A Christian Christmas in Damascus! Thanks, Santa Assad!

May America join Russia and Syria in the coming year To Bring Peace to the land of Paul at last!

Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | 3079 Comments

The author is a licensed clinical psychologist and long-time human rights activist who lives and practices in New York City


 

Yes, that's our Christmas wish.  And if President Trump proves willing and able to fulfill his campaign promise to work with Russia to defeat the very terrorists we now secretly support, our wish may actually come true.

Jumping down the Rabbit Hole

Oops!  I just did.  And I'm sure I left a bunch of you behind.  So let me jump back up to the top of the hole and say that this first big photo you see is of a Christian Christmas party for kids in the Christian section of Damascus (protected by the Lord and Syrian government forces) back in 2013. In Damascus Syria, that is.  For I only learned today from my devoutly Christian home health aide that many good American Christians have no idea that Damascus is in Syria.  And that Syria is the land of St. Paul. It's right in the Bible.

In Acts, to be exact.  The Bible tells us that a man named Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus Syria (around 50 AD, Biblical scholars believe) to arrest a group of Christians who had taken refuge  there--when he saw a blinding light before him.  And as he fell from his horse, Christ the Lord spoke to him from Heaven, saying (Acts 9:3-4):

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"Saul, Saul. Why persecutest thou Me?"

 

And from that moment forward, Saul believed in Christ. And 3 days later he was baptized a Christian.  And he took the name Paul as his Christian name.  And so he became a disciple and an apostle to the Gentiles.  And Christianity has been a part of Syria ever since.   

Though the size of the Syrian Christian community has gradually diminished over the centuries following the rise of Islam, due to lower birth rates and higher immigration rates among Christians, as well as occasional persecutions--under President Hafez al Assad (1971-2000) and his son, President Bashar al-Assad (2000-present), the number of Christians remained constant at 10% of the population for 40 "good" years--from 1971 to 2011--according to the CIA's own estimates.  That's because both father and son brought peace and prosperity and protection to the Syrian Christian community--indeed all of Syria--for those 40 good years, while the US was preoccupied with “regime change” elsewhere in the world where successful experiments in socialism had to be stopped.  So why would these safe Syrian Christians want to flee elsewhere?

And the Syrians were not alone.  In the 1950's thru the 70's, Egypt, Iraq, and Libya (among other nations), also threw their colonial rulers and puppet kings out in the name of a new political movement, called Arab nationalism: which held that all ethnic and religious groups in a nation could live together in peace and prosperity and equality under a secular, socialist, benevolent dictator, who respected "most" of their Constitutionally-protected human rights (like freedom of worship), so long as no one challenged the ruler's rule.  

And this new model of government actually worked!  Until the US moved in to smash these thriving Arab nations for the sake of American hegemony and increasing the wealth of the 1%, Arab nationalism did succeed in bringing peace and prosperity and religious tolerance to Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, among other nations--just as a slightly varied form of secular socialist nationalism has since brought peace and prosperity to China.

Not that people were necessarily happy with a dictator over them.  But as long as a totalitarian system gave them peace and prosperity and religious freedom (which Saddam, Qaddafi, the Assads, and even Murbarak to a degree, were willing to provide), most folks didn't sweat "the small stuff"--like lack of free speech or assembly. No more than we do here.

As a Southern Trump supporter told me recently:

"If you think right and act right, you don't need no civil rights."

Especially if you lived in an oil-rich socialist state that was able to offer free medical care and education and social security in old age to every citizen--what was there to protest?  In terms of overall happiness, it seemed like a "good enough" life for most folks.

Such was the situation in Syria in 2010 when Secretary of State Clinton turned her attention to Assad, stating in no uncertain terms that if he did not wish to be "regime-changed" himself, he had to sever all ties with Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah; and allow the Saudis to build an oil pipeline through Syria to the Mediterranean Sea--thereby cutting off Russia from the European oil market.

Assad, of course, stayed true to his friends and rejected Clinton's ultimatum.  But then he made the bad mistake the very next year of using excessive force to disperse a small group of peaceful demonstrators calling for "free" (i.e. contested) elections.  Which gave Clinton all the excuse she needed to ship vast quantities of cash, tanks, arms, and mercenaries from Libya to Syria--after the mutilation-murder of Qaddafi in 2011--in the name of supporting the Syrian people's "fight for democracy," while pushing the genuine Syrian demonstrators aside.

Thus began what US propaganda calls the Syrian "Civil War."  Which President Assad correctly points out in the clip below was actually a savage invasion of the sovereign nation of Syria by Christian-crucifying Jihadists, backed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and Qatar.

 

If you have the time, it is well worth watching the whole interview.  For Bashar al-Assad is a calm, quiet, soft-spoken, well-educated, Muslim man of 51--who explains to this belligerent American interviewer in a very rational way how it make no sense for a ruler to wage war upon his own people and thereby alienate large numbers of them.

Though he himself did use excessive force in response to a small demonstration for free elections in 2011: which he's had cause to regret ever since.  So much so, in fact, that in 2014 he  agreed to take part in a free election with other candidates.  Which Assad won in a tsunami--with over 88% of the vote!   

While an international delegation of over 30 nations--including Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela--did issue a signed statement, stating that the election was "free, fair and transparent," it is hard to believe that such a high percent could be valid, given a war going on.

On the other hand, a secret NATO survey in 2013 found that Assad would win over 70% of the vote if a free and fair election were held then.  And the vote would even be higher among Syrian Christians.  

That's easy to understand if one remembers, as the Syrian people certainly do, that Bashar Assad and his father gave them 40 good years of peace and prosperity--with special protection for religious minorities--before Hillary Clinton went to war against Assad with her army of Christian-beheading Jihadists.  

What did she care if her terrorists got carried away and committed genocide in the course of creating a caliphate to rule over Syria and Iraq as long as they got rid of Assad?    

After all, Clinton already had the Rwandan Christian genocide, the Serbian Christian genocide, and the Libyan Christian genocide as accomplishments.  And while she and Obama had to share  credit with the prior Bush Administration for the Iraqi Christian genocide--which has now eliminated over 80% of Iraqi Christians--a Syrian Christian genocide, committed by "her" armed, trained and paid-for Jihadists--would be entirely hers.  

But Assad's defeat proved no more "certain" than Clinton winning the Presidency in 2016.  Though it was assumed that Sunni Muslim soldiers would desert the Alawite Muslim Assad for Sunni Muslim ISIS and al Qaeda as soon as Clinton shipped them from Libya.  In fact the entire Syrian army has remained loyal to Assad and the multi-faith, multi-ethnic, secular socialist state he represented.

It has also been an embarrassment to the Administration (though possibly not a surprise) that when Syrian Christians have been given a chance to flee their terrorist captors after paying a heavy tax (called a "Jizya") to avoid execution or being held as human shields, nearly all of these escaped Syrian Christians flee to Assad-controlled areas rather than UN camps because these Christians remember those 40 good years of peace and prosperity--and most of all protection--they and their parents and grandparents enjoyed under Assad and his father.  And they like Bashar, besides. His "favorables" are much higher than Hillary's, Heaven knows.

Just look at Bashar and his wife, Asma, at an Orthodox Church in East Damascus last Christmas.  

How happy and relaxed they both seem. And here Bashar is an Alawite Muslim while his wife, Asma, is a Sunni.  (Which only goes to show how well these Muslim sects have gotten along under Hafez Assad and his son.)  One would think the Assads were Christian too.  That's how completely this Orthodox congregation accepts them.

But what about the American Mass Media?  (I say "Mass" rather than "Mainstream" because sewers carry "mass" but are never "mainstream.")  Aren't they always telling us what a "monster" Bashar is?  The way he goes around gassing his own people and dropping barrel bombs on them!  One would imagine he couldn't go anywhere without a battalion of secret police around him.  So where are they?  

Judge for yourself

Though photos can lie--if you look at thousands of them--your eyes begin to "get wise" as to which are clearly candid photos.  Which are truly honest ones.  Like this candid photo of the Assads in the midst of a Christian congregation at Christmastime last year.  Every face there has something unique to tell us about how that person feels towards the Assads--even if they are looking away.  But while we can't put everything we sense into words, what we can say definitively is that these Orthodox Christians clearly see the Assads as "family."  So much so, in ct, that even young children feel safe to turn their backs on the President and his wife.  The Assads aren't "monsters" to them.

Finding The Red Pill

That's why I like going through candid photos from US-targeted countries as much as I do.  And why I like sharing the most "eye-opening" photos with you.  These simple candid photos by the people of a targeted country directly contradict all the fact-free "myths" we have been brain-washed to believe about these people and their rulers.  Like that candid photo of the Assads in a sea of smiling Orthodox faces. It just doesn't "fit" with the heartless "Hitler" he's painted to be.

Or take that very first "eye-opening" photo which finally revealed the American Mass Media's Matrix to me.  And that was this casual snapshot I found back in 2007 in an online photo album some young French ski buff had posted online, as I recall, of his ski trip to the Alborz Mountains above "ski town" Tehran!  And there in a busy Tehran ski shop this young guy had snapped this stunning photo of a beautiful woman in exquisite makeup, waiting for someone there.  (Shades of Dante glimpsing Beatrice that one life-changing time.) I was totally taken aback.  For here I had been led by the American Mass Media to believe that Iran was nothing but a brain-basking, oil-gushing desert, filled with suicidal male Muslims, bent on world-destruction, because their women all wore burqas--and sexual attraction was labeled a sin. So how did this lovely woman in a snowy ski shop "fit in"?

That first photo, in turn, led me to discover the large Christian community that thrives under the protection of an Iranian Shi'ite government which rigorously enforces those verses of the Koran which preach religious tolerance towards Jews and Christians "as our older brothers in Abraham."  Which is why Iran has the largest population of Jews in the Mideast, outside of Israel.  And no matter how much money Israel offers them to emigrate, these Iranian Jews plan to stay  "It's our home," they say.

Christians in Iran feel the same.  So long as the Islamic Republic of Iran follows the principle of religious tolerance embedded in the Koran, they will feel that Iran is also their home.  And they plan to stay too.  Just Google "Iran + Christmas" and see all the candid photos you will find of big bushy Christmas trees being sold on the streets of Tehran, along with crowded Christmas stores and gorgeous Christian churches, full of Christians celebrating the Birth of Our Lord.  An ecumenical city our War Hawks want to bomb.

 

In fact, it was the discovery of these very photos of a clearly long-established Christian community celebrating Christmas in the supposed "terror capital" of the world that led me to write my first  Matrix-challenging photo-essay, entitled, A Christian Christmas in Snowy Iran--which lewrockwell.com first published; and then antiwar.com.  And that's when my article took off like a rocket and went viral worldwide.  I got emails from as far away as Rio, Krakow, and Kuala Lumpur.

I hope some of you will take a look at that article, not only for its wonderful photos of Christmas in Muslim Iran (which is NOT an Arab country, by the way), but also for its ever-timely discussion of just how propaganda works: namely, through a process known as classical conditioning, which operates at a far deeper level than our “rational” brains can combat, as it involves the repeated pairing of a previously neutral word (like "Iran" or "Syria" or "Putin") with a fear-inducing stimulus (like the image of a dying man) such that a synaptic bond  is formed between them to the point that the previously neutral word can now elicit the exact same fear as the original fear-inducing stimulus.  In short, it's all about guilt by association.  Logic has nothing to do with it.

The only way to defeat the "dark arts" of propaganda, then, is to "fight fire with fire" at the same neuropsychological level through the counterconditioning effects of candid photos like the montage of Iranian Christians celebrating Christmas above.  Or the wonderful photo below of 2 Syrian Christian kids in Santa's helper's hats, proudly carrying a portrait of their trusted protector, Bashar Al-Assad, at the head of a Christmas parade in Damascus last year.

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How can War Party propagandists possibly "debunk" a photo so honest?  So candid?  They can't.  It's impossible. And even if they could, there would be a thousand more photos of happy Syrian Christian kids with Assad or his portrait to take that one photo's place.  

Instead, the American Mass Media have been forced to rely on the total censorship of photo-essays like mine that present candid photos from these countries to the American public as concrete evidence of what these other nations are really like and how they feel about their rulers.

Now, as you know, the American Mass Media (or AMM), on the one hand, and Congress, on the other, are taking steps to censor not just individual articles, but whole publications and websites that present real news to combat the AMM's "fake news" (though the AMM reverses these terms).

At the same time, Obama and Clinton have devised a very clever way to keep Syrian Christian refugees out of the US, where they might spread the word of the Christian genocide taking place at home.  And that's for the Administration to use the fact that nearly all of these Christian refugees have been forced to pay an "infidel tax" (or "Jizya") to the Jihadists along the way to say that these extorted funds represent "material support for a terrorist organization."  So back to a terrorist-controlled area of Syria--to face certain death--they would go.  That's why so few Syrian Christians seek asylum in the United States in the first place.  Indeed, according to the latest revised figures, only 56 0f the first 10,000 Syrian refugees accepted for US asylum are Christian.  Imagine such a thing!  Only 0.05% of the Syrian refugees we accept are Christian.  Though Syrian Christians should go to the head of the line as designated "victims of genocide," according to our own government, as "genocide" is defined by the UN Convention on Genocide.    But then their payment of a tax to avoid execution keeps them out!

So Syrian Christians are smart to stay with Assad.  He's winning.  The Syrian and Russian and Iranian Armed Forces are winning.  The Hezbollah militias are winning.  The Chinese military advisers are winning.  And now Egyptian marines are about to join the winning side too!

And did I mention that Hillary lost the election?  What a tragedy for the War Party and "her" Jihadists.  They were so confident she'd win and start World War III.

But since I believe in showing the truth, not just speaking it, on the left is a photo of "Killary," in happier days, with "her" Jihadists on their way to certain victory.  And on the right are a few al-Qaeda fighters, openly weeping at the news of her defeat.  So sad!  No more beheadings!

Of course, it ain't over till the fat lady in the pant-suit sings.  But still...

Trump's praise for Assad and Putin's impressive attacks on ISIS--coupled with Trump's blunt statements that we should not be fighting Assad--cost Trump the support of the entire Establishment during the campaign.  But what may we infer from that?  That he will stick to his guns as President? Or that he will throw off the "peace mantle," as Obama did, as soon as he assumes office?

Unless Trump means to assemble a "team of rivals" a la Lincoln, his pick of advisers and Cabinet officers, beginning with General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, is not encouraging.

In an interview with RT, Flynn spoke at length about the US and Russia being "in a marriage" and how they have to "work out their differences."  But when pinned down to specifics by the fearless Sophie Shevardnadze, Flynn refused to accept Russia's totally correct position that "the Syrian people alone should choose their own ruler" in accordance with international law (which would, of course, mean Assad's reelection, given his great popularity); but instead, adopted the Clinton/ Obama/neocon/NYT position that "Assad must go."

But this is the Season of Hope.  So let's hope that, like Saul of Tarsus in 50 AD and Vladimir Putin in 1993 AD, all will come to see the Light--in every sense of the term--very soon.

 

 


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