Hands Off Syria rally (Saturday, August 31st, 2013)

God bless the people of Syria!

God protect the people of Syria!

Lord, have mercy on the people of Syria!

I don’t care if you’re Christian or Muslim or Jew – you can join me in this prayer.

I don’t care if you’re Buddhist or Hindu or an Atheist – you can join me in this prayer.

God have mercy upon the people of Syria, because we’re not going to get any mercy from the US military!

America certainly isn’t showing any mercy as they wind up their military machine, ready to spread death and destruction! There’s no mercy there!

We grieve the many dead and suffering and homeless across our beloved Syria, as we grieve those who have been victims of apparent gas attacks, but the idea that the suffering of these people should be used as a basis to cause further death and suffering would be laughable if it were not so heart-breaking!

And we have been here before. We have not forgotten the spectre of weapons of mass destruction that functioned as an excuse to invade and destroy the country of Iraq! We know it was a lie.
We always knew it was a lie. And now … one million dead Iraqi human beings later, everybody acknowledges that it was a lie.

And now we face another lie, and so we face the terrible prospect of the death of another million human beings (perhaps two million, perhaps ten) this time in our beloved Syria! God, have mercy!

And it’s all done in the name of democracy. It’s all done out of humanitarian concern for the people. And so the great leaders of the world discuss amongst themselves what is best for the people of Syria, and the only persons missing from the conversation are the Syrian people themselves!

The Syrian people do not want this ‘lethal aid’, and it’s about time that those who claim to want to help the people of Syria actually ask the Syrian people what they want because, according to the only statistics we have, it seems that the vast majority of Syrian people want Bashar Al-Assad to stay right where he is! And I’m not convinced that that’s because everyone in Syria loves him but because the vast majority of Syrians realise that the alternatives are far worse!

When I was in Damascus recently a Syrian woman asked me “why do you have hope?”Why do you have hope?”, she asked, “for there is no hope.” I said to her that I had hope (as I continue to have hope) for two reasons – firstly, because I have faith in God, and secondly because I have faith in the Syrian people.

The Syrian people can work this out. They don’t need us to help in the blood-letting. They Syrian people are a sophisticated and noble people and they can work this through if we will give them room to do so.

Of course we can help. We can help in lots of ways. We can increase humanitarian aid. We can give real support to the million and more refugees. We can give support and encouragement to grass-roots peace organisations like Mussalaha that promote dialogue instead of violence, and we can pray. But God stay the hand of the American military machine before it unleashes hell on the poor people of Syria and turns the entire Middle East into a raging inferno.

A friend of mine texted me from Damascus this morning. She said “War is knocking on our door. It looks like it’s going to be a horrible week. I hope we see each other again”.

God save us from this ‘horrible week’. God protect the people of Syria. May God have mercy on us all! Enshallah.

About Father Dave

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four
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