Tag Archive for ‘Syria’
When a false-flag atrocity occurs of which Muslims are the purported victims, the United States goes to war to save them—the January 1999 stage-managed “massacre” at Račak, in Kosovo, being a classic example. When all-too-real massacres of Christians by Muslims take place, they are unreported in the Western media and uncommented upon by Western politicians.
The American people do not want war on Syria, and such a war makes no sense. Who is trying to stampede Congress into war on Syria, and then on Iran—and why? Therein lies the real question.
The doomsday prophets of pop Christianity have spotted yet again another opportunity to exploit the gullibility of a certain segment of the Christian population by preaching, writing, and blogging on the international crisis in Syria.
If you’re at all familiar with how this generally works, then you’ll already know what they’re saying—events in Syria will lead to the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
I grew up with this kind of newspaper exegesis. Every headline, every war, especially every reported trouble in the Middle East, was connected to this or that prophecy of Scripture, no matter how tenuous. If one of the biblical seers predicted future catastrophe, and in doing so mentioned a particular region or city associated with the Holy Land, the doomsday prophets never fail to see that some one or other contemporary event is that which was foreseen in the Bible.
The objectively verifiable problem with this method of interpreting the Scriptures is that it has never been right and is always wrong in its predictions. Whether uncovering the identity of the Anti-Christ (Kissinger’s name adds up to 666 via gematria) or the imminency of the rapture (the Left Behind books) or setting the date for Christ’s return, these self-appointed prophets never fail to misunderstand biblical texts.
Taking Harold Camping as the most recent, well-known example of this phenomenon, he has three times predicted the return of Christ. He laid out his “biblical” case in his book 1994?, followed shortly after by Are You Ready?: Much More Evidence that 1994 Could be the End of the World. When 2011 rolled around, Camping was still here making new predictions about the apocalypse happening in May, and when May came and went, in October of that year. The third time was a charm; Harold Camping has officially retired from prophecy.
And yet, others remain undeterred. Why? It has to do with the profits of doom. There’s money to be made. Biblical prophecy is an industry that pays well. Our Lord told us that the poor are always with us; so are the conspiracy buffs and end-time junkies.
A saner though less exciting and lucrative approach to biblical prophecy is to recognize that the majority of the Bible’s predictions have been already fulfilled. The things foreseen are in our past, not our future. America will not be fulfilling ancient oracles should it lob missiles into Syria. It will simply be making another poor decision with the potential for some very serious consequences.
With all of this said, I should add that there is, of course, that grand and ultimate event still future to us, the final return of Jesus Christ. But what precisely the circumstances are leading up to that history-punctuating moment, no one can know, most certainly not the prophets of doom.
From 1920 to 1936, Syria’s Alawites enjoyed their own separate autonomous state in French-ruled Syria. First, it was known explicitly as the Alawite State and from 1930 to 1936, as Latakia Governorate. In response to pressure from the Sunni majority, France dissolved the Alawites’ state and forcibly incorporated it into the Sunni-dominated areas.
Needless to say, the Alawites (as well as the Christians and Druze) were appalled by France’s surrender to the Muslims and pleaded with the mandate authorities to protect them. In an eerie echo of today’s situation in Syria, 450,000 Alawites, Druze, and Christians signed a letter to the French authorities, part of which stated:
“The ‘Alawis believe that they are humans, not beasts ready for slaughter. No power in the world can force them to accept the yoke of their traditional and hereditary enemies to be slaves forever….”
Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper recently quoted part of another letter, sent by Alawite leaders to French Prime Minister Leon Blum in 1936. The French surrender to Arab Muslim demands was influenced by the bloody uprising of Muslims in British-ruled Palestine, led by the future ally of Hitler Haj Amin Al-Husseini. The Alawites alluded to the bloody revolt in their plea to the Jewish Blum:
“The condition of the Jews in Palestine is the strongest and most explicit evidence of the militancy of the Islamic issue vis-à-vis those who do not belong to Islam. These good Jews contributed to the Arabs with civilization and peace, scattered gold, and established prosperity in Palestine without harming anyone or taking anything by force, yet the Muslims declare holy war against them and never hesitated in slaughtering their women and children, despite the presence of England in Palestine and France in Syria.”
“Therefore we ask you to consider the dreadful and terrible fate that awaits the Alawites if they are forced to be annexed to Syria, when it will be free from the oversight of the Mandate, and it will be in their power to implement the laws that stem from its religion.”
One of the six signatories of that letter was Sulayman Assad, the father of Hafez and the grandfather of Bashar.
Of course, the Alawites’ desperate pleas fell on deaf years. And from then on, their leaders realized that they can no longer rely on the West, but have to use their tight-knit community’s influence and wealth to seize power in Syria, which finally came about in the 1960s. The unflinchingly brutal response of the Alawite-dominated regime to the violent Sunni Hama uprising in 1982 stems from the Alawites’ understanding that they could never expect any quarter from their “traditional and hereditary enemies”.
How ironic that France, by preparing to attack Syria on behalf of the Islamist rebels is repeating exactly the same betrayal of the Alawites – the most pro-French group in the Middle East, except the Maronites- as in the 1930s.
At a time of domestic financial weakness and cultural decline, the American interest requires prudence, restraint, and a rational link between ends and means. Abroad, it demands disengagement from distant countries of which we know little; at home, a sane immigration policy. Making Syria safe for jihad is as idiotic—and almost as ruinous to America’s future—as granting amnesty to twenty-odd million mostly unassimilable illegal aliens.
U.S. interventions abroad are bad in principle if no vital American security and economic interests are involved. In Syria no American interest is at stake, and therefore no American involvement is justified.
Just yesterday, according to the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency, a court in central Israel sentenced an Israeli Arab to 30 months in prison for joining the anti-Assad rebels in Syria. The defendant crossed over to Syria from Turkey and spent six days training with the Islamist rebels, who asked him to carry out a suicide bombing in either Syria or Israel.
Compare this with the situation in Russia, Assad’s closest ally after Hezbollah. As the hard right, pro-Russian Israeli political commentator Avigdor Eskin pointed out, not a single Russian Muslim who went to fight with the Islamists in Syria (and there were dozens, if not hundreds of them) has been held accountable. The Israeli court’s sentence speaks volumes about where Israel’s sympathies lie, Shimon Peres’ past mumblings of sympathy for the rebels notwithstanding.
In other recent news, the Christian Science Monitor reported that almost 100 Syrians have been treated at Israeli hospitals since the start of the conflict, some of the wounded being delivered across the border by Syrian army ambulances. According to Russian sources, Israeli medics have treated not only civilians, but members of Assad’s armed forces.
Finally, ex-Mossad chief Efraim Halevy called Assad “Israel’s Man in Damascus” in his Foreign Affairs article and explained that Bashar, like his father Hafez, for all their support for Hezbollah and Hamas and anti-Israel rhetoric, allowed Israel to have a stable and quiet border with Syria. Halevy voices the fears of Israel’s military/security establishment about the destabilization of the region that would result from the fall of the Assad regime.
All this shows that Netanyahu’s government seems to be fairly pragmatic in its approach towards the civil war in Syria. If only it would be as pragmatic toward the Iranian nuclear program, instead of goading the United States into armed conflict with the Khamenei regime.
Barack Obama has just taken his first baby steps into a war in Syria that may define and destroy his presidency. Thursday, while he was ringing in Gay Pride Month with LGBT revelers, a staffer, Ben Rhodes, informed the White House press that U.S. weapons will be going to the Syrian rebels. For two years Obama has stayed out of this sectarian-civil war that has consumed 90,000 lives. Why is he going in now?
Living in America these days is something like being a character in a Philip K. Dick novel: Instead of learning from our mistakes and moving on, our leaders continue to hit the replay button, over and over and over.
Most areas of Syria appeared calm on Tuesday, the first day of the UN-brokered peace plan. Opposition activists are predictably accusing the government of violations following a firefight in Homs and an incident on the Turkish border which left five people wounded, but on the whole the ceasefire is holding.