the job of the church to be the voice for the "least of these" - the victims of these atrocities, not the voice for those in power. Earthly persecution that could result from Assad's fall can be seen as an opportunity to witness to the power of the gospel, but being motivated by fear rather than justice betrays that same gospel and weakens us spiritually. It is laudable to support a government because you feel the government is just, but it is quite another thing to support a government because you are afraid not to - the former is what we are called to do as Christians, not the latter. We are to walk in righteousness in whatever circumstances we face; trust the rest to God. For He promises that even in the face of persecution:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." ~Matthew 5:10-12
Justice?  Between Asad and the Islamists?

The Islamists are as brutal as Asad and then some.

Ol' Abe Lincoln waged a war "against his own people."  The US government used "its own people" for veneral disease and radiation poisoning testing.

It is odd that when Netanyahu et alia attack Gaza, the West Bank, etc. it is not described as "against his own people."

The US bankrolled the Mubarak regime for decades "against his own people."

There is no virtue in supporting the rebels in this case. None.  Unlike Asad, they have no redeeming features.  It is not a question of fearing what they might do, but confronting what they are actually doing.
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 11:05:07 AM »

RE: ialmisry

Why do you raise these other issues like Mubarek or veneral diseases? Did I suggest that we praise our own government or others for its crimes, but condemn others? No. I would say the same thing regardless of the government or the governmental officials in question. 

There is however, a difference between war and crime. Your comparison to the U.S. Civil War is not an apt one, because the war came first, and then occasionally crimes would be committed within that context (the latter of which, again, I would say need to punished). A more comparable scenario would be the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, which by and large began as a peaceful and popular protest movement which was met by a hostile government response (in many cases).  In this case, the crime came first. The only difference here is that unlike the Civil Rights movement, some in the Syrian uprising began to fight back, igniting a civil war, whereas in the United States, the movement remained peaceful in spite of the injustice, and eventually the injustice was addressed without a war.

I have heard arguments multiple times from Orthodox representatives, and this is reflected in the NY Times article being referenced, that acknowledge Assad as an unjust dictator, but that he should be supported because they fear something worse should the rebels come to power. This is the argument I find objectionable. I did not argue that the rebels would necessarily bring something better; indeed, I basically acknowledged in my post that the fall of Assad might very well lead to Christian persecution and a radical Islamist rise to power - and in that case, you would be "confronting what they are actually doing". But as they are not in power, you cannot say for certain what they would do if they came to power. Even if you could, I still don't see any of this as sufficient justification to pro-actively support Assad. If neither alternative is just, then Christians should actively oppose both and instead advocate a third way.

As an aside, I find it odd that you feel you are in a position to broadly condemn every rebel and the entire rebellion as having "no redeeming value" - the reality of situations such as these are almost always more complicated than this black-and-white portrayal.
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 11:10:46 AM »

RE: ialmisry

Why do you raise these other issues like Mubarek or veneral diseases? Did I suggest that we praise our own government or others for its crimes, but condemn others? No. I would say the same thing regardless of the government or the governmental officials in question.  

There is however, a difference between war and crime. Your comparison to the U.S. Civil War is not an apt one, because the war came first, and then occasionally crimes would be committed within that context (the latter of which, again, I would say need to punished). A more comparable scenario would be the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, which by and large began as a peaceful and popular protest movement which was met by a hostile government response (in many cases).  In this case, the crime came first. The only difference here is that unlike the Civil Rights movement, some in the Syrian uprising began to fight back, igniting a civil war, whereas in the United States, the movement remained peaceful in spite of the injustice, and eventually the injustice was addressed without a war.

I have heard arguments multiple times from Orthodox representatives, and this is reflected in the NY Times article being referenced, that acknowledge Assad as an unjust dictator, but that he should be supported because they fear something worse should the rebels come to power. This is the argument I find objectionable. I did not argue that the rebels would necessarily bring something better; indeed, I basically acknowledged in my post that the fall of Assad might very well lead to Christian persecution and a radical Islamist rise to power - and in that case, you would be "confronting what they are actually doing". But as they are not in power, you cannot say for certain what they would do if they came to power. Even if you could, I still don't see any of this as sufficient justification to pro-actively support Assad. If neither alternative is just, then Christians should actively oppose both and instead advocate a third way.

As an aside, I find it odd that you feel you are in a position to broadly condemn every rebel and the entire rebellion as having "no redeeming value" - the reality of situations such as these are almost always more complicated than this black-and-white portrayal.

Indeed, our country has supported many brutal dictators in the post war era on the theory that they were 'our dictators.' While from a geopolitical point of view this may have made some perverse sense, it is little comfort to a mother or a father or brother or sister whose family members were brutalized by 'our bad actor' rather than 'their bad actor.'

We have reaped the sour fruits of such policies over and over again. Indeed, our own national history teaches us this from the lessons of the brutality of the Reconstruction and the century long impact those acts had on the former Confederacy. The acts of the oppressors live on well after they are dead and turned to dust. Collective human memory can provide a powerful potion.

As I said there are no easy or just answers - but I agree that nothing in that part of the world is black and white.  

In any event, Assad is an international pariah and no amount of posturing or Russian support will change that. At some point he will age and his grip on power will erode and the chickens will come home to roost.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 11:12:46 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 11:46:40 AM »

As I have read, the rebels' rallying cry is "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to coffins". If you support either side in this conflict, you're supporting murder. It's just a matter of if you prefer your murder with a side of ethnoreligious cleansing or with a side of strongman government tactics. For me, nothing could be better than cleansing the Islamists for once, but of course the majority of the world is in complete denial regarding the reality of this "Arab Spring" crap, so what're you gonna do. Pray for Syria.
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2012, 12:43:35 PM »

Dzheremi has more or less gotten to the point.  I'll just add that you are looking for angles, or at least someone decent to support.  There are none here (except for the useful idiots, in which case you have to look beyond to see who is using them as a facade and camoflage), so it doesn't even enter into the equation.

RE: ialmisry

Why do you raise these other issues like Mubarek or veneral diseases?
To expose this "own people" crap for what it is: crap.

Did I suggest that we praise our own government or others for its crimes, but condemn others? No. I would say the same thing regardless of the government or the governmental officials in question.
"Would say," but didn't.  It savored of the "own people" sanctimony that is bandied about with the drum beat for intervention, which would be like Iraq, if not worse, and not Libya, which was bad enough.

There is however, a difference between war and crime. Your comparison to the U.S. Civil War is not an apt one, because the war came first, and then occasionally crimes would be committed within that context (the latter of which, again, I would say need to punished).
The South was fully in its rights to say to the Federales "pack your bags and get the hell out."  Between then and the carpetbaggers coming in are one movement.

Difference between war and crime.  I'm sure the dead take notice.

A more comparable scenario would be the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, which by and large began as a peaceful and popular protest movement which was met by a hostile government response (in many cases).
I'm not sure the local governments shared your definition of "own people."

In this case, the crime came first. The only difference here is that unlike the Civil Rights movement, some in the Syrian uprising began to fight back, igniting a civil war, whereas in the United States, the movement remained peaceful in spite of the injustice, and eventually the injustice was addressed without a war.

That you compare the Syrian rebels with the US civil rights movement only demonstrates that you haven't a clue.

I have heard arguments multiple times from Orthodox representatives, and this is reflected in the NY Times article being referenced, that acknowledge Assad as an unjust dictator, but that he should be supported because they fear something worse should the rebels come to power. This is the argument I find objectionable.
Play dice with your own life, and leave the Syrians alone.

I did not argue that the rebels would necessarily bring something better; indeed, I basically acknowledged in my post that the fall of Assad might very well lead to Christian persecution and a radical Islamist rise to power - and in that case, you would be "confronting what they are actually doing". But as they are not in power, you cannot say for certain what they would do if they came to power
Past action is the best predictor of future behavior.  So, yes, I can.

Play dice with your own life, and leave the Syrians alone.

Even if you could, I still don't see any of this as sufficient justification to pro-actively support Assad.
Don't have to "pro-actively support Assad."  Just leave the situation alone.  Unlike Qadhdhafi, Assad has a base of support in Syria.

If neither alternative is just, then Christians should actively oppose both and instead advocate a third way.
well, while you are busy theorizing in the ivory tower, those of us dealing with reality are busy acting/reacting to the situation on the ground.

As an aside, I find it odd that you feel you are in a position to broadly condemn every rebel and the entire rebellion as having "no redeeming value" - the reality of situations such as these are almost always more complicated than this black-and-white portrayal.
You're the one painting a black and white portrayal of Syria. Not I.

And you are reading into what I said.  The Egyptian revolution, for instance, was a different matter, as Mubarak, no matter how much the propping, wasn't going to survive.  In Libya, aid to the rebels, or rather constraints on Qadhdhafi, should have been immediate, for similar reasons.  When you your plane is going down, you have to choose how bad the crash is going to be.  That is far different from shooting the pilot and seeing what happens.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 03:24:52 PM »

In order to understand Russia's position one had to look at the reality of the situation in the Middle East.  Assad for all his faults, managed to hold a nation of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Turkomans, Kurds, Alawites and Christians together without any problems for many years, so what is going on?

Assad is an Alawite, a minority that has  always been looked down on by the Sunnis.  The Alawites are more tolerant than the Sunnis and more close to the Shias, this is why Assad has a close relationship with Shia Iran.  We can understand therefore the support the rebels in Syria would  be getting from Saudi Arabia as well as the other Arab states since they are Sunnis and Iran is their enemy.  The Arab states have a majority in the U.N. General Assembly, so of course they would have sympathy for the rebels. .

When we take into account our own problems with Iran, and our dependency on Saudi Arabia, we can understand why our sympathy lies with the rebels.  Now to get into the more serious problems and that would be Sunni Turkey.  Turkey wants to restore the leadership role it had during its Ottoman era, but in order to get it,  it would need Saudi Arabia's support.  The only way to do that was to break relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would undermine Israel.     When men were sent  from Turkey to break the Gaza embargo, they knew Israel would retaliate and give them the  excuse they wanted.  That their own men were killed in order to foster their strategy, meant nothing to them since in the eyes of Islam,  they would be martyrs..     

The rebels fighting against Assad held their meetings and planned their strategy in Turkey.   The plan was to make Syria a part of a future Sunni Caliphate, and so the attacks against the Alawites, Christians and Shias in the predominantly Turkoman areas had been done with the knowledge that Assad would retaliate.  This would create the same kind of refugee problem in Turkey that Albania had with Kosovo.   Turkey's hope was that it would be able to go in together with Nato and grab a chunk of the country. 

Russia knows all this, and it also knows that the same 'forces' at work in Dagestan are at work now in Syria.   For this reason Russia is so adamantly against any change in the borders of Syria.  Also any change in the borders because of terrorist actions, as those occurring now in Syria, would encourage similar acts by those that want to separate themselves from Russia and/or China. 

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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 02:51:22 PM »

St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church in Homs , Syria was destroyed in heavy fighting. This is a historic church where a belt of Virgin Mary the Theotokos is preserved. The chruch is known locally as Um Al-Zunar Church i.e. The Church of 'Belt of the Mother'.  As per the tradition, St. Mary gave her belt to St. Thomas. In the 5th century a Syrian monk brought the belt to Homs, and ever since has been preserved there. The church is now the Cathedral of the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs and Hama. It is surrounded by the Church Orphanage building and the headquarter of Archbishop Mor Selwanos Boutros.
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 04:05:25 PM »

Lord have mercy. St. Isaac, pray for us.  Cry Cry
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 04:25:24 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html

Agreed that this is complicated, but really, why should the Church even trust Assad? His government kills his own people, Muslim against Muslim.  If those can't even get along, how can we honestly trust the Assad government to protect us? If they don't protect their own peoples, why would they care about us? That is the reality of dictatorships and violent regimes, they simply can't be trusted. As a Christian, if I were living in Syria I would at this point be more concerned about the government which all the mechanisms of war which it uses almost indiscriminately as it has in the past.  A threat to anyone is a threat to everyone, a murderer is a murderer, would you trust your life with them?  Granted, the Islamists aren't our best friends, but at this point, realistically neither is Assad. If anything, I fear that the Assad government is using the Christian population as hostages and collateral damage from a Western intervention.  If Christians no longer become politically valuable to Assad, what are our assurances that he won't send his tanks and planes against us too?   I say the Russians should join the embargoes at the least, and stop dropping more gas on the fire, because fire burns indiscriminately and war is the biggest fire of all.  People die regardless of who they are in the chaos of a war zone Sad

Let us sincerely pray for EVERYBODY in Syria mutually.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 06:53:36 PM »

There is an Armenian church and school in Homs that the rebels have forcefully taken from the Armenians.

Habte,

It's not a matter of the Christians being politically valuable to Assad.  It is a matter of Assad being religiously tolerant.

There are several Armenians at my church who come from Syria and who still have relatives there.  They all say the same thing, that Assad is an "Alawi" and that Alawis are religiously tolerant people.  Evidently, they are not mainstream Muslims, but borrow some things from Christianity.  For example, my friends say that if you go into an Alawi's home, you'll see icons of the Mother of God.

Assad has treated all religions equally.  Christians have the same rights as Muslims in Syria.  For example, my friends say that churches over there don't pay taxes, same as mosques.  The jihadist rebels want to put an end to that.  The majority of people over there support Assad, not the rebels.

I don't automatically believe everything I hear through the media, and that includes reports about the fighting in Syria.  Both the rebels and the Syrian Government blamed each other for the massacre at Houla.  Of course the only people who know what happened are the people who were there, but I am not so quick to dismiss the possibility that it was done by the rebels. 

For weeks or months, the rebels have been ethnically cleansing Christian areas.  As they do this, they tell the inhabitants that if they don't leave, they'll kill them, take pictures of the dead bodies and send the pictures to the media, saying the killing was done by Assad.  We have threads here from a while ago discussing this.  So we know the rebels have contemplated the possibility of killing people they don't like, taking pictures, and blaming it on Assad.   Among the dead in Houla were the extended family of a member of parliament who supports Assad.  Like I said, we don't know what happened, but I don't dismiss the possibility that the rebels finally did what they have been promising they would do.

Now news of another massacre has hit the internet, this time in a village called Qubeir:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/world/meast/syria-villagers/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Again, the news comes from "opposition activists", and several of the dead are women and children, who the activists say were all killed by Assad's people.  But look at the very last sentence in the article:

Quote
About 200 people live in Qubeir, which is near villages that support the regime, the activist said.

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2012, 07:05:54 PM »

From an article back in April:

Quote
The Orthodox Church referred to the persecution as the “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians” by Muslim militants linked to al Qaeda. According to its report, the so-called “Brigade Faruq” is largely to blame, with Islamic extremists going door to door and forcing followers of Christ to leave without even collecting their belongings. Their property is then stolen by rebels as “war-booty from the Christians.”

Christians in Homs were reportedly told that if they did not leave immediately, they would be shot. Then, pictures of their bodies would be sent to the pro-Syrian-regime-change Al Jazeera — a media broadcaster controlled by the dictatorship ruling Qatar — with a message claiming that forces loyal to Assad had murdered them.

Sound familiar?  This dates back to April.

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2012/04/islamists-force-50000-christians-to-flee-from-syrian-city-of-homs/
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2012, 07:12:42 PM »

There is an Armenian church and school in Homs that the rebels have forcefully taken from the Armenians.

Habte,

It's not a matter of the Christians being politically valuable to Assad.  It is a matter of Assad being religiously tolerant.

There are several Armenians at my church who come from Syria and who still have relatives there.  They all say the same thing, that Assad is an "Alawi" and that Alawis are religiously tolerant people.  Evidently, they are not mainstream Muslims, but borrow some things from Christianity.  For example, my friends say that if you go into an Alawi's home, you'll see icons of the Mother of God.

Assad has treated all religions equally.  Christians have the same rights as Muslims in Syria.  For example, my friends say that churches over there don't pay taxes, same as mosques.  The jihadist rebels want to put an end to that.  The majority of people over there support Assad, not the rebels.

I don't automatically believe everything I hear through the media, and that includes reports about the fighting in Syria.  Both the rebels and the Syrian Government blamed each other for the massacre at Houla.  Of course the only people who know what happened are the people who were there, but I am not so quick to dismiss the possibility that it was done by the rebels. 

For weeks or months, the rebels have been ethnically cleansing Christian areas.  As they do this, they tell the inhabitants that if they don't leave, they'll kill them, take pictures of the dead bodies and send the pictures to the media, saying the killing was done by Assad.  We have threads here from a while ago discussing this.  So we know the rebels have contemplated the possibility of killing people they don't like, taking pictures, and blaming it on Assad.   Among the dead in Houla were the extended family of a member of parliament who supports Assad.  Like I said, we don't know what happened, but I don't dismiss the possibility that the rebels finally did what they have been promising they would do.

Now news of another massacre has hit the internet, this time in a village called Qubeir:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/world/meast/syria-villagers/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Again, the news comes from "opposition activists", and several of the dead are women and children, who the activists say were all killed by Assad's people.  But look at the very last sentence in the article:

Quote
About 200 people live in Qubeir, which is near villages that support the regime, the activist said.

Lord have mercy.

In Aleppo, the Armenian quarter has signs in Armenian.  Next to Lebanon, the Armenians don't have it as good in the Middle East as they have it in Syria.  Asad's regime treats them decently.  The rebels do not and will not.  That makes the choice pretty easy for the Armenians, the Christians, and many, many others in Syria.  As Salpy said, that doesn't mean we don't know that it is a choice between two devils we know.
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2012, 07:29:32 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html

Agreed that this is complicated, but really, why should the Church even trust Assad?
Because he and his father have a history, and they haven't betrayed our trust.  That can't be said of his opponents.

His government kills his own people, Muslim against Muslim.
don't fool yourself: the rebels he is fighting do not consider him one of their own, and openly state they will slaughter his Alawite brethren, because they are not, in their eyes, their "own people."

If those can't even get along, how can we honestly trust the Assad government to protect us?
because the best predictor of future action is past behavior.

If they don't protect their own peoples, why would they care about us?
because the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the Christians' enemies in this are very much Asad's enemies.

That is the reality of dictatorships and violent regimes, they simply can't be trusted.
you have a choice  between two dictatorships and violent regimes. Don't fool yourself into thinking you, or rather the Syrians, have a  better choice here.

As a Christian, if I were living in Syria I would at this point be more concerned about the government which all the mechanisms of war which it uses almost indiscriminately as it has in the past.
 
Since you are not living in Syria, nor, I am guessing, never been there, listen to those Christians who do and have.

A threat to anyone is a threat to everyone, a murderer is a murderer, would you trust your life with them?
LOL.   In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is-Yogi Berra.
Given my choice of murderers, I'd trust Asad.

Granted, the Islamists aren't our best friends, but at this point, realistically neither is Assad.
Yeah, actually he is.  I've yet to hear a reason why the Christians should throw their lot in with the Islamists.

If anything, I fear that the Assad government is using the Christian population as hostages and collateral damage from a Western intervention.
The West would have to care and Asad would have to be foolish enough to think the West cared.

 If Christians no longer become politically valuable to Assad, what are our assurances that he won't send his tanks and planes against us too?
 
while you amuse yourself pondering hypotheticals, we have to deal the present realities.

I say the Russians should join the embargoes at the least, and stop dropping more gas on the fire, because fire burns indiscriminately and war is the biggest fire of all.  People die regardless of who they are in the chaos of a war zone Sad
the US is the one throwing oil on the fire, and it isn't going to clean up what it torches.

Let us sincerely pray for EVERYBODY in Syria mutually.
AMEN!
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2012, 07:49:37 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last firm foothold in the Middle East. Less well known is the position taken by the Russian Orthodox Church, which fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.

In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”

This argument for supporting sitting leaders has reached a peak around Syria, whose minority population of Christians, about 10 percent, has been reluctant to join the Sunni Muslim opposition against Mr. Assad, fearing persecution at those same hands if he were to fall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/europe/russian-church-opposes-syrian-intervention.html

Agreed that this is complicated, but really, why should the Church even trust Assad? His government kills his own people, Muslim against Muslim.  If those can't even get along, how can we honestly trust the Assad government to protect us? If they don't protect their own peoples, why would they care about us? That is the reality of dictatorships and violent regimes, they simply can't be trusted. As a Christian, if I were living in Syria I would at this point be more concerned about the government which all the mechanisms of war which it uses almost indiscriminately as it has in the past.  A threat to anyone is a threat to everyone, a murderer is a murderer, would you trust your life with them?  Granted, the Islamists aren't our best friends, but at this point, realistically neither is Assad. If anything, I fear that the Assad government is using the Christian population as hostages and collateral damage from a Western intervention.  If Christians no longer become politically valuable to Assad, what are our assurances that he won't send his tanks and planes against us too?   I say the Russians should join the embargoes at the least, and stop dropping more gas on the fire, because fire burns indiscriminately and war is the biggest fire of all.  People die regardless of who they are in the chaos of a war zone Sad

Let us sincerely pray for EVERYBODY in Syria mutually.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

The Christians have survived in Syria under the Assads, and even though they never did anything for them, they weren't persecuted either.  If the West was to intervene the way Turkey wants it to for its own territorial expansion and ambition, and if the Sunnis were to get the upper hand, then there will be massacres and ethnic cleansing that would probably equal those in Anatolia in the last century.  If the Christians living there are not saying anything it's because of fear.  Islam expanded through fear.  Anyway, there is no way Russia is going to allow us to do to Syria what was done to Libya.  Putin is much to close to the Russian Metropolitan to allow it.

To get an idea of the mentality in that part of the world, and how readily passions can be aroused, there is a book on the internet  written by the American Consul General Horton in Smyrna at the time of the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Turkey.  Because of Turkish propaganda and influence in the U.S. at the time of the massacres,  Horton would only  quote from American and European witnesses.  He lists their names and positions in the book:  The Blight of Asia.   You can read it at this site: 

http://www.pahh.com/horton/

Anyway how stupid is our State Department?  When the so called 'Arab Spring' started, I knew the Muslim Brotherhood was behind it simply by a comment someone made on a forum.  Did our government really believe that the moderates would gain power in Egypt, or are we bowing down to Saudi 'sensibilities' because of our oil dependency?  I should think it would be smarter and more humane to develop our own resources than having people dying and suffering in that part of the world... including our own men Angry

 
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2012, 10:00:30 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

There is an Armenian church and school in Homs that the rebels have forcefully taken from the Armenians.

Habte,

It's not a matter of the Christians being politically valuable to Assad.  It is a matter of Assad being religiously tolerant.



Assad has treated all religions equally.  Christians have the same rights as Muslims in Syria.


For weeks or months, the rebels have been ethnically cleansing Christian areas.  As they do this, they tell the inhabitants that if they don't leave, they'll kill them, take pictures of the dead bodies and send the pictures to the media, saying the killing was done by Assad.  We have threads here from a while ago discussing this.  So we know the rebels have contemplated the possibility of killing people they don't like, taking pictures, and blaming it on Assad.   Among the dead in Houla were the extended family of a member of parliament who supports Assad.  Like I said, we don't know what happened, but I don't dismiss the possibility that the rebels finally did what they have been promising they would do.

Now news of another massacre has hit the internet, this time in a village called Qubeir:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/world/meast/syria-villagers/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Again, the news comes from "opposition activists", and several of the dead are women and children, who the activists say were all killed by Assad's people.  But look at the very last sentence in the article:

Quote
About 200 people live in Qubeir, which is near villages that support the regime, the activist said.

Lord have mercy.


I am sorry to say this, but if Syrian Christians enjoy certain protections under Assad, shouldn't they question their culpability when the Assad regime has killed thousands of people?  If you are a Syrian, that is your country, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, and those are all mutually your people.  So would Christians really want to be safe at the expense of the lives of other people?  Further, why should we honestly trust that Assad would remain so tolerant through the future, after all, his tolerance is blatantly and dangerously hypocritical as Syrian people continue to die every single day.  It is a shame in the highest degree.  I am not trying to say that Christians should suddenly support "the rebels" because the Western world made that same silly mistake in Libya.

 However, I don't understand why it has to be an either or situation? Clearly the Assad government is not taking care of its own house, so shouldn't there be a regime change? It shouldn't necessarily be an Islamist transition, but it definitely should be a change of the guard because of Assad's clear inability to control the country without brute force. He clearly has power, but more clearly lacks authority. I also believe there is something seriously fishy with the media coverage, there is an agenda, realistically a conspiracy, but I would not go so far as to say it is entirely a fraud.  Further, it is no surprise that Islamist rebel militias have stepped up their violence, these groups always existed in Syria, these were realistically the best prepared for an armed uprising.  That does not mean they will automatically become the next government, because they may lack authority to back their power.  It is clear that before things got so violent, about a year ago, that many cities in Syria experiences public outcry, uprisings, and peaceful protests.  Then the government flinched and reacted with Tiananmen Square style violence, which in turn provoked the Islamists to up their game.  However, I'm not quite sure the Islamists are the ones who started this.  Remember, Assad didn't invent Syria, Christians enjoy privileges in that society because a majority of the society accepts it, otherwise they'd be chased out like in other countries. We should hope that if Syrian society tolerated Christianity more so previously than other Muslim societies, that it is not all personal charm and magic of Assad, but rather that Syrian people themselves do this.  Segregation in America didn't end because of the Civil Right's laws, it ended because the popular opinion shifted towards equality, and bigotry shifted towards a minority. I also agree that the Christians there in Syria should then both (a) sincerely question their security under the current government there and (b) soul search to find if such protection is even worth the cost of other Syrian lives?  

Granted, the Islamists aren't our best friends, but at this point, realistically neither is Assad.
Yeah, actually he is.  I've yet to hear a reason why the Christians should throw their lot in with the Islamists.


Again, I never suggested that, and I don't see why that is the automatic case? Radical Islamists militias are a minority, and they are increasing their violence in retaliation to the government, and seizing opportunity in the chaos.  The Islamists didn't start this, everyday folks protesting in the cities started this.  The Assad regime responded with violence, which provoked the Islamists.  Now it is just chaos and civil war. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 10:04:58 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2012, 03:35:27 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

There is an Armenian church and school in Homs that the rebels have forcefully taken from the Armenians.

Habte,

It's not a matter of the Christians being politically valuable to Assad.  It is a matter of Assad being religiously tolerant.



Assad has treated all religions equally.  Christians have the same rights as Muslims in Syria.


For weeks or months, the rebels have been ethnically cleansing Christian areas.  As they do this, they tell the inhabitants that if they don't leave, they'll kill them, take pictures of the dead bodies and send the pictures to the media, saying the killing was done by Assad.  We have threads here from a while ago discussing this.  So we know the rebels have contemplated the possibility of killing people they don't like, taking pictures, and blaming it on Assad.   Among the dead in Houla were the extended family of a member of parliament who supports Assad.  Like I said, we don't know what happened, but I don't dismiss the possibility that the rebels finally did what they have been promising they would do.

Now news of another massacre has hit the internet, this time in a village called Qubeir:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/world/meast/syria-villagers/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Again, the news comes from "opposition activists", and several of the dead are women and children, who the activists say were all killed by Assad's people.  But look at the very last sentence in the article:

Quote
About 200 people live in Qubeir, which is near villages that support the regime, the activist said.

Lord have mercy.


I am sorry to say this, but if Syrian Christians enjoy certain protections under Assad, shouldn't they question their culpability when the Assad regime has killed thousands of people?  If you are a Syrian, that is your country, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise, and those are all mutually your people.  So would Christians really want to be safe at the expense of the lives of other people?  Further, why should we honestly trust that Assad would remain so tolerant through the future, after all, his tolerance is blatantly and dangerously hypocritical as Syrian people continue to die every single day.  It is a shame in the highest degree.  I am not trying to say that Christians should suddenly support "the rebels" because the Western world made that same silly mistake in Libya.

 However, I don't understand why it has to be an either or situation? Clearly the Assad government is not taking care of its own house, so shouldn't there be a regime change? It shouldn't necessarily be an Islamist transition, but it definitely should be a change of the guard because of Assad's clear inability to control the country without brute force. He clearly has power, but more clearly lacks authority. I also believe there is something seriously fishy with the media coverage, there is an agenda, realistically a conspiracy, but I would not go so far as to say it is entirely a fraud.  Further, it is no surprise that Islamist rebel militias have stepped up their violence, these groups always existed in Syria, these were realistically the best prepared for an armed uprising.  That does not mean they will automatically become the next government, because they may lack authority to back their power.  It is clear that before things got so violent, about a year ago, that many cities in Syria experiences public outcry, uprisings, and peaceful protests.  Then the government flinched and reacted with Tiananmen Square style violence, which in turn provoked the Islamists to up their game.  However, I'm not quite sure the Islamists are the ones who started this.  Remember, Assad didn't invent Syria, Christians enjoy privileges in that society because a majority of the society accepts it, otherwise they'd be chased out like in other countries. We should hope that if Syrian society tolerated Christianity more so previously than other Muslim societies, that it is not all personal charm and magic of Assad, but rather that Syrian people themselves do this.  Segregation in America didn't end because of the Civil Right's laws, it ended because the popular opinion shifted towards equality, and bigotry shifted towards a minority. I also agree that the Christians there in Syria should then both (a) sincerely question their security under the current government there and (b) soul search to find if such protection is even worth the cost of other Syrian lives?  

Granted, the Islamists aren't our best friends, but at this point, realistically neither is Assad.
Yeah, actually he is.  I've yet to hear a reason why the Christians should throw their lot in with the Islamists.


Again, I never suggested that, and I don't see why that is the automatic case? Radical Islamists militias are a minority, and they are increasing their violence in retaliation to the government, and seizing opportunity in the chaos.  The Islamists didn't start this, everyday folks protesting in the cities started this.  The Assad regime responded with violence, which provoked the Islamists.  Now it is just chaos and civil war. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Assad is an Alawite, and they are the most tolerant Muslims.  The rebels are Sunnis, and they have always been the cruelest and most aggressive Muslims.  Also Muslims lie, it's called taqiyya.  Islamic law allows it when it's for the advancement of Islam, so when the rebels are asked who did the killing, don't believe them.  The only reason our media gives the impression that it is the Syrian government, is because Clinton wants a regime change, so she has to make the Syrian government the bad guys.
 
This means that it wouldn't matter to Clinton what the outcome will be and how many will die.  Their plans are drawn up the way they were with Kosovo.  If it was as idealistic as the media tries to present it, then why not a regime change in Saudi Arabia?  Aren't they a lot worse? 

Anyway the opposition to Assad came from Turkey  and started with the ethnic Turkomans for expansionist reasons.  For one to  understand the full extent of Turkish propaganda,  they formed a society called 'Friends of the Syrian People', and  yet the majority of people in Syria back the government so how can they be friends of the Syrian people unless it's a deliberate attempt to mislead the  Western world? Huh

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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2012, 03:49:02 PM »

Yes, the two main backers of the rebels are Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  Turkey is one of the world's top violators of human rights, and Saudi Arabia--which gave us Al Qaida and the Taliban--is not exactly a paragon of Jeffersonian democracy.  And yet we are partnering with them on what to do with Syria.  These are not friends of the Syrian people.  Like I said, the majority of Syrians, including the Muslims there, are pro-Assad. 
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2012, 09:17:12 AM »

In order to understand Russia's position one had to look at the reality of the situation in the Middle East.  Assad for all his faults, managed to hold a nation of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Turkomans, Kurds, Alawites and Christians together without any problems for many years, so what is going on?

Assad is an Alawite, a minority that has  always been looked down on by the Sunnis.  The Alawites are more tolerant than the Sunnis and more close to the Shias, this is why Assad has a close relationship with Shia Iran.  We can understand therefore the support the rebels in Syria would  be getting from Saudi Arabia as well as the other Arab states since they are Sunnis and Iran is their enemy.  The Arab states have a majority in the U.N. General Assembly, so of course they would have sympathy for the rebels. .

When we take into account our own problems with Iran, and our dependency on Saudi Arabia, we can understand why our sympathy lies with the rebels.  Now to get into the more serious problems and that would be Sunni Turkey.  Turkey wants to restore the leadership role it had during its Ottoman era, but in order to get it,  it would need Saudi Arabia's support.  The only way to do that was to break relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would undermine Israel.     When men were sent  from Turkey to break the Gaza embargo, they knew Israel would retaliate and give them the  excuse they wanted.  That their own men were killed in order to foster their strategy, meant nothing to them since in the eyes of Islam,  they would be martyrs..     

The rebels fighting against Assad held their meetings and planned their strategy in Turkey.   The plan was to make Syria a part of a future Sunni Caliphate, and so the attacks against the Alawites, Christians and Shias in the predominantly Turkoman areas had been done with the knowledge that Assad would retaliate.  This would create the same kind of refugee problem in Turkey that Albania had with Kosovo.   Turkey's hope was that it would be able to go in together with Nato and grab a chunk of the country. 

Russia knows all this, and it also knows that the same 'forces' at work in Dagestan are at work now in Syria.   For this reason Russia is so adamantly against any change in the borders of Syria.  Also any change in the borders because of terrorist actions, as those occurring now in Syria, would encourage similar acts by those that want to separate themselves from Russia and/or China. 



Exactly! I like your Assessment. But I think the Russian nation should be less materialistic if they want to achieve something globally. Besides, they should learn how to be closer to "non-Caucasian" populations of the world. Look how many Russian tourists are hungry to make their vaccations in the Turkish reviera.

Take another example; As Orthodox Christian nations, Russians and Greeks were supposed to play a leading role in many ways, whether it's in Egypt or Ethiopia, both ideologically and materilaly -- not the likes of Turks. Well, right now, Russia and Greece are busy promoting the West's decadent way of life. You know what, all Turkish factories and companies employ only Ethiopian Muslims. If a Christian wants to work with them they ask them to join Islam. How pathetic! Turks are traditional enemies of the Ethiopian nation, and I am sure they will pay one day for their sneaky, stealth islamization of Ethiopia.

Turkish Saygin Dima Textile to Begin Operations in Ethiopia

http://www.2merkato.com/201203231042/saygin-dima-textile-to-begin-operations-in-ethiopia

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/saygin-of-turkey-sees-annual-sales-of-100-million-from-ethiopia.html


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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2012, 08:06:59 PM »

In order to understand Russia's position one had to look at the reality of the situation in the Middle East.  Assad for all his faults, managed to hold a nation of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Turkomans, Kurds, Alawites and Christians together without any problems for many years, so what is going on?

Assad is an Alawite, a minority that has  always been looked down on by the Sunnis.  The Alawites are more tolerant than the Sunnis and more close to the Shias, this is why Assad has a close relationship with Shia Iran.  We can understand therefore the support the rebels in Syria would  be getting from Saudi Arabia as well as the other Arab states since they are Sunnis and Iran is their enemy.  The Arab states have a majority in the U.N. General Assembly, so of course they would have sympathy for the rebels. .

When we take into account our own problems with Iran, and our dependency on Saudi Arabia, we can understand why our sympathy lies with the rebels.  Now to get into the more serious problems and that would be Sunni Turkey.  Turkey wants to restore the leadership role it had during its Ottoman era, but in order to get it,  it would need Saudi Arabia's support.  The only way to do that was to break relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would undermine Israel.     When men were sent  from Turkey to break the Gaza embargo, they knew Israel would retaliate and give them the  excuse they wanted.  That their own men were killed in order to foster their strategy, meant nothing to them since in the eyes of Islam,  they would be martyrs..     

The rebels fighting against Assad held their meetings and planned their strategy in Turkey.   The plan was to make Syria a part of a future Sunni Caliphate, and so the attacks against the Alawites, Christians and Shias in the predominantly Turkoman areas had been done with the knowledge that Assad would retaliate.  This would create the same kind of refugee problem in Turkey that Albania had with Kosovo.   Turkey's hope was that it would be able to go in together with Nato and grab a chunk of the country. 

Russia knows all this, and it also knows that the same 'forces' at work in Dagestan are at work now in Syria.   For this reason Russia is so adamantly against any change in the borders of Syria.  Also any change in the borders because of terrorist actions, as those occurring now in Syria, would encourage similar acts by those that want to separate themselves from Russia and/or China. 



Exactly! I like your Assessment. But I think the Russian nation should be less materialistic if they want to achieve something globally. Besides, they should learn how to be closer to "non-Caucasian" populations of the world. Look how many Russian tourists are hungry to make their vaccations in the Turkish reviera.

Take another example; As Orthodox Christian nations, Russians and Greeks were supposed to play a leading role in many ways, whether it's in Egypt or Ethiopia, both ideologically and materilaly -- not the likes of Turks. Well, right now, Russia and Greece are busy promoting the West's decadent way of life. You know what, all Turkish factories and companies employ only Ethiopian Muslims. If a Christian wants to work with them they ask them to join Islam. How pathetic! Turks are traditional enemies of the Ethiopian nation, and I am sure they will pay one day for their sneaky, stealth islamization of Ethiopia.

Turkish Saygin Dima Textile to Begin Operations in Ethiopia

http://www.2merkato.com/201203231042/saygin-dima-textile-to-begin-operations-in-ethiopia

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/saygin-of-turkey-sees-annual-sales-of-100-million-from-ethiopia.html


I read recently in a Turkish paper that Russian TV programs are discouraging people from visiting Turkey.  What's going on in that part of the world is very reminiscent of pre WWII, especially with the new Ottomans: Erdogan and Devotoglu at the helm in Turkey.  Russia has many, many problems in the Caucasus, and I certainly don't envy Putin.  Whatever happens in the world is dependant on him, since Russia is the only nation in the world with the will to halt the progression of Islam.   Is it any wonder that Putin has the Elder Ephraim for guidance.  Sad
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2012, 08:33:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Again, I never suggested that, and I don't see why that is the automatic case? Radical Islamists militias are a minority, and they are increasing their violence in retaliation to the government, and seizing opportunity in the chaos.  The Islamists didn't start this, everyday folks protesting in the cities started this.  The Assad regime responded with violence, which provoked the Islamists.  Now it is just chaos and civil war. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Turkey's foreign minister Devotoglu hinted in Bosnia that he wanted to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, and they are adept at creating incidents in order to further their ambitions.  For instance, for the past thirty years they have been sending their jets over Greek waters only to have them chased away by Greek jets.  Three years ago one of the generals in the former Turkish government was accused in court of planning to have a Turkish jet shot down in order to start a war with Greece before the Olympic games. I have never doubted that the men killed on the aid ship going to Gaza was not a set up by Turkey could break its relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would make Israel look like the bad guys.   


More recently someone from the previous Turkish government admitted in court that he was ordered to start the forest fires on the Greek islands.  What I'm trying to say is the protestors in Syria were probably sent by Turkey in order to create incidents so that Assad's government would retaliate harshly.  The problems did start in Homs and they are predominantly Turcomans.  Also the rebel leaders were meeting in Turkey, and Turkey did want a corridor where the Turcomans could settle and which could be annexed later by Turkey.

One of the reasons Russia is insisting on the Annan plan, is so Syria will not break up and Turkey will not be able to expand at the expense of Syria.   Angry   
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2012, 08:36:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In order to understand Russia's position one had to look at the reality of the situation in the Middle East.  Assad for all his faults, managed to hold a nation of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Turkomans, Kurds, Alawites and Christians together without any problems for many years, so what is going on?

Assad is an Alawite, a minority that has  always been looked down on by the Sunnis.  The Alawites are more tolerant than the Sunnis and more close to the Shias, this is why Assad has a close relationship with Shia Iran.  We can understand therefore the support the rebels in Syria would  be getting from Saudi Arabia as well as the other Arab states since they are Sunnis and Iran is their enemy.  The Arab states have a majority in the U.N. General Assembly, so of course they would have sympathy for the rebels. .

When we take into account our own problems with Iran, and our dependency on Saudi Arabia, we can understand why our sympathy lies with the rebels.  Now to get into the more serious problems and that would be Sunni Turkey.  Turkey wants to restore the leadership role it had during its Ottoman era, but in order to get it,  it would need Saudi Arabia's support.  The only way to do that was to break relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would undermine Israel.     When men were sent  from Turkey to break the Gaza embargo, they knew Israel would retaliate and give them the  excuse they wanted.  That their own men were killed in order to foster their strategy, meant nothing to them since in the eyes of Islam,  they would be martyrs..    

The rebels fighting against Assad held their meetings and planned their strategy in Turkey.   The plan was to make Syria a part of a future Sunni Caliphate, and so the attacks against the Alawites, Christians and Shias in the predominantly Turkoman areas had been done with the knowledge that Assad would retaliate.  This would create the same kind of refugee problem in Turkey that Albania had with Kosovo.   Turkey's hope was that it would be able to go in together with Nato and grab a chunk of the country.  

Russia knows all this, and it also knows that the same 'forces' at work in Dagestan are at work now in Syria.   For this reason Russia is so adamantly against any change in the borders of Syria.  Also any change in the borders because of terrorist actions, as those occurring now in Syria, would encourage similar acts by those that want to separate themselves from Russia and/or China.  



Exactly! I like your Assessment. But I think the Russian nation should be less materialistic if they want to achieve something globally. Besides, they should learn how to be closer to "non-Caucasian" populations of the world. Look how many Russian tourists are hungry to make their vaccations in the Turkish reviera.

Take another example; As Orthodox Christian nations, Russians and Greeks were supposed to play a leading role in many ways, whether it's in Egypt or Ethiopia, both ideologically and materilaly -- not the likes of Turks. Well, right now, Russia and Greece are busy promoting the West's decadent way of life. You know what, all Turkish factories and companies employ only Ethiopian Muslims. If a Christian wants to work with them they ask them to join Islam. How pathetic! Turks are traditional enemies of the Ethiopian nation, and I am sure they will pay one day for their sneaky, stealth islamization of Ethiopia.

Turkish Saygin Dima Textile to Begin Operations in Ethiopia

http://www.2merkato.com/201203231042/saygin-dima-textile-to-begin-operations-in-ethiopia

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/saygin-of-turkey-sees-annual-sales-of-100-million-from-ethiopia.html


I read recently in a Turkish paper that Russian TV programs are discouraging people from visiting Turkey.  What's going on in that part of the world is very reminiscent of pre WWII, especially with the new Ottomans: Erdogan and Devotoglu at the helm in Turkey.  Russia has many, many problems in the Caucasus, and I certainly don't envy Putin.  Whatever happens in the world is dependant on him, since Russia is the only nation in the world with the will to halt the progression of Islam.   Is it any wonder that Putin has the Elder Ephraim for guidance.  Sad

The Russians may fight Islam in their old backyard of the Caucasus regions, however, much like the US, elsewhere they play the field.  Russia sells arms to practically EVERY Islamic nation out there.  Like Pakistan with the drone attacks, they say one thing against it to pander to their people in the newspaper, but behind closed doors they sell arms to Islamic powers just the same as any other major arms running nations like China, the US, and Germany.

The problem with the world, be it the leadership in Muslim world or the Western world (or the Northern world in current politico speak) is not a lack of willingness to act on principle, but rather blatant and dangerous hypocrisy.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 08:39:15 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2012, 01:58:14 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In order to understand Russia's position one had to look at the reality of the situation in the Middle East.  Assad for all his faults, managed to hold a nation of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Turkomans, Kurds, Alawites and Christians together without any problems for many years, so what is going on?

Assad is an Alawite, a minority that has  always been looked down on by the Sunnis.  The Alawites are more tolerant than the Sunnis and more close to the Shias, this is why Assad has a close relationship with Shia Iran.  We can understand therefore the support the rebels in Syria would  be getting from Saudi Arabia as well as the other Arab states since they are Sunnis and Iran is their enemy.  The Arab states have a majority in the U.N. General Assembly, so of course they would have sympathy for the rebels. .

When we take into account our own problems with Iran, and our dependency on Saudi Arabia, we can understand why our sympathy lies with the rebels.  Now to get into the more serious problems and that would be Sunni Turkey.  Turkey wants to restore the leadership role it had during its Ottoman era, but in order to get it,  it would need Saudi Arabia's support.  The only way to do that was to break relations with Israel, and do it in a way that would undermine Israel.     When men were sent  from Turkey to break the Gaza embargo, they knew Israel would retaliate and give them the  excuse they wanted.  That their own men were killed in order to foster their strategy, meant nothing to them since in the eyes of Islam,  they would be martyrs..    

The rebels fighting against Assad held their meetings and planned their strategy in Turkey.   The plan was to make Syria a part of a future Sunni Caliphate, and so the attacks against the Alawites, Christians and Shias in the predominantly Turkoman areas had been done with the knowledge that Assad would retaliate.  This would create the same kind of refugee problem in Turkey that Albania had with Kosovo.   Turkey's hope was that it would be able to go in together with Nato and grab a chunk of the country.  

Russia knows all this, and it also knows that the same 'forces' at work in Dagestan are at work now in Syria.   For this reason Russia is so adamantly against any change in the borders of Syria.  Also any change in the borders because of terrorist actions, as those occurring now in Syria, would encourage similar acts by those that want to separate themselves from Russia and/or China.  



Exactly! I like your Assessment. But I think the Russian nation should be less materialistic if they want to achieve something globally. Besides, they should learn how to be closer to "non-Caucasian" populations of the world. Look how many Russian tourists are hungry to make their vaccations in the Turkish reviera.

Take another example; As Orthodox Christian nations, Russians and Greeks were supposed to play a leading role in many ways, whether it's in Egypt or Ethiopia, both ideologically and materilaly -- not the likes of Turks. Well, right now, Russia and Greece are busy promoting the West's decadent way of life. You know what, all Turkish factories and companies employ only Ethiopian Muslims. If a Christian wants to work with them they ask them to join Islam. How pathetic! Turks are traditional enemies of the Ethiopian nation, and I am sure they will pay one day for their sneaky, stealth islamization of Ethiopia.

Turkish Saygin Dima Textile to Begin Operations in Ethiopia

http://www.2merkato.com/201203231042/saygin-dima-textile-to-begin-operations-in-ethiopia

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/saygin-of-turkey-sees-annual-sales-of-100-million-from-ethiopia.html


I read recently in a Turkish paper that Russian TV programs are discouraging people from visiting Turkey.  What's going on in that part of the world is very reminiscent of pre WWII, especially with the new Ottomans: Erdogan and Devotoglu at the helm in Turkey.  Russia has many, many problems in the Caucasus, and I certainly don't envy Putin.  Whatever happens in the world is dependant on him, since Russia is the only nation in the world with the will to halt the progression of Islam.   Is it any wonder that Putin has the Elder Ephraim for guidance.  Sad

The Russians may fight Islam in their old backyard of the Caucasus regions, however, much like the US, elsewhere they play the field.  Russia sells arms to practically EVERY Islamic nation out there.  Like Pakistan with the drone attacks, they say one thing against it to pander to their people in the newspaper, but behind closed doors they sell arms to Islamic powers just the same as any other major arms running nations like China, the US, and Germany.

The problem with the world, be it the leadership in Muslim world or the Western world (or the Northern world in current politico speak) is not a lack of willingness to act on principle, but rather blatant and dangerous hypocrisy.


stay blessed,
habte selassie

Everything goes back to that East/West divide that runs through Europe.  The distrust that was fomented between the Catholic and Orthodox for centuries, and that should have been forgotten with the break up of the Soviet Union, was re-established when we entered a civil war in support of the Muslim Kosovans.  This is when Russia realized that it will never be respected as a power in its own right and expects the West to do everything to weaken them...which of course would mean a break up of their territory.  China also fears this, and this is why it too is  vehemently against any break up of Syria.

Europe has become more and more dependent on Russia for its energy and as is usually the case, prefers empowering the Muslims to counteract Russia, something the West has done for centuries to the detriment of the Orthodox.   Had that not been the case, Constantinople today would not be part of Turkey, nor would there have been the massacre and ethnic cleansing of all the Christians in Anatolia.  

This doesn't mean the Orthodox didn't do the same things as the West in even earlier centuries.  Many a Greek gave his support to the Turks in order to combat the West, even to the point of arousing theological points against the Papacy, which led to the reformation at a time when the Pope wanted money from Germany, for another Crusade to free Constantinople and Jerusalem.  

As for today, the Russians are selling arms to nations in order to combat our power, while we and Europe are doing everything to combat their power.  Of course the only ones that gain from all this are the Muslims.  Roll Eyes

  
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 02:02:53 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2012, 02:46:36 PM »

For everyone's contemplation, a Syrian Christian perspective posted on CNN: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/08/syrias-christian-conundrum/?hpt=hp_bn2.

This comes across to me as a fairly balanced and accurate assessment of the situation.

In Christ,
Christine
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 05:01:00 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

For everyone's contemplation, a Syrian Christian perspective posted on CNN: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/08/syrias-christian-conundrum/?hpt=hp_bn2.

This comes across to me as a fairly balanced and accurate assessment of the situation.

In Christ,
Christine

Excellent article, I couldn't agree with the author more.  We need to stop thinking in sectarian terms, and realize that all ideologies aside, sheer geography makes people who live in proximity of one another a community, and we are all in the same boat then.  Christians and Muslims in Syria are in the same boat, it is one community whether we mutually realize this or not.  Luckily, some folks seem to get it Smiley

Quote
Recently, a rather extraordinary scene unfolded at the funeral for young Bassel Chehadeh, the young Christian filmmaker gunned down by the regime in Homs.
As thousands from all religious faiths gathered at a church in the Christian Kassaa district of Damascus, security forces bolted the church doors shut and began beating and terrorizing the mourners. The parishioners responded by reciting Christian and Muslim prayers and chanting “Syrians are one people.” It was a beautiful sight.
We are one people, and citizens of one state. Not a Christian Syria or a Sunni Syria or an Alawite Syria. Just Syria, the homeland of all of us.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2012, 05:08:14 PM »

The attorney's point would be better received if the forces that are actually changing Syria were as secular and democractically-minded as she is. Unfortunately, back here in reality the slogan of the rebels is still "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin". Now who's really to be faulted for not being on board with the idea of a new, more equitable Syria? Not the Christians, who have already been forced by the rebels to flee Homs, Al-Qusayr, etc.
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2012, 07:28:54 PM »

The attorney's point would be better received if the forces that are actually changing Syria were as secular and democractically-minded as she is. Unfortunately, back here in reality the slogan of the rebels is still "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin". Now who's really to be faulted for not being on board with the idea of a new, more equitable Syria? Not the Christians, who have already been forced by the rebels to flee Homs, Al-Qusayr, etc.

If my memory serves me correctly the original protests in Syria were democracy-inspired, secular and peaceful. I am grateful for Habte's and faithcmbs9's posts in this thread.

The US State Department seems to have the same recollection (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/nea/186449.htm):

"Calls for democratic reform by nonviolent demonstrators began in mid-March and continued through year’s end. The Asad regime used indiscriminate and deadly force to quell such protests, including military assaults on several cities. For example, in late April the regime deprived the southern city of Dara’a of electricity, water, and medical services, and it restricted entry and exit for approximately 20 days while shelling mosques and other civilian targets. The regime maintained the use of deadly force against its citizens despite its agreement to an Arab League plan to engage in reforms and cease killing civilians on November 2. The UN reported that more than 5,000 civilians were killed during the year. When the protests began in March, local committees emerged and took responsibility for organizing events within their own communities. Together the committees formed the Local Coordinating Committees (LCCs) of Syria.

The three most egregious human rights problems during the year were the regime’s denial of its citizens’ right to peacefully change the government; massive attacks and strategic use of citizen killings as a means of intimidation and control; and denial of civil liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and association.

Other serious problems included disappearances; torture and abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of fair public trial; arbitrary interference with privacy; and lack of press, Internet, and academic freedom. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) remained restricted in practice, especially those that attempted to work in the areas of civil society and democracy. The government restricted freedoms of religion and movement. Several groups in society, notably a portion of the Kurdish population, were denied citizenship. There was limited progress on laws combating trafficking in persons. Violence and societal discrimination against women and minorities continued, and workers’ rights remained restricted."

The 2010 report is just as disgusting: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154473.htm

I have read the posts in this thread. I am not here to argue. When I am overwhelmed with nausea I have to speak up. Perhaps my emotions have made me irrational but I abhor hatred.

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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2012, 08:48:11 PM »

If my memory serves me correctly the original protests in Syria were democracy-inspired, secular and peaceful.

Oh, I don't doubt it. As were the original protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and (if you can reach this far back, to the 1970s) even Iran...

Sadly, particularly in the Islamic-majority nations, popular and secular protests often don't stay that way for long. I have friends from Iraq who made similar points about the recent political developments in that country: They started out as purely nationalistic and focused on a goal that basically all Iraqis could agree with (getting the USA out of the country as soon as possible, for everyone's benefit), but before too long the protest movement had been infiltrated by foreigners and foreign (Islamist) ideologies. I'm pretty sure even Frontline did a documentary on the "changing face of the Iraqi insurgency" or whatever that made the same point, in which they played videotaped statements of insurgents to everyday Iraqis, who responded "yeah, that guy speaks with a Saudi accent; he's definitely not from here", "That guy has to be Iranian", etc. A more recent Frontline segment from just a week or two ago showed a similar development in Yemen, where a now al Qaeda-held town was complete with checkpoints manned by Somalis and other non-Yemeni nationals. These developments are troubling not only because Islamism is antithetical to democracy and pluralism, but because for whatever kinds of minorities there are (not just Christians, but also the Berbers in places like Libya) it drives home the point that it is not just your neighbor who might tomorrow turn on you, but your neighbor with help from literally any nutcase in the region who might want to remake your city or country in their own religious/cultural/ethnic image.

No revolution is to be trusted anywhere, particularly in those places where people are prone, either sincerely or by force, to believe that (more) Islam is what is needed for the country. Exchanging one tyranny for another doesn't do anyone any good.
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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2012, 09:17:59 PM »

I saw one of my friends from Syria and she says people over there don't believe the massacres were done by Assad, but rather by the rebels.

This article supports that view:


http://www.aina.org/news/20120610190659.htm

Quote
Who is Responsible for the Houla Massacre?

Most western media reports blame Assad and his troops directly or militia loyal to Assad in the surrounding villages for the Houla massacre.. A UN Human Rights Council group said evidence pointed towards militia loyal to Assad in the region. However the main source for this conclusion was information from rebel activists in Houla! Reaction was swift and Assad was condemned and Syrian diplomats expelled from many countries in the west including Canada. But was this massacre by Assad or loyal militias?

Actually the situation is not at all clear. The Assad regime denied responsibility and blamed it on terrorists. This is possible. There are Al Qaeda linked terrorists from Iraq in Syria who have been staging terror attacks several of them causing multiple deaths in Damascus. The rebels of course say that alleged terrorist attacks even on targets such as Assad's own security people are staged by the regime. It is hard to really judge as to which side reaches for the most ridiculous explanations of events but surely this one should be close to winning first prize.There is however a third explanation that if some of the facts alleged are true fits the situation quite well.

...

According to new reports most of those killed were not Sunni who are by far the majority in Houla but Shia families loyal to Assad and Sunni collaborators. Several reports have indicated that whoever perpetrated the acts actually posted videos on the internet and distributed them to news media. If the vicitms were pro-Assad rather than Sunni rebels as was assumed then there is no contradiction in the rebels carrying it out since it would benefit them but reflect blame on Assad and his loyalists.



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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2012, 09:41:13 PM »

The attorney's point would be better received if the forces that are actually changing Syria were as secular and democractically-minded as she is. Unfortunately, back here in reality the slogan of the rebels is still "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin". Now who's really to be faulted for not being on board with the idea of a new, more equitable Syria? Not the Christians, who have already been forced by the rebels to flee Homs, Al-Qusayr, etc.

If my memory serves me correctly the original protests in Syria were democracy-inspired, secular and peaceful. I am grateful for Habte's and faithcmbs9's posts in this thread.

The US State Department seems to have the same recollection (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/nea/186449.htm):

"Calls for democratic reform by nonviolent demonstrators began in mid-March and continued through year’s end. The Asad regime used indiscriminate and deadly force to quell such protests, including military assaults on several cities. For example, in late April the regime deprived the southern city of Dara’a of electricity, water, and medical services, and it restricted entry and exit for approximately 20 days while shelling mosques and other civilian targets. The regime maintained the use of deadly force against its citizens despite its agreement to an Arab League plan to engage in reforms and cease killing civilians on November 2. The UN reported that more than 5,000 civilians were killed during the year. When the protests began in March, local committees emerged and took responsibility for organizing events within their own communities. Together the committees formed the Local Coordinating Committees (LCCs) of Syria.

The three most egregious human rights problems during the year were the regime’s denial of its citizens’ right to peacefully change the government; massive attacks and strategic use of citizen killings as a means of intimidation and control; and denial of civil liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and association.

Other serious problems included disappearances; torture and abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of fair public trial; arbitrary interference with privacy; and lack of press, Internet, and academic freedom. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) remained restricted in practice, especially those that attempted to work in the areas of civil society and democracy. The government restricted freedoms of religion and movement. Several groups in society, notably a portion of the Kurdish population, were denied citizenship. There was limited progress on laws combating trafficking in persons. Violence and societal discrimination against women and minorities continued, and workers’ rights remained restricted."

The 2010 report is just as disgusting: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154473.htm

I have read the posts in this thread. I am not here to argue. When I am overwhelmed with nausea I have to speak up. Perhaps my emotions have made me irrational but I abhor hatred.



While you are at it, you may want to read the human rights reports on the people backing  the rebels:

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dynamic_load_id=186447#wrapper

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dynamic_load_id=186414#wrapper

Then you can look up the people backing the rebels in the Commission on International Religious Freedom's latest report:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43705.0.html

You'll see they are both named on the list of the 16 most egregious and systematic violators of religious freedom in the world.

Syria is not on that list.
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« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2012, 12:34:07 AM »

The attorney's point would be better received if the forces that are actually changing Syria were as secular and democractically-minded as she is. Unfortunately, back here in reality the slogan of the rebels is still "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin". Now who's really to be faulted for not being on board with the idea of a new, more equitable Syria? Not the Christians, who have already been forced by the rebels to flee Homs, Al-Qusayr, etc.

If my memory serves me correctly the original protests in Syria were democracy-inspired, secular and peaceful. I am grateful for Habte's and faithcmbs9's posts in this thread.

The US State Department seems to have the same recollection (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/nea/186449.htm):

"Calls for democratic reform by nonviolent demonstrators began in mid-March and continued through year’s end. The Asad regime used indiscriminate and deadly force to quell such protests, including military assaults on several cities. For example, in late April the regime deprived the southern city of Dara’a of electricity, water, and medical services, and it restricted entry and exit for approximately 20 days while shelling mosques and other civilian targets. The regime maintained the use of deadly force against its citizens despite its agreement to an Arab League plan to engage in reforms and cease killing civilians on November 2. The UN reported that more than 5,000 civilians were killed during the year. When the protests began in March, local committees emerged and took responsibility for organizing events within their own communities. Together the committees formed the Local Coordinating Committees (LCCs) of Syria.

The three most egregious human rights problems during the year were the regime’s denial of its citizens’ right to peacefully change the government; massive attacks and strategic use of citizen killings as a means of intimidation and control; and denial of civil liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and association.

Other serious problems included disappearances; torture and abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of fair public trial; arbitrary interference with privacy; and lack of press, Internet, and academic freedom. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) remained restricted in practice, especially those that attempted to work in the areas of civil society and democracy. The government restricted freedoms of religion and movement. Several groups in society, notably a portion of the Kurdish population, were denied citizenship. There was limited progress on laws combating trafficking in persons. Violence and societal discrimination against women and minorities continued, and workers’ rights remained restricted."

The 2010 report is just as disgusting: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154473.htm

I have read the posts in this thread. I am not here to argue. When I am overwhelmed with nausea I have to speak up. Perhaps my emotions have made me irrational but I abhor hatred.



While you are at it, you may want to read the human rights reports on the people backing  the rebels:

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dynamic_load_id=186447#wrapper

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dynamic_load_id=186414#wrapper

Then you can look up the people backing the rebels in the Commission on International Religious Freedom's latest report:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43705.0.html

You'll see they are both named on the list of the 16 most egregious and systematic violators of religious freedom in the world.

Syria is not on that list.


Dear Salpy, this is the sort of comparative analysis the I do not want to be a part of. This is the sort of thinking that makes me feel ill. I did read the links that you posted and did my own comparative analysis of Turkey vs Syria for your sake. I could make a strong argument on that basis, but I do not know the truth. I did appreciate dzheremi thoughtful post but I do not see a clear solution to the dilemma. To be clearer about my thinking, it is my suspicion that the Syria that perhaps we thought we knew is no longer. It is now something quite evil and as evil as any hypothetical force you can invent to replace it. That this is a possibility is enough to give me pause. I cannot go down the slope that you are laying before me. I do not have your confidence in this regard.
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2012, 01:36:37 AM »

To be clearer about my thinking, it is my suspicion that the Syria that perhaps we thought we knew is no longer.

That's true.  What was once a safe haven where Eastern Christians could live and worship in peace is no longer, thanks to foreign-backed Islamic rebels.

Quote
It is now something quite evil and as evil as any hypothetical force you can invent to replace it.

It's not a "hypothetical force."  We already can see who will replace Assad, and they are already slaughtering civilians and ethnically cleansing Christian communities.


Quote
That this is a possibility is enough to give me pause. I cannot go down the slope that you are laying before me. I do not have your confidence in this regard.

I can either believe people who are from there and who still have contact with people there, or I can believe the TV.  I prefer to believe the former over the latter.
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2012, 12:50:28 PM »

Another city cleansed of its Christian population:

Quote
BEIRUT -- Much of the Christian population of the besieged Syrian city of Qusair has abandoned the town after an “ultimatum” from the rebel military chief there, reports Agenzia Fides, the official Vatican news agency.

The ultimatum expired Thursday, the agency reported, adding that most of the city’s 10,000 Christians have fled the city, situated in the battleground province of Homs.

"Some mosques in the city have relaunched the message, announcing from the minarets: 'Christians must leave Quasir,' " read the report from the Vatican agency, which has sought to document the parlous plight of Syria’s ancient Christian community.

...

The Vatican agency cited “sources” who said that extremist Islamist groups in the ranks of the Qusair rebels “consider Christians 'infidels,' confiscate goods, commit brief executions and are ready to start a 'sectarian war.' "

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/06/vatican-christians-expelled-syria.html
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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2012, 08:25:03 PM »

Another city cleansed of its Christian population:

Quote
BEIRUT -- Much of the Christian population of the besieged Syrian city of Qusair has abandoned the town after an “ultimatum” from the rebel military chief there, reports Agenzia Fides, the official Vatican news agency.

The ultimatum expired Thursday, the agency reported, adding that most of the city’s 10,000 Christians have fled the city, situated in the battleground province of Homs.

"Some mosques in the city have relaunched the message, announcing from the minarets: 'Christians must leave Quasir,' " read the report from the Vatican agency, which has sought to document the parlous plight of Syria’s ancient Christian community.

...

The Vatican agency cited “sources” who said that extremist Islamist groups in the ranks of the Qusair rebels “consider Christians 'infidels,' confiscate goods, commit brief executions and are ready to start a 'sectarian war.' "

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/06/vatican-christians-expelled-syria.html

Thank you for being a voice of reason on this thread.  The Western propaganda reminds me of the propaganda going on before we entered the civil war in Serbia.  At that time, all one saw on CNN during 'Clinton's war', was 'poor' Muslim Kosovans exiting Kosovo...from morning until night.  Later on it turned out that they were being paid five dollars by CNN for every exit. 

Later on we went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq  with all our military force because of a terrorist attack on our soil, and yet when Serbia responding with force against the KLA terrorists that were killing and chasing Serbs from Kosovo,  we decided to enter a civil war at the time and support the terrorists.

Today we not only supported the Muslim Brotherhood's rise in Egypt, to the detriment of the Christian Copts, but also supported Al Queda and other terrorists by bombing Libya.

Yesterday I read (I believe in Russia Today), that a Western journalist was given the wrong directions by some rebels so they could be accidentally killed by government forces and used for propaganda purposes.  This of course will not make it into the Western news, nor will the news that it's Assad supporters that are being massacred because that might make the rebels look bad instead of the government.   The question of course becomes why all this support for terrorists to the detriment of the Christians and more moderate Muslims?

Is it because Iran supports Syria and that's detrimental to Israel coupled with our need of Saudi Arabia's oil? Huh
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« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2012, 10:06:56 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

No one here is denying that there is an ugly civil war going on in Syria, and that various Islamist militias have begun to take advantage of the chaos to themselves take fight against the government and in the process persecute Christians.  And my deepest prayers are for ALL the people of Syria right now, but especially the Christians.  Further, it'd be silly NOT to suspect and see through the smoke screen of this western media blitz and cry conspiracy because clearly there is one.  However..

None of that exonerates the Assad government.  I said it before, I will say it again.  Assad may have power, but he clearly lacks authority.  If he can't suppress but instead is in fact instigating open rebellion, civil war, and now persecutions of Christians by militias, then why should we support him? Why should Christians trust such an inept and shameful government? Out of fear mongering? People in Syria rose up in civil disobedience and protest.  The government responded with force.  That was the first mistake.  In response, the government force provoked a hostile response by well-armed and organized Islamist militias who had already been in the country waiting for this kind of opportunity.  Now the Assad regime seemingly has no power to control or stop these militias.  I will say this one last time and let this rest.  Its not that foreign intervention should somehow blindly support the Islamist militias like has happened in Libya, but clearly Assad must be replaced but something neutral.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2012, 11:15:57 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

No one here is denying that there is an ugly civil war going on in Syria, and that various Islamist militias have begun to take advantage of the chaos to themselves take fight against the government and in the process persecute Christians.  And my deepest prayers are for ALL the people of Syria right now, but especially the Christians.  Further, it'd be silly NOT to suspect and see through the smoke screen of this western media blitz and cry conspiracy because clearly there is one.  However..

None of that exonerates the Assad government.  I said it before, I will say it again.  Assad may have power, but he clearly lacks authority.  If he can't suppress but instead is in fact instigating open rebellion, civil war, and now persecutions of Christians by militias, then why should we support him? Why should Christians trust such an inept and shameful government? Out of fear mongering? People in Syria rose up in civil disobedience and protest.  The government responded with force.  That was the first mistake.  In response, the government force provoked a hostile response by well-armed and organized Islamist militias who had already been in the country waiting for this kind of opportunity.  Now the Assad regime seemingly has no power to control or stop these militias.  I will say this one last time and let this rest.  Its not that foreign intervention should somehow blindly support the Islamist militias like has happened in Libya, but clearly Assad must be replaced but something neutral.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I can't understand you.  You're saying that Assad lacks authority, and yet when he wants to assert that authority against the outside forces that are causing the disruptions  in his country, he is being condemned by the Western media.  What if Assad didn't respond by force to these organized outside militia, do you think they would have stopped killing Alawites, Christians and Shias?  I don't think so, instead they would have continued to kill more and more until Syria was emptied of Alawites, Christians and Shias.

As for Assad being replaced by someone neutral, the only neutral people that exist are the Alawites, and there is no way the rebels will accept that.  The Sunnis have said they will massacre them since they have always been looked upon as being inferior like the Christians,  so they are fighting for their lives.  If it were to happen, which I don't think so since Russia will not allow it,  then the replacement  will probably be the Muslim Brotherhood the way it is in Egypt.  But even that is doubtful since there are different groups with different agendas. 

The Shias will get support from Iran and Hezbollah, so the civil war will only get worse.  Turkey will start marching in with it's enormous army to grab as much as it can, and that will frighten the Kurds who really want their own country so they'll be quite a bit of disruption all around.   The only solution I can see is for the West to butt out, and to stop supporting the terrorist rebels.  Russia is right.  Undecided

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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2012, 09:37:00 PM »

Another article about what is happening to the Christians in Syria, including kidnappings and beheadings by Islamic rebels.

More about Houla, and the story about the British journalists:

Quote
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung now reports that the massacre in Houla was in fact perpetrated by Sunni rebels against a family in the village who had converted to Shi'ism. German article here. Google translate here:

According to the eyewitnesses, the massacre occurred during this period. Almost exclusively families from the Alawite and Shi'ite minority were killed in Hula, which is more than ninety percent Sunni. Thus, several dozen members of one family who had converted from Sunnism to Shi'i Islam were slaughtered. Members of the Alawite Shomaliya family were also killed, as well as the family of a Sunni member of parliament, because he was considered a collaborator. Immediately after the massacre, the perpetrators filmed their victims, portrayed them as Sunnis, and spread the videos over the internet.

In the Guardian, here, a journalist for British Channel 4 TV tells the story of how his team was led by Syrian rebels into a dangerous situation, so that their deaths could be blamed on the regime.


http://www.aina.org/news/20120612142223.htm
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2012, 11:10:30 PM »

The attorney's point would be better received if the forces that are actually changing Syria were as secular and democractically-minded as she is. Unfortunately, back here in reality the slogan of the rebels is still "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin". Now who's really to be faulted for not being on board with the idea of a new, more equitable Syria? Not the Christians, who have already been forced by the rebels to flee Homs, Al-Qusayr, etc.

If my memory serves me correctly the original protests in Syria were democracy-inspired, secular and peaceful. I am grateful for Habte's and faithcmbs9's posts in this thread.
One man, one vote, one election.

The US State Department seems to have the same recollection (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/nea/186449.htm):
Yes, and the US State Department never lies.
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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2012, 09:32:23 AM »

I saw on the news last night that Russia is sending attack helicopters to Assad.  Looks like they are putting their money where their mouth is.  Good for them.
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