The Syrian people of Maaloula tell the story of anti-Assad outsiders who tried to enlist the townspeople as agitators against the President and his government. Both Muslim and Christian citizens rejected their invitation.
Correspondent Maria Finoshina gives a video report from the town, alleged to be the only place in the world where an entire community still speaks Aramaic as a living language (most scholars believe a form of Aramaic was the native tongue of Jesus of Nazareth).
Interviewed in the clip is Mother Pelagia Sayaf, Christian nun and schoolteacher at the town’s Monastery of St. Thekla:
“There were people who came here, they wanted to push us against the government, the President, the army… these people are receiving money and listening to orders.”
The town’s Muslim Imam reports the same:
“I remember last April, there were several men after Friday prayers, they tried to persuade Muslims to protest against the government, encouraging them to go and make trouble.”
The Imam said they had never seen most of those people before and had not seen them again since. “We are not talking about normal Muslims, but people with an extremist way of thinking… We had a meeting with residents, and the people agreed to support the leadership [Assad].”
Mother Pelagia said “If you hear that the army enters this city and kills people, believe me – this is a mistake [a lie]… Our country before the crisis was going forward, now we are all losing ground… God bless Assad.”
In the words of another citizen interviewed:
“We used to live in peace – Muslims and Christians – of course we’re afraid people from outside the city and this country may come and destroy this unity. Assad became more than just the head of State. He’s a kind of international symbol of this fight for our life.”
My Comment: Prior to the rise of the NATO-backed and NATO financed Syrian ‘insurgency’, Assad’s secular state was one of the last governments in the Arab world under which a citizenry enjoyed peaceful coexistence of diverse religious and ethnic communities. The people know this, and they also know that the violent and random provocations of the murderous Arab mercenaries and outsiders (and the still bigger violence planned by their NATO handlers) have threatened the whole secular foundation for this peace.
In my unprofessional opinion, I think what we’re looking at in Syria is a fraudulent program of regime change. Like Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Vietnam in 1963, El Salvador, Angola, etc., etc. The Cold Warrior and Neocon do not understand true democracy or humanitarianism, and we see his/her unmistakeable signature in the great civilian tragedies resulting from all of the above covert actions, no less than in the more recently broken and utterly failed states of Iraq and Libya.
One can always spot the Neocon footprint in the wake of US/NATO’s self-serving efforts to effect changes in non-NATO countries: fraudulent opposition movements, phony replacement governments, ruined sovereignty, co-opted national resources, and untold civilian death .