Sunday, August 30, 2015

"An American In Syria" by guest blogger John Mesler

An American in Syria

John Mesler

In 1955 Alcoa was the first big sponsor to drop the Edward R. Murrow Show. Alcoa didn't just make aluminum cans. They made parts for our military fighter jets. Murrow spoke out against the communism fear mongering tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy and eventually more corporations dropped his show. Now those companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, GE, and Honeywell, to name just a few, own the mainstream media TV and papers and decide what "news" we, the American public get to hear. By 1961 we were warned by President Eisenhower about the Military Industrial Complex but not enough of us were paying attention. The truth does eventually get out, however. As I write this piece, recently retired Lt. General Flynn (who also served as chief of the Department Intelligence Agency), admitted that the US has been supporting al-Qaeda with money and weaponry. Isn't that the same group we held responsible for attacking us on 9/11 in the first place?

Has the word "terrorism" simply replaced the word "communism?” Have corporate and government interests finally found a way to keep Americans completely in the dark in order to justify an exponentially increasing defense budget? The numbers indicate that between 20 and 25 cents of every federally taxed dollar goes to the DOD, the largest public employee in the US. Some suggest its double that if you include intelligence spending such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the National Security Agency (NSA), etc. Even the Senate committees aren't really sure what the NSA budget is. The second largest public employee is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with over 300,000 employees across its 3 branches. Like most Americans I was too busy working and had little reason to doubt the media until I retired at the end of 2011 from my local municipal government job. It was now time to began my own research.

I soon discovered we were hearing half-truths at best and wrote a few articles. Some were published and found their way to Dr. Declan Hayes, an Irish peace activist academic. He read them and was interested in what I had to say.

Dr. Declan Hayes.

In April, an invitation from the University of Damascus to attend "An International Conference: Syria on the Way to Reconstruction" appeared in my inbox. I had been following Syria's "Civil War" from its conception as a legitimate protest until foreign terrorists funded by foreign entities hijacked it. I thought I knew the truth after reading internet articles but truth is hardly ever found there, or in mainstream media when it comes to our foreign policies around the globe. After making over a thousand Syrian Facebook friends and connections, I was finally going to Syria to witness the state of affairs for myself. Not only could I discover, or confirm the truth on the ground in Syria, I would be part of a delegation of professors, doctors and religious experts from around the world. And the only American. This was the perfect opportunity to see if media portrayals of Muslims and Arabs were accurate. Would they dislike me because I'm from The West? Would they be suspicious of an American? Is media fear mongering warranted? Whether by fate or design, I was now part of Dr. Hayes' delegation to Damascus!

Beirut Bound
The guidebooks suggest that you shouldn't pay more than $20.00 for the taxi ride to the hotel but being tired the $30.00 asking price seemed fair. There was much to learn about Mid-East negotiating! Along the way, the driver pulled over, and out came a bottle of whiskey and two glasses. We toasted as he welcomed me to the Middle East.

Lebanon was beautiful with its rolling hills full of olive and lemon trees. The scent was incredibly sweet. We drove past the shore line where the waves of the Mediterranean Sea splashed onto the cliffs at the shoreline near Pigeon Rock. Within 10 minutes we were at the hotel and as I was checking in my driver entered the hotel. I had left a bag in his taxi and he was good enough to make sure it was returned. Everyone at the hotel was warm and respectful. Before getting some much needed rest Eiad Elissa, a Syrian refugee Facebook friend from Aleppo who had been working and living in Beirut for about 2 years now, made plans to meet me the following day. His mother was killed by terrorists in Aleppo. His father was kidnapped soon afterwards. To this day he doesn't know his fathers fate.

Over the week, Eiad, his Lebaneese friend Fadi Bedro, and another Syrian refugee, Fayed Sourakji, introduced me to a lot of Syrians. All of them refugees. Almost all of them told me the same thing and it was NOT what we were hearing from our mainstream media. Most loved President Assad. My wife asked me just before I left why there were so many refugees, if indeed most of them supported President Bashar Assad. Its a fair question and soon I'd have the answer. Over the next 2 weeks I learned it’s a simple matter of numbers and geography. Syria is a vast country and the cities in the north and the east, like Aleppo, Syria's most populated city with well over 5 million people, are very close to Turkey. Turkey has been a bad player here from the very beginning permitting tens of thousands of foreign extremists and paid mercenaries to fly into its southern airports from where they simply travel just south. Watch this video.

Turkey has constantly been shutting down its dams which keep cities like Aleppo from having water. Sometimes for months at a time. Syria's army doesn't have enough soldiers to protect those areas from what has become a global war of terror against Syria. There would be much more to learn once I reached Damascus, but now it was time to leave Beirut. The city that introduced me to shisha, a tobacco like substance drawn through a water pipe known as a hookah pipe, Eiad and soon Mother Agnes.

Meeting Mother Agnes
I received an E-mail from Professor Simon Keyes. Simon has lectured all over the world on reconciliation. He suggested we meet at the cafe of the hotel at about 7:00pm the night before we were to leave. We hit it off right away. We decided to go to a local restaurant just down the street for some Lebanese food when were joined by Reverend Andrew Ashdown, interfaith advisor to the Bishop of Winchester, England. Andrew is an expert of Christian/Muslim relations. Syria, along with Jordan, is the most tolerant of all Middle East countries where those relationships thrive. It was sheer coincidence that out of all the hotels in Beirut we all chose this one. When Simon and I suggested we go out for a bite to eat, Reverend Andrew looked at his watch. “Well, fellows, Mother Agnes will be joining us here very shortly."

Me and Eiad Elissa.

Meeting Mother Agnes was an incredible experience. Her real name is Fadia Laham. Her father is Palestinian and her mother is Lebanese. The name Laham is the family name of the original residents of Bethlehem, Palestine. In The West we heard that President Bashar al-Assad starved and killed his own people in the city of Homs. In reality, the foreign terrorists or Islamist extremists (hard to distinguish between the two) had taken over part of the town. Any citizen left behind were either sympathetic to, or related to these thugs. One of the accomplishments of Mother Agnes was when she negotiated the release of thousands of civilians in which the terrorists got to leave on buses. Mother Agnes negotiated between the terrorists which are all basically the same whether they call themselves the Free Syrian Army, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda or ISIS, and the Syrian government.

The FSA and other terrorist groups have "labeled" her as "Assad's nun.” We have labeled some of these terrorists groups as "moderate rebels.” Both labels are false. They said she was a regime supporter but in the beginning of the crisis she actually spoke out for reforms and democracy. She was on the side for real change. Later, as she discovered it was all Muslim Brotherhood and Radical Islam, she continued to help refugees in Homs and all across Syria. Tonight, she was eager to answer our questions. She confirmed that this NEVER was a civil war. Protests in March of 2011 for constitution change would quickly be hijacked by militants waiting in the wings. As you will learn, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, The US, UK and Turkey were supporting these militants waiting for this "opportunity.” But why? That question would be answered in Damascus at the lectures. We asked if these terrorists are true followers of Islam? Are they really Muslims?". Her answer was "no.…It is political. Not religious." In the week ahead, I would hear that personally from Syria's Grand Mufti, Hassoun. The ones who are carrying out the butchering and barbarous atrocities are nothing more than poverty ridden criminals. Paid mercenaries. “It is more about politics then it ever has been about religion. Terrorism knows no God. And Islamist extremists who are committing these atrocities are not really of Islam,” she said. We also spoke of General Wesley Clark's speech where he publicly states the Plan for the New American Century which was to take out 7 Middle East countries. Watch this video.

This PNAC began in the mid 1990's. It was founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. Later, people like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and others considered “neoconservatives” would join their ranks several years before 9/11. The taking down of the World Trade Buildings garnered American support to further increase the military budget just as Pearl Harbor had done to get the US directly involved with World War Two. I'm not saying some CIA people knew the attacks would take place but they should have. They did know 3 of the hijackers entered LAX 15 months prior to 9/11. Mother Agnes said "one word of truth is more dangerous than a ton of lies.”

Mother Agnes.

Entering Syria
We left Beirut at 10:00 am the following morning for the 3 hour drive to Damascus. Getting through customs was not a problem and we were soon in Damascus, Syria. What surprised me the most was how beautiful and clean the city was. The palm tress lined the roads and the traffic circles were full of recently trimmed, colorful flowers. If I didn't know better I'd think I was in an area close to Los Angeles with the dry, rolling hills surrounding us. As we got closer to our hotel I saw the smiles and felt the excitement of little children as they ran to visit the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) military at the check points. I would learn that just one year ago the city was not as secure and just 3 weeks prior to our arrival, the city had been hit by terrorists shells from south of the city. It would be hit again on August 12, 2015 killing 14 and injuring 70. A man by the name of Alloush was responsible. You'll be hearing more about him. Thankfully the SAA is protecting Damascus.

Our room wasn't quite ready so we wondered if we could hop in a cab and visit Old Damascus. It’s important for the reader to know that we never had any restrictions. No "minders" as we hear they have in North Korea telling you who you can visit and what topics are "off limits.” We were totally free to go about the city. Since I was there to meet the people, I let my Syrian facebook friends know we had arrived. It was good knowing I would meet Suzan Zuhair and hopefully talk to Shahe Mehran Seraydarian over the phone. Then we hopped in a cab and were off.

Old Damascus was protected since ancient times by a wall on all sides. Inside were shops and venders of every kind. Perfumes filled the air as did the smell of leather goods, spices and fruits. The corridors would lead to open air spaces and on one occasion we heard what sounded like thunder. Andrew knew better and that was our first sign that we were in a war zone. We noticed that the children continued playing as if they were immune to what was going on around them. At every shop we stopped at, I spoke to as many people that could speak English. Most were eager to meet an American and felt comfortable speaking to me. We had dinner in one of the open courts behind the narrow passages and huge wooden doors, and then headed back to the Dama Rose Hotel. What a wonderful Wednesday. I couldn't wait to meet my facebook friend Suzan on Thursday morning!

We met at my hotel at exactly 9:00 am Thursday morning. As another example of Arab custom and warmth, she had brought a gift for both me and my wife. We took in the sights of Damascus near the museum and markets, and at one point I remember pretending to have almost gotten hit by a passing car. She gave me a friendly shove out of the path of the car and I thanked her for "saving my life.” In typical Muslim style she said “you can thank me by waking up tomorrow morning!" I thought that was really sweet. We walked past the government office where she worked, and stopped in to meet her boss and another of her co-workers. Suzan is a Sunni Muslim. Turns out about 75% of the Syrian population is Sunni. A proportionate amount of all religions and sects hold government jobs. President Assad is Alawite, a sect within the Shia Muslim group. Nearly everyone I spoke to loves and respects him even if they do not agree with some of his domestic policies. As it got closer to noon and the beginning of the lectures, Suzan asked if I could have dinner with her and her extended family the following night at their apartment. She walked me back to the hotel and insisted I get permission. Friday is their Holy Day and the shops would be closed so they would need to know now in order to do all the shopping. I took the elevator up to Andrews' room, and with a wink of an eye he said “go for it.” After all, I was there to talk to as many of the local people as possible. We made plans to meet at the hotel at 7:00 pm Friday, the following night!

Lectures at Damascus University
The auditorium was buzzing with reporters and a hugh crowd as our bus pulled into the DU parking lot on that Thursday early afternoon. Our delegation consisted of Iranian Dr. Mohammad Marandi, Father David B. Smith from Australia, India's own Professor Niloufer Bhagwat, Dr. Declan Hayes, Rev.Andrew Ashdown and Professor Simon Keyes. Syria's parliamentary member Maria Saadah and Dr. Ahmad Alkhaddour, who was kind enough to have us as guests in his home on our final night, were also with us on the bus and much of the time throughout the following days. Other notable speakers would be University President Professor Mohammad Hassan al Kurdi, Dr. Ahmad Al-Khadour, Professor Naef Al-Yassin, who is an expert on the "Terror industry,” Professor Butros Hallak who specializes on Media Terrorism, Professor Abboud Al-Sarraj, George Rizqallah, Dr. Joundob Zaarour, Doctor Ahmad Saleh and even Ali Haider. Ali Haider is the leader of the SSNP, the Syrian Socialist National Party. It is one of the opposition groups to President Asaads Ba'athist party. Under President Assad, Syria has gone from one recognized political party to approximately 23. Ali Haider supported the protests during the initial phase until he recognized it had been hi-jacked by foreign entities. He is now the Minister of Reconciliation. That alone should tell you a great deal about the tolerance of the Syrian government. Other speakers would include Professor Mayssa Syioufi who, along with Parliamentary member Professor Marie Saadeh (Syria's government includes many women) spoke of the effects of economic terrorism. Especially as it relates to tourism. That topic was something I had never even considered. When this conflict is over will there be any ancient sites remaining? What will become of one of Syria's most important economic resources? Tourism. After all, Syria is considered the cradle of civilization. There were a few other speakers but the highlight on this day would be a passionate plea for peace by Syria's highest ranking spiritual leader, The Grand Mufti, Shiekh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.

Professor Maria Saadeh.

In short, this is what I concluded from the 5 days. Lets begin with the PNAC (Project for the New American Century), adopted in the middle to late 1990's. Syria was on the list to be taken over. In 2000 President Bashar Al-Assad, an optometrist at the time in England, was summoned to Syria to replace his father, Hafez as president. His brother Basil had been groomed for the job but he was killed in an automobile accident a few years earlier. One of the first things he did was release many political prisoners. 3 years later when President Bush was looking for support against Iraq in 2003 he famously said "You're either with us or against us.” Bush chose war. Assad and Syria chose peace.

Soon afterwards, plans were being discussed for a pipeline to be built from Qatar through Saudia Arabia, Syria and into Turkey. Assad made it clear by 2010 that he strongly opposed such a plan. Why? Why do so many Americans oppose the plan to run a pipeline from Canada through the US? Syria is a sovereign country and if they didn't want it, that should be reason enough.

As the Arab Spring was beginning in Tunisia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were making their plans to topple Assad. Even as early as 2006 the US had allocated $5 million to finance Syrian opposition. The ante was raised by Qatar in 2011 to $3 Billion by Qatar's Minister of foreign affairs who also served as Prime Minister, Hamad bin Khalifa Thani. Before the protests ever began, Saudi Arabia had sent weapons which were hidden in tunnels in Darra and near Damascus. They were stored in Syria's massive underground network. In Daraa, near Syria's southern border, they were hidden under the Omari Mosque. The Imam of that mosque was Ahmed Alsyasena, a radical extremist who was working with the Saudi Arabian wahabiist Wahabism is an extremist view of Islam and they are nothing more than paid mercenaries from Saudi Arabia. Weapons were also hidden and stored in Bab Amer and Bab Alsebaa in Homs. My friend Mohamad Rahmoun witnessed the terrorists hiding them in Al Nour Mosque near his families home in Al Khabedia. But it was too late to stop them. The protests had begun. Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan also supported the attempted take-over of Syria with his wealth. The supreme leader of Liwa al-Islam, the only brigade of al-Qaeda sent into Syria at that time’s chemical weapons specialist Zahran Alloush, had been working for then Saudi intel chief Turki al Faisal in Afghanistan and Yeman. Alloush is the man responsible for the more recent shelling of Damascus in August,2015. The group gained fame due to risky, high-profile attacks. On 8 July 2012, the group carried out a bomb attack against the headquarters of Syria’s National Security Council in Rawda Square, Damascus. The group succeeded in assassinating several high profile members of Syria’s security establishment, including the Deputy Minister of Defense and brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad, Assaf Shawkat, Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha, and Hassan Turkmani, a former Defense Minister and military adviser to then Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa. And this was done after Alloush’s release from a Syrian prison where he had been held for 2 years because of weapons charges in 2011. Soon afterwards, he called for the cleansing of all Alawites and Shia's in Damascus. When asked about this statement by The Western press, he stated "I said those things due to the psychological stress I was under.” The West then labeled this man a "moderate rebel" and supported him. As Professor Bhagwat stated at the lectures, "Terrorism is being used for aggression, occupation, economic and political subjugation of the entire Arab region led by the coalition of the US, Israel and NATO. Any government insisting on its own political and economic sovereignty which does not fall in line, is targeted for regime change to install collaborator governments." In effect, puppet governments.

Over the next 4 years the US, UK, Turkey, France and Israel, which wants in the energy business very badly, joined Qatar and Saudi Arabia in funding the terrorists. The CIA was training a number of them in Jordan. Turkey's President Erdogen and his Muslim Brotherhood have been US puppets from the onset. The West has thrown everything it has at Syria but still Syria stands because its people stand behind their president. Of this I am certain. The mainstream media will cherry pick only anti-Assad people and only let the world see and hear those who support the corporate media's agenda, but the numbers tell the real story.

On February 27, 2012 Syria drew up a brand new constitution which is supported by most Syrians. The one point many disagree with is that the President must be a Muslim. Most Muslims would like that eliminated. In June of 2014, Presidential elections were held. Although militants controlled many areas in the East and North, the people still came out to vote! In the Khalidiyah area of Homs, the militants were in control. It didn't keep the majority of the 500,000 eligible voters from coming out that day. And they are mostly Sunni!. In Lebanon, Syrian refugees lined up for hours on end to cast their votes. President Assad won by an extremely wide margin. Were there legitimate opponents? Some say yes. Some say no. But so many came out that day to show their support. In many ways his determination to stand up against the West and Saudi Arabia has galvanized his presidency.

Throughout the course of my days in Syria, one of the friends I will never forget is Shahe. He had traveled all the way from war-ridden Aleppo to Damascus to visit his daughter and son-in-law, and to meet me. The 3 of them were in the lobby when we met on Friday morning. He is famous on facebook for his kabobs and he invited me for lunch. Soon we were at the home of his daughter’s family in Old Damascus, and the grilling began. As we shared shisha and araq, a Middle Eastern liquor, Shahe showed me the video he had taken as he left Aleppo just the day before. What was once a beautiful city with ancient walls and historical sites has been blasted to ruins. Sometimes the people in Aleppo go months without running water or electricity. This is why there are so many refugees. But Shahe stays. After all, he tells me, “only the good die young!” His sense of humor, wit and kindness brings a tear to my eye as I recall our morning together.

In the weeks prior to Shahe's current visit to the citadel, or center of town, it was occupied by foreign terrorists and/or extremists. Not Syrian rebels. The SAA had them surrounded and it looked as if the city would soon be liberated by the Syrian government. However, once again, the endless support, food and stream of mercenary terrorists/extremists flowing in from Turkey somehow broke the lines of defense and re-supplied the thugs. On the day before Shahe left Aleppo, the bombs were blasting all over the city and they were coming from the citadel. Where the terrorists were. Shahe video-taped his exit but out of respect he did not tape the dead bodies which covered the streets as he left to meet me. Just two days ago in August 2015, I read that the UN would be investigating Assad's use of Barrel bombs against Syrian rebels. Against his own people. We've all heard this before but now I knew the truth. How can a Chechen, a Libyan, Tunisian, Morrocan or any other foreign paid mercenary be considered a Syrian rebel? They can't. I don't know if President Assad used barrel bombs but even if he did, to save the lives of people like Shahe, real Syrians, I have to ask. Whats the difference if you kill a terrorist with a barrel bomb or a bullet?

Shahe and his daughter Annie.

We had a wonderful time together, but it was time to go. Kevo, Shahe and Annie walked me to the gates of Old Damascus and were sure to find me a taxi that knew 100% where my hotel was. The 4th cab they asked knew. They are among the kindest people I have ever met. We said our good byes, and I wished Kevo good luck as he was returning to the SAA the very next day. Shahe and his family will always hold a special place in my heart.

Dinner in Damascus
Suzan met me as I had planned at 7:00 pm. As we walked through the streets of Damascus, the sun was beginning to set. About 30 minutes later we entered an apartment building. Soon, we were in the home of Suzan's Aunt Amal. We walked through the dining room and sat in the adjoining living room area. The 3 of us sat and Suzan served as translator. Nobody except 12 year old Sedra, spoke English.

It wasn't long before the house was full. As I mentioned earlier Suzan and her entire family are Sunni Muslims although it is quite common in Syria and Iraq for a Sunni and shier to wed. Soon Khaldoun, who is the son in law of Aunt Amal, entered. He appeared to be in his early to mid 50s, and sat down in an easy chair just to my left. He was interested in why I was in Syria as Suzan began translating the reason for my trip. He would look at me and nod as Suzan explained how the media in the US has been reporting this struggle to be a civil war. He politely laughed it off. This was a special night for me. They all made me feel as if I was part of the family. Soon I was introduced to Mona. She was an attractive 19 year old. Her sense of humor was delightful as was Neven’s. At one point, Mona stopped what she was doing and adjusted her hijab. She started laughing so I asked Suzan what was going on. She said Mona's hijab was on too tight, and it was giving her a head-ache. Then they giggled. Soon afterward, the final couple arrived. Suzan's cousin Muleham and his fiance Ghinwa who is interested in and partakes in boxing. Seems a lot of Syrians are, and Father Dave who is part of our delegation, helps teach and promote boxing in Syria.( He also writes articles on Syria. His report on the Yarmouk refugee camp is very enlightening.

Dinner was ready so we sat at the large dining room table. To my left, there was Khaldoun and a huge bowl of rice with lamb slices. To my right, was another huge bowl of chicken and potatoes in a wonderfully seasoned sauce. Seasoning is what makes the food in the Middle East so special. There were also plenty of vegetables. I didn't want to discuss politics at the table but I was interested in Syria's education system. Turns out the education is free from first grade, aged 6 to 12th grade. 17-18 years of age. They don't have property taxes like we do that goes into public education. It is truly free. There are also private schools but their public system is as good as or better than ours. And in the end, the exams are the same in both the public and the private schools. Our public schools are paid for by our taxes. As far as University Education, things are a little different than ours. University is free for those who graduated 12th grade with good to high marks on the exams. If they did not have good marks, the student can choose to pay for a private University. If the student gets high marks at this point they can achieve the Masters Degree and the PhD, Doctorate, all free of charge. The government will also send top students abroad to foreign countries to complete a Doctorate (PhD). They can go to the USA, UK, Europe, India or Russia. The education fees are paid for by the government and a monthly stipend to cover all expenses like food and rooming (board). Even during this current crisis, these programs are fully funded and working. A friend is currently in Russia studying for her Doctorate in Business, all at the expense of the Syrian government.

Fruit, in a sauce and cheese, was brought to the table. I had complimented Amal so she continued to fill my plate. The fruit was delicious and I thanked them for the raspberry and sauce. Again Sedra, never missing a chance to use her English, corrected me. It was strawberries! It was truly a wonderful meal and you'd never know this was a country in crisis. After dinner, Amal asked us to go back into the living room. Soon, we were all served either tea or coffee. The Arabic coffee was served in demitasse cups. As I was watching Neven continue to try and loosen her hijab, I asked about the economy. The government continues to keep a lower price on things despite the terrible sanctions by the West in order to help the people. We already touched on medical supplies, but food items are also subsidized. Flour, sugar, tea and bread are kept artificially lowered in order to help the people of Syria. This is why Turkish people have always come to Syria to shop. Prices are much lower.

After desert, I realized we had already been together for 3 hours, and I had to be ready for the bus by 8:30 the next morning. Before I left though, Suzan’s aunt wanted to show me photos of where they once lived in Zamalka near Jober, and what the FSA had done to their home. Again, it was truly something to see a photo from someone right there on how this global attack was changing their lives. These photos were from the very beginning in 2011 when the FSA were legitimate rebels, but they too morphed into a terrorist group. It broke my heart and I apologized for my country’s part in all of this. It was also very clear that they did not want me to feel bad. All they wanted was for me to continue learning the truth and getting their message to the American people. We all said our good-byes and as I was walking out, I noticed Neven begin to take off her hijab. She giggled like a little girl when our eyes met but it didn't matter. By then we were all family. Khaldour handed me some wrapped goods from his store in Old Damascus. He and Suzan drove me back to the hotel, and I thanked them for an evening I will never forget. God bless them all.

From left to right: Suzan, Me, Shareen, Larisa, Mona, Aunt Amal, Majed, Khaldoun, Sedra, and Neven.

Ma'loulaa, Saydynaya and the Grand Mufti
On Saturday, our bus took us to the ancient town of Ma'loula. A village over 2,000 years old where the homes are built right into the mountains. It’s a village of about 3,300 where Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, is still spoken. Muslims and Christians live in peace and harmony as they do throughout all of Syria. Due to the nature of this essay, I can't do Ma'loula justice. I'll leave that to the guide books.

In early September 2013, this village was over run by al-Nusra terrorists. 6 people were kidnapped and never heard from again. Abu Mohamad al-Golani's thugs killed some of the villagers. The town went back and forth between Nusra and SAA control until a November 29th, 2013. Nusra terrorists kidnapped 12 nuns on that day and held them until a prisoner exchange was completed, and by April 14th 2014, the SAA liberated the town once and for all, I pray. Most people in the West never heard about this. Why?

Just 3 or 4 weeks earlier there was the "false flag" chemical attack just outside of Damascus. All the West was waiting to see if President Obama would be attacking Syria. In the book, "Inside Syria", written by Reese Erlich (See Chapter 6), he states that in the initial US report from August 30th, 2013, the White House reported that the gas had killed 1,429 people, including 426 children. Within weeks, the US version of events began to fall apart. First, was the matter of civilian deaths. The US figure of 1,429 was nearly 3 times the size of the highest estimates of reliable sources. Doctors Without Borders, which had medical personnel on the ground in Al Ghouta, estimated 355 deaths. British intelligence estimated 350 deaths, and even the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted 502. Only the Syrian Nation Coalition, the opposition group backed by Western powers and located in Turkey, agreed with the US estimate. But when pressed by the Associated Press for a list of names, it could only come up with a list of 395. Soon, MIT sent physicists, scientists and engineers to Al Ghouta. They all determined that the chemical gas came from an area only 2 kilometers away. Not the 9 kilometers reported by the mainstream news. The big difference being that 9 kilometers is where the government forces were stationed. 2 or 3 kilometers away is where the sectarian Islamists/terrorists were. It’s easy to see that the US was eager for popular support to bomb Syria. Thank God that the American public, for whatever the reasons, were against bombing. In fact about 80% of the American people had had enough of war in foreign countries by then.

Next we were headed to Saydnaya. Another Christian/Muslim village about 35 miles from Damascus. As we got off the bus, we joined thousands of people and a big brass band with drums. It was the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish genocide of between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians which had begun exactly 100 years ago on this date, April 24th 1915. Of course President Obama doesn't officially recognize the genocide. After all, Turkey is one of our allies/puppets in the ME. We were brought from church to honor all who had died then, and also to honor all the martyrs killed since the current war began in 2011. In the West, we have been indoctrinated to associate the word martyr with a suicide bomber, but in reality the word martyr is used to describe any innocent person who has died in the conflict.

Finally, we were brought to the last church we would enter on this day. Reverend Andrew Ashdown and I were escorted to the very first pew where we sat, listening to story after story as people would be introduced onto the stage before us. The translator looked directly at us as the people told their stories of how their loved ones had been killed, kidnapped or brutalized. Never in my life had I been so moved. So ashamed, but at the same time determined to help. These people were turning their heartbreak and misery into a cry for help. Pleading us to tell the rest of the world the truth. As we left the church, everything seemed surreal as the marching band began playing again on that very sunny day. Soon, we were whisked onto the bus and headed back to Damascus. The day had been long and emotional but it wasn't over. We had been invited to the Grand Mufti's home for dinner. This was something very special!

Me and the Grand Mufti Hassoun.

For a man of his stature and standing, his home was a modest apartment by our standard although very neat, well furnished and fairly large. His servant greeted us at the door and we joined Dr. Hassoun in his living room. He was seated in chair in the center of the room against the wall. To his left, sat the President of Damascus University, and to his right our Professor Hayes. The rest of us gathered around him in sofas and chairs. He has kind eyes and when he speaks you really can feel the passion as he carefully enunciates his sentences. He told us the same thing we had been hearing every day. This conflict is political. Not religious. As gracious as he was, you could see he had a heavy heart. Not just because his son was recently killed by one of the so-called "moderate" rebels, but he told us of breaking news in the Northwest. The town of Jisr Shugour was under heavy attack. First, they took Idlib and now Jisr Shugour. Those places were all invaded by Jibhat al Nusra. One of their leaders is a man named MUSLIM AL SHISANI who is a Chechen. He was also present at the massacre of Kassab on March 21st 2014. How can a Chechen be a Syrian Opposition Member and how can a Chechen be a Syrian Rebel? Al-Nusra is 99% foreign fighters...not Syrians. He also confirmed what I had heard recently. Foreign mercenaries have been driving mobile scud missile launchers paid for by the US into Syria from Turkey. They fire shells into the Latakia area and are back in Turkey before the Syrian Air Force can get them. We never hear about these attacks, but if just one Syrian fighter jets' missile landed in Turkey as it pursued these militant thugs you better believe it would be headline news.

In Summation
Track 2 diplomacy is when people from different countries talk to each other. I firmly believe this is the best way along with social media to make war less likely. My trip was an affirmation of almost everything I had previously heard. This is not a civil war. Is President Bashar al-Assad without his flaws? Of course not. There is corruption in the government and occasionally in the choosing of who gets those jobs. I've seem that first hand in New Jersey and almost got fired for trying to do something about it. It goes on in every jurisdiction and no country is immune. He also favors some businessmen over others, but that to is business as usual. In New Jersey, its called "Pay to Play.” However, most people really do love and respect him.

I can't speak of Arabs or Muslims in Saudi Arabia, but practically every person I met in Syria and Lebanon was genuinely kind, polite, well educated and respectful. Not what we've been indoctrinated to believe. I know that if every American could go there we'd be demanding the truth from Washington DC, but that’s not practical. What is practical is the ability to learn. As soon as I retired, I began reading. In 2012, I began by reading S. Brian Willson's book "Blood on the Tracks.” Another great read is Sibel Edmonds' "Classified Woman.” She was an FBI translator for the FBI, and what she discovered about 9/11 is stunning. In that book you'll see how our government keeps the truth from surfacing and you'll see the dirty, clandestine agreements we make with Turkey. Imagine how much better off we all would be if less tax money went into "protecting us,” and instead went into our own infrastructure. Think of how it might effect the immigration problem if less people were forced to leave their homes in war torn countries that our government is very much responsible for. Everywhere I went in Syria, people of all ages asked me to deliver this message. "Please tell the Americans the truth!" The internet is what I refer to as "The Weapon of Peace.” Because of it, every country's military can no longer de-humanize the "enemy.” Truth is, most people want the same thing. Peace. I hear people ask "why don't Muslims speak out against these terrorists?” They do. Its simply not in the interest of mainstream media to report that. You have to dig for the truth. And by having gone to Syria, I am more certain of the truth than ever before. Remember when 60 Minutes reported that Assad was starving his own people in Homs? I spoke to many residents from Homs. The truth is the terrorists took over 1 section of the city. Assad told his citizens to leave. Most did. Then he starved the terrorists. Were a handful of them Syrian? Probably. There’s the half truth! Same as in the center of Aleppo more recently. Were some of those terrorists Syrian? If so, then the media wasn't really lying. But you get the point.

I hope that this piece helps bring another kind of peace. I hope it gets some of you to find the time to search for alternatives to mainstream media and to join us. Then call your Senate and Congressional Representatives, and tell them to stop aiding the terrorists. Enough is enough. Until you do, these innocent people will continue to be slaughtered, and we will continue to lose our freedoms and maybe our country.

Final Thought
When the custom agent at Newark Airport saw I had been to Syria, he asked that I follow him into the stage two customs room where I was questioned and detained for about two hours. As he walked me towards the area he said “here in the US you're free to speak your mind.” I thought about it, and decided I better not.


  1. Have to say, amzing amazing article. I can understand how much would have still be left written, but dear John you have done a spendid job. I really wanted to say on so many things but the best thing, along with my beautiful and lovely friends Eiad Eissa, Susan Zuhair and John, is the truth which I learned in this article, which was made all possible due to John Mesler, a man truly in search of Truth. Some of the things I already knew but never ever heard of the MIT delegation of engineers sent for the research of Chemical Attacks and their findings. None of this ever made to the Main Stream Media.
    I congratulate Mr. John for grasping the opportunity to convey the voices of the oppressed to the globe as this work, in my opinion is not lesser than a blessing from The Allah.

  2. John has written a fantasy article about Syria today. Assad is a war criminal who has used an aerial bombing campaign against civilians for almost 4 years. The United Nations and Amnesty International have repeatedly condemned his war crimes. I think I will believe the United Nations, Amnesty International, the BBC, the Guardian, etc. before I will fall for this ridiculous story from one unknown person.

    1. HI Mom 4 Peace. John Mesler can't figure out how to respond to you, so he asked me to tell you that he hopes you have read the links in the story and then this:

      "Dear Mom 4 Peace...I know how you feel. Its a hard pill to swallow but every word I wrote is true. Do you remember the woman that came forward in 1991 during the Iraqi invaion of Kuwait? Her name is Nayirah al Sabah, Amnesty International and the United Nations supported her too. As did Congressman Lantos.He even brought her to the floor to garner support or invading Iraq, Problem was Hill-Knowlton (US public relations firm) was paid $1,000,000 a mont to train her to lie. Remember how she tearfully told the tale of how the Iraqi soldiers raped the Kuwaiti nurses at the hospital? Then how they threw 40 babies out of the incubators onto cold, hard concrete floors? We all bought it at the time but google her now. We find the truth out in time (but not "in time").Our federal representatives are driven more by the corporations that prosper from war, infrastructure repare and oil now more than ever.Its a hard pill to swallow but try reading some of the books I suggested. The Syrians are genuinely kind, rspectful and well educated people. It breaks my heart to see them getting slaughtered by paid mercenaries. I hope you do some investigating of your own. We NEED you!"

      Thanks for reading the blog and commenting.

    2. Cindy, thanks for responding. I work with many Syrian Americans in the U.S. and they hate and fear the Assad regime. They all have stories of friends or relatives who were imprisoned or tortured. They speak of the fear of living under the Assad regime. It is unimaginable that the Syrian refugees John met in Lebanon all "loved Assad".

      I've also talked with several doctors from the Syrian American Medical Society who have risked their lives to travel inside Syria and provide medical aid. The Assad regime has targeted medical personnel so this was very brave of them. As Physicians for Human Rights has written, "The attacks on hospitals in Idlib city are just two examples out of dozens in which Bashar al-Assad’s forces have targeted health care facilities and personnel in opposition-controlled areas in order to counter military advances made by opposition groups." - See more at:

      I think the best detailed history of the beginnings of the Syrian revolution was written by Syrian Nonviolence Movement activist Mohja Kahf. She is a Syrian American feminist who is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Arkansas. - It's a 26 page article but well worth reading as she was in close contact with many of the people in the early stages of the revolution. Her blog with other articles about Syria is on the Fellowship for Reconciliation webpage.

      I have followed the Syrian conflict closely for the last 3 years and know that what Mesler wrote is not true. He is an apologist for the Assad regime and his story does not belong on the webpage of a principled, well respected anti-war activist like you.

    3. Dear Mom 4 Peace,
      I will not say that your view is wrong, but I still have to agree with John here. John is trying to bring forth what is really happening and how many people feel towards their country and their president. If you want to think of Bashar as a war criminal, that is your choice of course, but what I have learned in all my years is that everyone's view is biased. I have lost my home more than once to war, and the truth is never really written in black and white, but in all the colors hiding underneath.
      My stay in Syria was not as long as I hoped it would be. I wanted to live and die there. Never did I think I would want to live in Syria, but when President Bashar came into power, so much changed. You say the Assad regime, but that Assad regime is his father's. He may have inherited it, but he worked hard at changing it. Most of the people who left Syria many years ago still hate the regime and refuse to see the change. As we know, change is always slow, but at least we were heading in the right direction.
      I also have family and friends who were imprisoned and tortured under the previous regime. I have friends who were also imprisoned under the second, and it is not the same. I know people who were forced to join the army to fight-and they were against Bashar beyond reason. After 2 weeks, they said they would allegiance to him, and only him. I do not want to spend time arguing points and trying to sway your opinion, but please do not attack John for his article. He went to Syria and he has met a lot of good people and was able to see what they were going through.
      I know many people who love Bashar Al Assad and who would not accept anyone else, and I know others who hate him and refuse to listen to any reason. I like to try and see through all the bias......but hate is not something I can agree to. We are people on the ground, not generals hiding in rooms and making top secret decisions. We are simple people, and more than anything, I wish I had my life back. If you want to say he is a dictator, that is your personal choice, but please add many of the world's presidents to that list. Why is Syria the only country that suffered? In my opinion, if he was a true dictator, he would have ended this offensive on the first day by obliterating areas before anyone could take over. He would have just killed everyone there and ended this mess, and believe me, no one in the world would have lifted a finger...........

    4. Dear M4P,
      in 2010 the Telegraph (i guess) reported Syria in of top 10 places in the world should be visited. Before the crisis, Syria was the fourth safe and secure country in the world. You could review many reports regarding this. How come to be a hell now? The answer is simple; the new Middle East as Rice promised in 2006 to make Syria a new Somalia. i think Assad is not the president of Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, or any else place. it is difficult to understand the situation here if not come as brave John Mesler did and reported back. All are welcome to see how we struggle to survive defending our country and in behalf of the world against terrorism sponsored by some western governments; how we live under mortars from ISIS agents. One last word: we were living in peace sharing our lives with neighbors and spill over love to all the world under Assad government, and we are going to go on. YOU need to listen to my mother as well.
      Best regards

    5. I'll be honest here - this "mom 4 peace" sounds very similar to the one on the facebook page that was so fact, she sounds an awful lot like so many pro-opposition writers I cannot help but feel suspicious. My name is Janice Kortkamp - I live in Virginia - and I too have tracked the Syrian conflict for hours each and every day since then. I don't go by a fake name (Fearing is my married name). I know many people in Syria who will confirm that what John said in his article is true. Sunnis, Alawites, Christians (ALL Christians I know there and their leaders), Shiites, Druze, even Kurds - have confirmed what John has written. If I am wrong about "mom4peace" I am sorry - but here are the facts. THE SYRIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY is an opposition group!! Many doctors btw have proven to be ISIS/al Qaeda supporters!! You are not paying attention to the most basic of facts: 1) that for 10 years, Assad has known he was being targeted for regime change by the US (see General Wesley Clark's admission of the 7 countries in 5 years plan). 2) That at least since 2007, the US gov't was working with Muslim Bro ex-pats to foment revolution and regime change (see Jay Solomon in the WSJ from 2007 - To check Syria, US explores bond with Muslim Brotherhood. 3) That what happened in Libya was NO peaceful - democratic revolution - but a full out jihadists holiday that has left Libya at the (non) mercy of Islamist gangs and criminals. 4) That the 'freedom and democracy rebels' the US supported in Libya have been revealed now to be ISIS and al Qaeda etc. 5) That it has been Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have funded and armed this revolution - that the FSA has ALWAYS called al Nusra/ISIS fighters their 'brothers in arms' and the reason WHY they had to call in those Sunni extremists/salafists/takfiris was because not enough Syrians were joining their clearly Islamist revolution in secular Syria. 6) That neither Saudi Arabia or Qatar could care one drop of camel urine for ANY human lives other than their fellow 'royals' and would not recognize either freedom or democracy if it bit them. 7) That Idlib was taken over by FSA/Nusra and other militant groups - i've got the pictures to prove it. The people of Idlib were evacuated by the Syrian army. The ones that remained were imprisoned in a terrorist/extremist sharia law caliphate wanna-be. There are many Syrian expats here who don't like Assad that is true. MANY came over under Hafez. MANY are Muslim Bros which is why they had to leave. MANY have no immediate experience with Syria. MANY refugees from the war have to proclaim their resistance to the Assad gov't to get asylum here. MANY are just following the same crappy MSM news that other Americans are and they get no truth. And some just hate Assad period just like so many hate Obama or Bush. Things in Syria are rough - they always have been - but 'mistreating' political prisoners is just not enough cause (for the times it really happened) to overthrow a government and arm/train/support terrorists to rip and shred whole nations; kill hundreds of thousands of people; and send millions out as refugees. The bulk of the refugees of course - like 75% are still in Syria and cared for by the government...

    6. [Assad] opened the country up to foreign trade, to tourism within the country and from abroad, to freedom of movement and of education for both men and women. Before the protests started, the number of women in the professional world had been constantly increasing, the university was open to all, and there was no discrimination on the basis of sex. The country was at peace, prosperity was on the rise, and human rights were respected. A common home and fatherland to many ethnicities and 23 different religious groups, Syria has always been a place where all were free to believe and live out their creed, all relationships were characterized by mutual respect. The freedom that is purportedly being brought to us by the rebels is precisely what this rebellion has taken away from us.

    7. Damascus, Syria before the strife:

    8. Yet, it was explained to me that while the Syrian government was deeply authoritarian in some respects, it generally allowed (and enforced) openness in social and religious areas unparalleled anywhere in the Middle East. Most Americans would be very surprised to learn of such elements in Syrian society that are not much different from what one would find in Europe or the U.S.

      This social openness was most clearly to the advantage of Christians and other religious minorities living in a country numerically dominated by the about 70% Sunni Muslim majority. The secular face of the government and civic life allowed Christians to worship freely, and to even display their Christianity very publicly.

    9. Diane Sawyer visited Syria in 2007:

    10. Syrians speak to NBC news:

    11. Syrian Pastor of Aleppo Evangelical College whose church was blown up by 'mom4peace' favorite Syrian 'rebels' pleading with Obama to stop supporting terrorists in Syria:

    12. i can go on for days like this. Thank you Cindy Sheehan.

    13. John Mesler is a propagandist and when you care to differ on opinion he censors your comments. His true form is liken to Assad who he emulates. His favorite label to describe Israelis is Zionist Pigs. John Mesler can shove that up his rectum with all his other bullshit. Fraud.

    14. Actually, John Mesler has ZERO control over what comments get posted on my blog. I do and I can guarantee you I HAVE NOT DELETED ONE COMMENT. As long as the discourse is respectful, I post every comment. I don't appreciate the charge of censorship.

  3. Thank you John for this poignant account of your experiences and perceptions from your trip to Syria. It is indeed reports like this that will help inform the world and help bring some pressure on our US government to stop its endless imperialist drive for "Full Spectrum Dominance". Peace is the only sustainable long term solution. I hope we can move again towards peace.

  4. Great article and I think that John is helping the people of syria by letting the truth known

  5. Great article and reflects really what is happening in Syria. Many Syrians outside Syria support the revolution which is full of fanatics fueled with hate. Most Syrians inside syria support Assad.

  6. I was shocked to see the facebook page of Shahe Mihran Seraydarian, whom Mesler talks about in his article as "among the kindest people I have ever met." "His sense of humor, wit and kindness brings a tear to my eye as I recall our morning together." Shahe's fb page shows how false those descriptions are. Shahe's page is filled with crude, profane comments. Mesler's article is entirely false. I too know many Syrian Americans and they have nothing good to say about the brutal, criminal Assad regime. The UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International have many times described Assad's crimes...nothing like the fantasy Syria described by Mesler.

    1. PA.. So you are judging someone living in Aleppo during the past 5 years by his facebook page? How ridiculous.Its shallow. Shahe is litterally giving the terrorists the finger as a gesture that shouts out "You may have killed my family, friends and neighbors but I"m still here!!" The Syrians living in Aleppo sometimes go months on end without water or electricity. I don't suppose you have any idea of what thats like.....or what you're talking about. Shahe's wit and sense of humor is partly responsible for his survival.And English is NOT his first language. Say anything you like about me but how dare you judge ANYONE from a "million miles away" by a face book page.I normally wouldn't waste my time responding to such nonsense but he suffers still.I suppose you've lived in that situation somewhere for nearly 6 years now? I doubt it PA.You owe him an apology.

    2. Mr .Baldi, Much has been said already here to "shoot down" the lies of AI and the UN. Let me add this. Ask yourself why the mainstream media did not report the slaughter of 160 innocent Syrians-mostly students_ in early June of 2016. It happened near Latakia, Syria on National Exam Day. The terrorists were Ahrar al Sham. A group the US continues to support and supply. They are labeled as "moderate opposition" . There is no such thing. If you want to understand why the media's propaganda continues to be effective I suggest you get a PDF download of Professor Tim Anderson's book, "The Dirty War on Syria". You can purchase it in Motreal or mail order gloabal, as I did. I sent you a link in the e-mail you sent me.I'm glad you're at least interested in duscovering the truth. Welcome.

    3. When one disagrees with John Mesler he deletes your comments in essence censoring. He only like to hear himself speak as his thoughts are the only grains of truth that exist. He is a phony and a fraud. Never Again!

  7. I'd like to sincerely thank John for his bravery to actually go to Syria and describe what he lived and present it to the world. It's bravery to go to a place the US and stooges described as failing and under a civil war, then it's also as brave to get back home and face the brainwashed masses with his stories knowing very well how many journalists were killed during this conflict for telling the truth, I can name a few like Maya Nasser a young American Syrian journalists killed by a sniper in Damascus, Mohammad Saeed the most prominent Syrian TV and radio presenter kidnapped and tortured to death by the 'moderate rebels' who distributed his photos under their custody to brag about their crime and to terrify the public but they never handed his body back to be buried till date; Serena Shim an American Lebanese reporter killed by a car crash inside Turkey just following her reports about Turkish intelligence involvement in assisting ISIS (ISIL) and the Turkish MÍT accusation she's a spy! How many times was the Syrian TV station Ikhbariya headquarters and crews were targeted and how many its and other journalists killed, and as I said just to name few. Of course Westerns won't hear much about these crimes because the Western officials some believe like we see this commentator above 'Mom for War' says, have decided and did ban all Syrian media outlets since the beginning of the Syrian crises in a blatant hypocrisy to their claims of pushing democracy and free speech in the world and currently in Syria.

    John, as a Syrian expat with most of my family and friends inside Syria, would like to sincerely thank you for your so accurate report above. We've been overwhelmed by brainwashed and instigators wanting to teach us that tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries anti-Islamic Wahhabi Sex Suicide Jihadists are flooding to Syria from all sides of the world to protect us from our own brothers, sisters and relatives in the Syrian Armed Forces: Syrian Arab Army, Syrian police forces, National Defense forces the locally established armed groups to defend their towns and villages and Syrian security officers. I find it humiliating to the human intelligence to see supposed to be elite and educated westerns buying this logic over common sense. I find it also of mere stupidity to believe proven liars throughout their history, ie US, UK and French officials and international NGOs who lied continuously to justify attacks against sovereign countries one after the other like Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan.. yet believing them again in Syria..?! How much IQ does it take to stop believing a proven liar? Even in normal courts of law a once proven liar in a minor law would be stripped from their testimony completely. (1/2)

  8. John, how many massacres in Syria had the pre-accusation ready for the Syrian Arab Army and proven to be carried out later by 'Moderate rebels'? Houla, Bayda near Baniyas, Daraa and the infamous Hamza Khatib, Zainab Hosni, Hatla, for God sake even the 1982 'attack on Hama' where anti-Syria campaigners worldwide kept repeating for 30 years that SAA killed tens of thousands in the attack against the city and no other than the US DIA releases a classified report (after 30 years declassified) that the SAA were retaliating against 400 terrorists from the Muslim Brotherhood organization and total killed were 2000 only including those 400 terrorists and most of the killed were SAA officers and their families..! Yet, even with this report released and published by Foreign Policy magazine you can still find warmonger parroting the same lies over and over again.

    We Syrians decided not to give in to these lies and not to give up our struggle to expose them before it's too late. Yes we lost thousands of our loved ones, thousands others were injured with most of them injured with permanent disabilities by mortars and IEDs, and most of our houses destroyed, but we won't let the westerners turn Syria into another Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. We will fight these terrorists and our forces managed so far to kill over 70,000 of them (reported by the London based 'Human Rights Observatory' as civilians) and we will continue fighting them back until there's no more of them inside Syria whatever the cost will be, and guess where they will run away from Syria to?

    On February 15, 2012 a CNN crew reported that Syrian Arab Army shelled a gas pipeline near Baba Amro, Homs to deprive the residents from electric power as a punishment for standing against the 'regime'. After 1 month exactly I have obtained and distributed a report by a Syrian activist documenting how that CNN crew led by Area Daemon were accomplice with the terrorist group that blew up the gas pipeline. You can find it at the end of this post:

    Go through the above blog post after post and see how many lies by western officials and their propagandists we managed to expose. Go to and see how many lies were exposed and how there could not be an 'armed opposition' against any state in the world, would your government accept an armed opposition in your country? And please tell me how they will deal with them? With flowers or with all types of arms? IL give you a hint: Boston, a city of 5 million was closed for 24 hours as all types of US Law enforcement groups were hunting down a man 'suspected' to be armed with a pistol and they were breaking in homes without warrants until they found the man and killed him because they accused him of the Boston Marathon bombing. Imagine: they accused him and he didn't confess, they suspected he was armed with an individual gun, yet see the response. How do you expect the Syrian Arab Army would react to hundreds of groups carrying Kornet anti-tank missiles, anti-airforce most advanced heat seeking missiles, automatic machine guns, $25000 a piece worth of computer remote guided snipers, suicide vests and belts, even with hundreds of Toyota pickups mounted with machine guns and grads..?! And not suspecting they have it, the terrorists are bragging with it and of their crimes.

    How would you want the SAA react, or the Syrians in general, to 'armed opposition' or 'moderate rebels' groups throwing post office clerks off the rooftop in al-Bab city north of Aleppo several years ago? Throwing policemen slaughtered bodies off a bridge into the Orontes River near Hama? Attacking in hundreds a Syrian security outpost in Jisr Shoghour city in Idlib countryside near the borders with Turkey and killing 120 of them in cold blood after their ammunition was over then filming their crime and airing it on all non-western pan Arab news channels? (2/3 thought it would fit in 2 parts only)

  9. How do you want us to believe that the West is suddenly loving us now and want to promote democracy in Syria they lack in their own countries as we know who raises more cash wins US elections for instance!!, and they want to promote free speech in our country when they banned all our TV stations, newspaper sites, SANA the Syrian official news agency, and many of our private owned publications in their countries?!

    I'm sorry 'Mom of War' for being a Syrian living this horror imposed against us by your officials and sponsored by uninformed people like you, and sorry for not being as fool. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis and I'm repeating: 'They fool you, they keep fooling you and they enjoy fooling you, not because they're smart, it's because you're foolable'. (3/3)

  10. Wow - I see Assad's electronic army has been mobilized!! From the Guardian (April 29, 2013) "Syrian Electronic Army: Assad's cyber warriors"

    "But unlike Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – whose former regimes were caught badly off guard – Assad's government has been fighting back. It has created an increasingly rambunctious group of counter-revolutionary hackers. These hackers have a twin function: to punish western news organisations seen as critical of Syria's regime, and to spread Damascus's alternative narrative.This says that the war in Syria isn't a popular uprising against a brutal, despotic family-military dynasty but rather an attempt by Islamist terrorists to turn Syria into a crazy al-Qaida fiefdom."

    1. "PeaceActivist" trolling to promote war of imperialism. Who's paying you to troll, PeaceActivist? You're name reveals you as a liar.

  11. More from the Guardian article on Assad's electronic army: "The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) sprang up in 2011 at the beginning of the anti-Assad revolution. According to defectors from inside its ranks, the group moved last year from Damascus to a secret base in Dubai. (Some pro-regime volunteers remain inside Syria, but they are at greater risk there of being unmasked and killed.) The Syrian government is widely believed to be behind the SEA's activities. In a speech to Damascus universityin 2011, Assad likened these anonymous online warriors to his frontline troops: "The army consists of the brothers of every Syrian citizen … Young people have an important role to play at this stage, because they have proven themselves to be an active power. There is the electronic army, which has been a real army in virtual reality."

  12. We're seeing Assad's electronic army here on Cindy's blog. More from the Guardian article on this: ""There are a lot of [pro-regime] Syrian hackers inside Syria and outside Syria," Tareq al-Jaza'eere, an opposition cyber-activist, said. "The Syrian government gives them money to fight an electronic war against the rebels. They are doing hacks. They are doing social media. Their message is there is no revolution. They say there is a terrorist gang fighting the government."

  13. So - which is more believable - Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, Amnesty International - all accuse the Assad regime of war crimes. Or these individual reports (some certainly from Assad's electronic army) that claim Assad's Syria was wonderful until foreign terrorists started an uprising???

    There are NO respected international human rights organizations that claim Assad's Syria was great. The human rights organizations all criticize his war crimes.

  14. Mother 4 Peace,
    Before everything, I want to thank John Mesler for his article, that conveyed the truth about Syrian crisis in general with some of the details.
    First I am not a supporter of the overall domestic politics of President Bashar although I was from senior officials in the state and because of my criticism of corruption and people influential in the government, I have considered one of the opposition and at the same time I have many friends of the opposition have varied with them when they started using the weapons first by orders from Turkey, NATO , and Arab countries which funded the terrorists and sent them weapons and trained them in Turkey and Jordan, in addition to bringing thousands of gunmen from foreign countries nothing to do with freedom and democracy in Syria, and these countries that terrorists belong to don't have freedom, no democracy, but the West turn a blind eye about it because their regime are an American puppets .
    I have seen with my own eyes people who were outlaws and do not have any education have become wealthy and pay money for the boys to participate in the demonstrations and cheering against Assad and many of them are my relatives ... and then they began to use a gun and shooting at protesters in order to accuse the regime that it is fired demonstrates.
    The war in Syria is not a civil war because most terrorists leaders are non-Syrians and many armed groups especially in Aleppo and Idlib all its members 100% are from Chechnya and Turkistan and other groups do not include any Syrian among its members, also what is the reason for the supporting of Turkey, Israel to Islamic militant groups that refuse freedom and democracy and kill Christian and Muslim minorities. Bashar AL-Assad has given absolute freedom for Islamist activity in Syria and we are as people protest these activities, that have already taken advantage of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to spread the ideas of Wahhabi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
    ٍSyrians are an ancient people and have an ancient civilization more than countries that want to destroy Syria and displacement its people, Western medias and human rights organizations do not tell the truth and take their information from a single source that is anti-Syrians.
    The militants were destroyed hospitals, schools, laboratories, electricity stations, and bombed oil pipelines. They killed scientists, university professors, Police officers, Doctors and they had naked nurses in the streets.I myself left my job because of the threat militants to my family and the attempt to assassinate me several times, they destroyed my family houses and occupied my house because I did not support them, they were making a mockery of my scientific certificates, I'm a graduate of an American university and they wanted me to Lloyd leaders of armed groups w do not know how to read and write.
    ٍSyrian do not have a choice, either to join the terrorists, or they have to leave their areas for fear of retaliation terrorists. Syria was secure and well-developed countries industrially and agriculturally and export surplus of food, medicine and other products and everything was cheap, but Syria's geographical, the desire of others over gas lines across it, the conflict in the region and disagreement on the US charts was the reason for the destruction of Syria by Islamist terrorism.

  15. So Mohamad Rahmoun gives us another individual account on how wonderful Assad is. Sorry - the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Physicians for Social Responsibility all have reported Assad's war crimes.

    And Assad's Electronic Army continues to give us the myth that Syria under Assad is wonderful and the uprising is only foreign terrorists.

    Sorry, I will trust the international human rights organizations over these individuals' fantasies about Syria.

    1. You rely on Amnesty International to give good information? They helped perpetrate the fraud of the Iraqi Army throwing babies out of Kuwait incubators. The so-called wronged woman turns out to be the daughter of the ambassador of Kuwait to the US. A.I. and the others have also perpetrated fraudulent information about Venezuela and Cuba. IMO, John is more credible than any of those NGOs that mostly support the US Empire and its crimes. A.I. is also now running a campaign to support "johns" and "pimps."

  16. I also don't really trust people who hide behind "handles."


    1. You would trust them if you met them, many have to use handles as "Jan/Janice and "John" have relentlessly attacked anyone that questions their sources and truthfulness, causing lots of issues within the Syrian community. But alias we have survived 6,000 years and will continue long after John and Jan are around. These so - called activists have a lot of critics that they cannot handle a sane debate with their defense is to attack the person not the argument.

  17. You have been one of my heroes for years. Do you know any pro-revolution Syrians? Talk with them. Talk with the Assad supporters. Make up your own mind.

    The pro-revolution Syrians are furious with Obama because he never gave them much support. He blocked Saudi Arabia from giving them manpads so that they could shoot down Assad's planes that have been bombing them for almost 4 years.

    So throw AI out the window over one story? So all the UN, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Social Responsibility, AI reports for 4 years are complete lies????? Assad is actually a good guy defending his country??????

    Did you look at the fb page of Shahe Mihran Seraydarian, who John describes as one of the kindest people he's ever met? Read through that fb page and tell me Mesler is telling the truth.

    1. PA, there is so little content in what you post, like a broken record, over and over. Who pays you to post under a handle?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Never Again, another professional troll like the laughably named PeaceActivist.

  19. No more laughable than Jan Fearing aka Janice Kortkamp labeling herself an Independent journalist and researcher. She largely gets her information from non governmental sources who are giving her an opinion rather than fact. These so called peace activists for Syria especially these two Americans are pathetic individuals that feel important on "social media" gathering thumbs up on their photos but the truth is they never have promoted peace or activism in their own communities. It's easy to be an image or get attention on social media, that is the beauty of the Internet. They offer nothing of substance for Syria or her people except photos and isolating the Syrian online community with harming Syrians and targeting the ones that question their sources (unreliable) and falsehoods. Can't wait to never see these names again, wait they will move on to the next crisis in the world and keep their nose out of our business and fix their own miserable lives. #YankeeGoHome

  20. BillN i suppose you are not a professional troll blindly following 2, screwballs like John and Jan around like they are some sort of experts on Syria? Geez neither of them have any education beyond 12th grade or have accomplished a dam thing in their community, their platform is social media'promoting themselves virtually as something they are not. Not all syrians are fooled in fact the majority of their followers are non Syrian, if you question their credibility they start with the smack down of you and sarcasm. Look at John ? Just look at him? Ask him about his so called "hollywood connections" cough cough. He couldn't even edit this horsehit story very well, asking several Syrians for help then turning on them later like a rabid dirty dog. For that, and other reasons Johnny boy was unable to obtain a visa into Syria this last year. Go ahead Cindy print this and see if its not the truth, even Mufti Hassoun wouldn't and couldn't pull strings for this jackass.

  21. As far as a visa in 2016? The SAA had been hit hard by the US proxies near Dier Ezzor in Sept. ,2016. I simply couldn't wait another week as I had obligations back home. I WAS granted a visa. But still- I wish you all the best.

  22. Intibah, even though your comments have very little to do with Syria I'll shoot down what little credibility you have left in one shot. Check out the songwriters credits in the Dennis Hopper 1993 movie, Chasers. You'll see Jim Lauderdale and I wrote Lucky 13. We also had a song, "Honky Tonk Haze" licensed for the TV series "Breaking Bad". Despite your trying to discredit me I still wish you well. And Viva Syria!!!

    1. By te way- Everything I wrote in this story is true and anyone following the events are seeing just that. The Syrian Army -with the help of Russia- has been knocking the US proxy terrorists back. Even Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard went to Syria and witnessed exactly the same things I wrote about 2 years ago. Google her bill -608. It asks that the US stop supplying the terrorists such as Nusra, al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and ISIS with arms, training and money. Because the government works for the corporations and NOT THE PEOPLE only 14 of the 535 members of congress support her bill-(Both senate and congress). Because of that ,Trump ended our arms and money flow to terrorists in late August, 2016. Thank you. I stand by what I wrote 2 years ago. And my suppoperters ARE the citizens of Syria- In Syria! Thank you

  23. The ASSad Regime has been on America's State Terrorist List since 1979 - go ahead and support ASSad - throw your own life away to align with today's Hitler - Caesar's Act has passed and the law will catch up with you for enabling WAR CRIMES.


Please limit your comments to the content of the posts---not your self-perceived, self-righteous, personal opinions of the authors/activists who post at this blog. Personal attacks, or threats of violence will not be posted....moderator.