Voices from Russia

Friday, 6 September 2013

Christian Village in Syria Destroyed by al-Qaeda Militants

00 Syrian Islamist insurgent terrorists


According to Western news agencies, al-Qaeda militants destroyed a Christian village near Damascus by lobbing hundreds of mortar shells into it after its defenders beat them off. All government forces and local people fled the ill-fated village.

5 September 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

John Boehner supports this… as do so many other “pro-lifecongressmen. That’s what you support when you issue statements of support for attacking Syria. That undercuts all their cries of having the “moral high ground”… they don’t follow a Consistent Life doctrine, so, they’re lying sacks of shit. Do keep a careful eye on those who support their hypocrisy… Orthodox people had best keep a watch on the konvertsy… they support war all over the world in the name of “pro-life”… what repulsive duplicity, pretence, and ignorance! If you support unregulated business, the untrammelled proliferation of handguns, warfare in foreign parts, and the promiscuous use of the death penalty, and oppose single-payer health care, the maintenance of the social safety net, and the right of workers to organise into unions, you’re NOT “pro-life”, and that’s that.




Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Distant War Echoes in Local Church: Worries Arise Over Possible Consequences of American Attack on Syria


St George Antiochian Orthodox Church, founded by Syrian immigrants on South Dove Street in 1933, is a microcosm encompassing the nation’s debate over a possible American military strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians outside Damascus last month. Wahid Albert, 52, of Schenectady NY, said, “It’s not our war, and I don’t think we should be in it at all”. He left Syria in 1980, earned a civil engineering degree at the University of Buffalo, and joined St George parish when he settled here in 1984.

The fighting puts Syria’s Christian minority in a vulnerable position, stoking fears among family members who belong to St George. Albert said, “I worry that there’ll be a slaughter of Christians in Damascus by al-Qaeda-led rebels if the USA sends a strike”. His mother and sister live together in a Christian neighbourhood in the Syrian capital, where he said they’re afraid to go outside because of the fighting. Two weeks ago, a rebel-fired mortar round struck 100 yards from their house, killing four people and injuring more than 30. Members of his wife’s family also live in that area, and mortar attacks are common. Albert urged them to flee to the safety of a second home in the mountains.

Since a popular uprising began in March 2011 that was part of the so-called Arab Spring, the conflict between Syrian rebels and the Assad government has been deadlocked. US President Barack Obama is trying to marshal support in Congress and internationally for a strike against the Assad régime for its alleged use of chemical weapons. Fr Gregory DesMarais, the pastor of St George, which has about 140 members, said, “We’re deeply worried about the situation in Syria and the ripple effect an American strike would have throughout the region. Americans are largely ignorant of what’s going on there”. A parishioner who’s on vacation on the border of Syria and Lebanon wrote on the church’s Facebook page recently, “I can hear the bombs at night”. Christians are about 10 percent… compared with about 90 percent Muslims… of Syria’s population of 25 million. However, historically, the Assad régime was tolerant and protective of the Christian minority. In turn, Christians supported the government even in the face of evidence that the régime fired rockets loaded with the nerve agent Sarin/GB to kill his own citizens {here, the reporter repeats stale American black propaganda lies… caveat lector: editor}.

Albert and his family members in Damascus don’t find the chemical weapons evidence credible. He said, “We believe the attack was staged. Assad could’ve lobbed a Scud missile and killed a lot more people than with a chemical weapon. It doesn’t pass the stink test”. Parishioner Fayez Abed of Troy NY has been distraught since he learned that family members witnessed a gruesome killing by rebels at a recent Christian wedding. He says that eyewitnesses told him that rebels raided the ceremony and that they slit the throats of the bride and groom inside the church. Fr Gregory said, “Fayez is outraged and very emotional about it”. On Friday, Fr Gregory will open the church for a daylong programme of prayer and reflection on the crisis in Syria. There will be morning matins, afternoon hours of prayer, and vespers in the evening. The parish will offer a day of prayer and fasting on 14 September for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Sectarian violence isn’t new in Syria. The St George parish founders fled oppression in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. In Albany, they worked as labourers and settled in the ethnic melting pot of the South End. A dozen or so families first met for worship in each other’s homes just off Second Avenue starting in the 1920s. The men pooled money won at weekly card games and built a little red brick church in 1956 near Bishop Maginn High School. The women got together on Friday nights to prepare communal feasts of baba ghanouj, hummus, tabbouleh, kibbe, lamb kebabs, and other Middle Eastern dishes. For most of its 80-year history, the clergy served liturgy in Arabic, and golden icons of saints decorated the church’s interior.

In recent decades, the congregation diversified to include Lebanese, Ethiopians, Egyptians, and Palestinians. The tangle of regional conflicts in their homelands and the strong pull of nationalism threatened to tear apart the congregation, but the centre held. National flags that once flew in the parish hall during coffee hour after the Sunday liturgy are gone, along with the rancour and clannish hostility the displays fuelled. Fr Gregory said, “It took a long time for this parish to get past that nationalistic behaviour, but we’re a good example of dealing with our differences and coming together as one to worship”. Sunday services are now conducted in English, although parishioners are invited to repeat the Our Father in Arabic or Amharic, a language of Ethiopia. Fr Gregory observed, “It’s a tip of the hat to our ethnic makeup”.

As Albert expressed fear for his family’s safety in Damascus, he recalled a happy childhood spent in the cradle of Christianity where his late father, who lived in the USA and served as an Army Reservist in World War II, had returned because his wife was homesick, saying, “I went to a high school on the road to Damascus where St Paul was converted to Christianity”. Albert’s daughter, one of his three children, all in their 20s, called off plans to live in Syria. He said, “They can’t understand what happened to the beautiful country where we used to spend summers when they were young. They want to know where that Syria went”.

4 September 2013

Paul Grondahl

Albany Times Union


Editor’s Note:

Where did that Syria go? You can find the answer “inside the Beltway”, on Capitol Hill, in Langley’s marbled halls, and in the boardrooms of rapacious American corporations. The evil in America has to cease… we’ve been a rogue nation long enough.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Responding to the Syrian Crisis: Are There Shades of International Legitimacy?

00 Russia and USA. Syria. 31.08.13


Some Western states said that they possess conclusive information and evidence that the Syrian authorities were responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Ghouta. We can see that they’re preparing for a military option, including the massive build-up of armaments in the region. It’s difficult to understand these states’ true motives. After disastrous interventions in Iraq (without UN Security Council consent) and, then, in Libya (where the West abused the UN Security Council mandate) where they effectively failed to facilitate stability and interreligious and interethnic peace, they now seem to be repeating the same scenario. They’ve produced no reliable and persuasive evidence to confirm that anyone used chemical weapons, let alone who did it. Nor are there clear legal grounds for military action.

So far, the alleged use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) looks more like an act of provocation… with those responsible seeking to turn it into a casus belli without presenting any proof to the public. Besides, the opposition’s version of events in Ghouta raises many questions. One has to ask, “Cui bono?” We see no rationale in government forces using chemical weapons just at the very moment when the UN fact-finding mission arrived in Syria. At the same time, it’s clear that those involved in the incident wanted to sabotage the Geneva peace talks. One can’t help but recall that the government declared its readiness to negotiate some time ago, whilst the opposition, notably, hasn’t followed suit. Today, we can’t help seeing some external players as deliberately undermining the very prospect of a peaceful political process. We hope that common sense will prevail sooner rather than later. Russia is determined to continue efforts aimed at bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table.

The latest vote in the British Parliament on Syria provides convincing proof that the international community is tired of “constructive ambiguities” and ambivalence in matters of law and order in world politics. Furthermore, it’s too serious a matter to outsource it to groups of countries or “coalitions of the willing”. Acting outside international law at one’s own risk and expense is costly. Additionally, instead of helping solve problems, it aggravates the situation, and turns out to be counterproductive and self-defeating. It also looms large in domestic affairs as the weapons of mass distraction topic at the time of the war in Iraq.

Like national law and order, it’s something concrete, not a collection of abstract ideas or good intentions (of the kind that pave the road to Hell). Besides, it’s about due process and establishing facts first, and that means gathering evidence and reporting it to the UN Security Council for consideration and decision-making. Political expediency has no place in this process underpinning the international legitimacy of any action. Whether it sounds like too little or quite a lot… this is a minimum requirement for keeping the world an orderly place. Moreover, this is precisely what Russia demands of her Western partners as regards the presumed use of chemical weapons in Syria. We aren’t asking for any more, but we’ll settle for nothing less than that. Unfortunately, some drew the wrong conclusions from the end of the Cold War, which allegedly lowered the threshold for the use of force. It’s high time that those people stop deluding themselves. War is a serious business, and we have to treat it as such.

30 August 2013

Aleksandr Yakovenko



Editor’s Note:

The “end of the Cold War” revealed factions in the USA who’re arrogant bullies and self-centred juvenile selfish brats. To put it bluntly, the USA didn’t “win” the Cold War… ignorant and self-preening simpletons conflated the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the USSR. The last twenty years showed the vacuity of American “ideals”… it’s been one military intervention after another… the USA refuses to admit that there are those who don’t want its perverted consumerism and fallacious “democratic ideology” (an ideology that it spat on with the illegitimate installation of the Bush junta after Bush lost the popular vote, and, thus, really lost the election (this negated all American criticisms of foreign elections… American elections proved to be MORE corrupt than those found abroad!)). Too many Americans have died in senseless adventures around the globe. It’s time to end it… in any case, there’s no more money and the forces are knackered to the point of mutiny. In any case, reflect on this… Republicans and Democrats, the Right and the Left, and peaceniks and soldiers all agree… NO WAR in Syria!


US Forces Revolt against Obama’s Decision to “Support al-Qaeda in Syria”

00 US Army. Syrian Civil War. protest. 03.09.13


A military revolt against the Obama administration’s plan to launch a potentially disastrous attack on Syria is gathering pace, with both top brass and regular service members expressing their vehement opposition to entangling the USA in the conflict. Yesterday, the backlash began to spread on social media with numerous members of the military posting photos of themselves holding up signs stating that they’d refuse to fight on the same side as al-Qaeda in Syria. Others have posted their photos on Twitter alongside the hashtag #IdidntJoin.

As the Obama administration prepared to present a draft resolution to lawmakers that’s by no means “limited” in its scope and, in fact, would grease the skids for an open-ended war, John Kerry and other US State Department officials signalled that Obama would simply ignore Congress, if it votes no, and launch the assault anyway. This would do little to reassure a growing number of influential figures in the American forces who’re becoming increasingly recalcitrant about the USA becoming embroiled in yet another war in the Middle East. The Washington Post reported, “The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the US military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers”. Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) also took to Twitter, stating, “I’ve been hearing a lot from members of our Armed Forces. The message I consistently hear… Please, vote no on military action against Syria”. A series of tweets from military veterans followed Amash’s statement, also expressing their opposition to the attack.

Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra also spoke to “sources who are either veterans or currently on active duty in the military”, and asked them if they supported military escalation in Syria, writing, “Most have responded with a resounding no”. He quoted an active duty First Class Sergeant who stated, “We’re stretched thin, tired, and broke”, adding that the USA “(doesn’t) need to be the World Police”. Former Corporal Jack Mandaville, a USMC infantry veteran with three deployments to Iraq, added, “Our involvement in Syria is so dangerous on so many levels, and the 21st century American vet is keener to avoid this than anybody. It boggles my mind that we’re being ignored”. Not only are military personnel going public with their concerns, Politico reported that leaks of attack plans are also “emanating from a Pentagon bureaucracy less enthusiastic about the prospect of an attack than, say, the State Department, National Security Council, or Obama himself. These unauthorised disclosures have the White House “peeved”.

2 September 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

The American forces are now in the position that most European armies were in at the beginning of 1917… that is, there’s been no open rebellion yet, but the soldiers are war-weary and might not go forward if ordered. The USA is paying for the “all-volunteer” arrangement of its armed forces. The powers-that-be did this after the end of the Vietnam War to minimise the political fallout of any future warmongering. Unfortunately, the USA has been at war since 2001, and the soldiers have reached their limit. There’s a potential for a Spithead Mutiny… the forces are loyal, but they’ve had enough. It’s time for the USA to return to a conscript army… it’d minimise the risks of future adventuring (besides, it’d spread the risks of service amongst more classes of society). Our soldiers have taken enough…



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