Coffee House

Mother Agnes has pulled out of the Stop the War conference. And yet she would have fitted in so well

18 November 2013

11:30 AM

18 November 2013

11:30 AM

The Stop the War Coalition is a curious organisation. It isn’t so much opposed to war as has accrued a sorry reputation for supporting the other side in every conflict it has pretended to oppose.

Whereas at one time you would be barred from speaking-platforms if you supported a fascist regime, because of the peculiarities of anti-imperialist politics you are likely today to receive top billing at a StWC event not in spite of your atrocious politics but because of them – so long as you are sufficiently bien pensant about United States foreign policy.

In this respect, Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix fitted the bill to a tee. A Catholic nun working in Syria who describes herself as an advocate of peace and reconciliation, Our Lady was due to speak at the Stoppers’ annual conference later this month. She withdrew over the weekend, however, after a storm of protest over her pro-Assad take on the Syrian civil war.

[Alt-Text]


Mother Agnes is the Syrian equivalent of one of Hitler’s brown priests. She is on the record as saying that the video of the August 21 sarin gas attack on Ghouta in Damascus by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was staged by the Syrian opposition. In her 50-page dossier on the atrocity, she claimed that the corpses of gassed children that appear in the video were not really corpses at all, but rather ‘seem mostly sleeping’ and ‘under anaesthesia’. Mother Agnes told me:

‘Vidéos no. 1-6-11-13 and others related are fake, staged and prefabricated. Saying this I do NOT incriminate anybody and do not innocent anybody. I have no expertise in the matter of chemical attacks but in the videos that are proposed to our visioning I have detected sufficient evidences, especially that some victims are children abducted from the Lattakia mountains.’

In other words, Mother Agnes is at best a crackpot and at worst an apologist for one of Assad’s worst atrocities. As Peter Bouckaer of Human Rights Watch put it, ‘There’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes’ and ‘no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated’.

The fact that a Ba’athist nun was on the roster for a far-left anti-war conference would scarcely matter if the Stoppers weren’t continually lent respectability by the mainstream. To his credit, Independent columnist Owen Jones pulled out of the conference after learning that Mother Agnes would be appearing; but other speakers were less discerning, with former Shadow Minister Diane Abbott, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbin and Guardian columnist Seumas Milne all still due to appear alongside Our Lady as of the weekend — despite Mother Agnes’s pronouncements on Syria being widely circulated.

The real question is why any respectable person would think it ok to appear at a Stop the War event in the first place. In inviting Mother Agnes to speak the Stoppers were simply sticking faithfully to their own ‘anti-imperialist’ worldview — hence why the organisers still see nothing wrong in having selected her as a speaker. It was after all the organisation’s National Officer John Rees who once wrote: ‘Socialists should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if the people who run the oppressed country are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein.’

It isn’t just Rees, either. As Andrew Gilligan reported in August, Stop the War’s Vice-President is Kamal Majid, the founder of the something predictably execrable called the ‘Stalin Society’. Majid last year described the Assads as rulers ‘with a long history of resisting imperialism’ who must be supported ‘because their defeat will pave the way for a pro-Western and pro-US regime’.

The Stop the War Coalition are not anti-war; they are a malevolent Leninist front whose leadership has a long record of lining up alongside any movement or tyranny that is sufficiently anti-Western. Mother Agnes would have fitted in very well.

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Show comments
  • GavinSealey

    The West’s Ghouta narrative has also been challenged by distinguished American journalist, Seymour Hersh:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/4/7/sy_hersh_reveals_potential_turkish_role

  • GavinSealey

    Mother Mariam continues her good work in Syria:

    http://sana.sy/en/?p=69164

  • Jim C. Kubik

    لن……. نرضى
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    إن مانواجهه لأمر خطير يبعث في النفس الغثيان وفي العقل آلاف الأسئلة هل تحولنا الى شلل وعشائر وزعماء طوائف وأمراء حروب هل اندفعنا بكل مانملك لقيام هذه الثورة متحدين الاجرام والعنف ضد أسرة حاكمة ومافيا تعبث بمقدراتنا لنسلمها رمز جمهوريتنا هكذا بهذه البساطة ونوقع على صك عبوديتنا الى الابدبالتفاوض معها أيها السوريين لقد حانت لحظة الحقيقة وهذه الحقيقة يجب ان يعرفها من تسلط على ثورتنا قبل عدونا
    ان هذه الثورة هي ثورة لكل السوريين الفقراء المظلومين المسحوقين
    لن نرضى ومهما عظمت التضحيات بالتفاوض مع النظام كل النظام ولن نهدء حتى نسحقهم وفكرهم ونزيلهم الى غير رجعة…
    لن نرضى بأي محاصصة طائفية في هذا الوطن ولابتقسيمه
    ان دولة المواطنة هي ماننشد وليست دويلات طائفية أو دولة دينية
    ان المواطن ومهما كان وأيا كان هو هدف الدولة وهوأسهاوهذا مايجب أن نعمل عليه جميعا

    لا لكل نية في الانفصال من أي مكون كان لاننا سنتحول لمحاربته والقضاء عليه وعلى حلمه العفن
    أيها المعارضين اتقوا ربكم في أهلكم وشعبكم وتوبوا الى شعب عظيم يقبل توبة التائبين

  • Jim C. Kubik

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=547019795372028&set=t.100002370416002&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash3%2F1240442_547019795372028_1895341322_n.jpg&size=720%2C540 To most of the commentators~ STFU ~ Syrian’s will indeed decide what is next. Not anyone that support’s the illegitimate Assad regime,or any exterior org. that has entered Syria. Your attempts to divert,divide,and delve into an ethos of fear,destruction, or stealing the future of Syrian’s will fail.

  • chan chan

    She looks like Eric Idle in ‘Life of Brian’.

  • Toby Esterházy

    When did all the Hasbara operatives and the Christian Zionists suddenly come out of the woodwork?

  • Gareth Stone
  • Hereford Cow

    “malevolent Leninist front” – don’t you mean “malevolent Stalinist front”? Important difference….

  • ram2009

    Whatever is said and done, Christianity will disappear from Britain before it does from Syria, and we won’t be able to blame the accursed Saudis for that.

    • Owen Price

      Who cares?

  • Sean Lamb

    “Mother Agnes is the Syrian equivalent of one of Hitler’s brown priests.
    She is on the record as saying that the video of the August 21 sarin gas
    attack on Ghouta in Damascus by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was
    staged by the Syrian opposition.”

    She is not the only one saying that.
    Poms do make greater haters.

  • lukeweyland

    Stop the War Coalition (Whether in Australia of UK). It welcomes all people regardless of creed( if any) , political affiliation (if any), gender, nationality, ethnicity, age etc who want an end to war.

    • Owen Price

      Seems straight-up to me. A lot more decent than the hateful, public school invective laced throughout this turd of an article.

  • sohoscribbler

    Open Letter to the Stop The War Coalition (StWC)

    News recently broke that Stop the War Coalition (StWC) invited Mother Superior Agnès Mariam de la Croix to speak at its November 30 International Anti-War Conference. Fellow guests included MPs Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn and journalists Owen Jones and Jeremy Scahill.

    Responding to a firestorm of protest, Jones and Scahill vowed to boycott the event if the Syrian-based nun spoke alongside them. Eventually she decided to “withdraw” from the conference and StWC issued a statement without explanation. Nor did it divulge why anyone would object to a Syrian cleric’s participation in an ostensibly pro-peace event.

    Here are some reasons why we consider Mother Agnès-Mariam’s inclusion in an anti-war event to be a “red line” for opponents of conflict. Despite contrary claims, she is a partisan to—rather than a neutral observer of—the war in Syria.

    Mother Agnès claimed that the Syrian opposition faked films of Bashar al-Assad’s 21 August 2013 sarin-gas attack on Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus. In her 50-page dossier on the horrible events of that fateful morning, she wrote that the dead, gassed children documented in those videos “seem mostly sleeping” and “under anaesthesia.”

    According to Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a Jesuit priest exiled by the Assad regime for speaking out against its suppression of peaceful protests and currently a prisoner of al-Qa’ida’s Syrian affiliate, ISIS, Mother Agnes “has been consistent in assuming and spreading the lies of the regime, and promoting it through the power of her religious persona. She knows how to cover up the brutality of the regime”.

    Moreover, Syrian Christians for Peace have denounced Mother Agnès for claiming there had never been a single peaceful demonstration in Syria. They also accused her of failing to disburse any of the money she raised in the name of their beleaguered community. They have asked “that she be excommunicated and prevented from speaking in the name of the Order of Carmelites.”

    Having a massacre denier and apologist for war criminals like Mother Agnès speak alongside respected journalists such as Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones is not only an insult to them and their principles. It is also, more insidiously, a means of exploiting their credibility and moral authority to bolster hers, both of which are non-existent. No journalist should be sharing a platform with Agnès when she stands accused of being complicit in the death of French journalist Gilles Jacquier by his widow and a colleague who accompanied him into Homs during the trip arranged by Mother Agnès in January 2012.

    Given that her UK speaking tour is still scheduled to last from the 21st to 30th November we feel compelled to express our profound and principled objections to those who give a platform to a woman condemned by Syrian pro-peace Christians for greasing the skids of the regime’s war machine.

    Prof. Gilbert Achcar, SOAS
    Assaad al-Achi, Local Coordination Committees in Syria
    Rime Allaf, Syrian writer
    Omar al-Assil, Syrian Non-Violence Movement
    Hussam Ayloush, Chairman, Syrian American Council
    Noor Barotchi, Bradford Syria Solidarity
    James Bloodworth, Journalist
    Mark Boothroyd, International Socialist Network
    Kat Burdon-Manley, International Socialist Network
    Clara Connolly, Human Rights lawyer
    Paul Conroy, photojournalist
    Donnacha DeLong, National Union of Journalists
    Hannah Elsisi, Egyptian Revolutionary Socialist
    Raed Fares, Head of Kafranabel Media Centre
    Naomi Foyle, writer and co-ordinator of British Writers in Support of Palestine
    Razan Ghazzawi, Syrian blogger and activist
    Christine Gilmore, Leeds Friends of Syria
    Golan Haji, poet and translator
    Marcus Halaby, staff writer, Workers Power
    Sam Charles Hamad, activist
    Nebal Istanbouly, Office Manager of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SOC) in the UK
    Tehmina Kazi, human rights activist
    Ghalia Kabbani, Syrian journalist and writer
    Khaled Khalifa, Syrian writer
    Malik Little, blogger
    Amer Scott Masri, Scotland4Syria
    Margaret McAdam, Unite Casa Branch NW567 (pc)
    Yassir Munif, sociologist and activist
    Tom Mycock, shop steward, Unite EM/LE23 branch (pc)
    Mariam Namazie, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
    Tim Nelson, Unison Shop Steward (pc)
    Louis Proyect, Counterpunch contributor
    Martin Ralph, VP Liverpool TUC (pc)
    Ruth Riegler, co-founder of Radio Free Syria, Syrian International Media Alliance
    Mary Rizzo, activist, translator and blogger
    Christopher Roche and Dima Albadra, Bath Solidarity
    Walid Saffour, Representative of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SOC) in the UK
    Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space
    David St Vincent, contributing writer and editor, National Geographic Books
    Reem Salahi, civil rights lawyer
    Salim Salamah, Palestinian blogger
    Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Syrian writer
    Richard Seymour, author
    Bina Shah, author and contributor to the International New York Times
    Leila Shrooms, founding member of Tahrir-ICN
    Luke Staunton, International Socialist Network
    KD Tait, National Secretary, Workers Power
    Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
    Paris Thompson, International Socialist Network
    Hassan Walid, Anas el-Khani and Abdulwahab Sayyed Omar, British Solidarity for Syria
    Robin Yassin-Kassab, author and co-editor of Critical Muslim
    Qusai Zakariya, activist from Moadamiyeh, Syria
    Nisreen al-Zaraee and Wisam al-Hamoui. Freedom Days
    Tasneem al-Zeer, activist
    Razan Zeitouneh, human rights lawyer
    Abdulaziz Almachi, Media Committee of the Syrian Community in the UK.
    Mark A. Lause, Professor, Department of History, University of Cincinnati
    Michael Karadjis, teacher University of Western Sydney, writer and blogger
    Danielle Laurent , human rights activist
    Alia Al Khattab , Syrian activist and volunteer at Hand in Hand for Syria
    Cort Greene
    Stephen R. Shalom, New Politics

  • the viceroy’s gin

    …and to expand on the new lows plumbed by you Speccie teenagers, I’d refer you kids to the caption you lot have posted on your photograph of Mother Agnes, on the front page of this blogsite, where you caption: Syria’s version of Hitler’s “Brown Priests’

    So you miserable cretins are comparing this woman, Mother Agnes, to the Nazis, is that it?

    It’s necessary that readers are so often required to overlook the lack of a proper education, and any real experience with the real world, that you Speccie teenagers so often exhibit. You simply don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t even know that you don’t know. Most of us accept that. You kids make that a necessity.

    However, periodically it must be pointed out that your ignorance isn’t always to be overlooked, and it must be tagged as the moral depravity it is. Ignorance cannot be accepted in its totality, and you really should learn that.

    Please remove that caption, you cretins.

    • Dee

      The moral depravity of ignorance indeed.

      James Bloodworth take note : You are a cretin of the lowest moral, intellectual and spiritual order.
      Mother Agnes aside – what of Carla Del Ponte’s report to UN about the Wahhabi savages using gas long before Ghouta.

  • alabenn

    ‘There’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes’ and ‘no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated’
    There is no evidence they were not fabricated and her claims that it was others who used the chemical weapons are probably as valid as any claim by anyone involved in this internal spat in Syria.
    There is not an inhabitant in the Middle East that anyone could truly believe when in normal times, let alone when they are busy massacring each other.
    Still while they are at each others throats, they are to busy to be cutting heads off in London.

    • Dee

      Well before Ghouta, Carla del Ponte was presenting findings of the Wahhabi savages using gas. Of course that report was just conveniently buried …..

  • Owen Price

    What an awfully unbalanced article. I am not aware of any concrete evidence linking the assad regime to the chemical attack on August 21st and neither are you. If there were, there is no way Cameron’s motion for military action against Syria would have been blocked. Cameron’s speech was littered with phrases such as ‘you have to make a judgement.’ So, it is by no means outside of mainstream thinking to question the American version of events and these individuals should not be considered ‘crackpots’ or ‘Assad apolgists’ for doing so. For me, sympathising with American imperialist policies that have resulted in the bombing and deaths of 12-15 million innocent civillians since 1945 is by far the more controversial position.

  • Penny

    James – perhaps you should have provided a link to the 50-page dossier so that readers could, if they wanted, see it for themselves? When it appeared on the internet I only had time to skim-read the report and have absolutely no idea who Mother Agnes is so I’m not equipped to make any sweeping judgements. That said, she did produce two photos (not videos) of the same children – presumably dead – but photographed in two different locations. This same-children-different-location suggests fakery so I’m not sure she’s as altogether as crackpot as you suggest.

    If they’re faked we don’t, of course, know who’s to blame but I do think this – and other photos we’ve seen that have been found to be faked – points to a need to count to ten before judging.

  • paulthorgan

    From their website:

    “Stop the War was founded in September 2001, in the weeks following 9/11 when George W. Bush announced the “war on terror”.”

    So the bodies had barely been recovered, no US boots were on the ground in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Bin Laden was taking all the credit and these socialist perverts wanted the USA to do nothing about this unprovoked act of war.

    The worst part is that they are taken so seriously. They are simply knee-jerk socialists who didn’t get over the collapse of the USSR and had to find another outlet for their irrational and bigoted anti-Americanism.

    Can people (I.e. journalists) just ignore these Flat Earth jokers and starve them of the oxygen of publicity?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Actually, I’m thinking it would be more appropriate that people ignore jokers like the one who drafted this blogpost, attacking this Mother Agnes woman. It is a disgrace that such an attack is headlined in any publication declaiming itself as respectable.

      You Speccie teenagers have reached another new low. Congratulations.

      • paulthorgan

        Not sure you are making a point here, other than your vigorous self-preening on how virtuous you see yourself as being.

        Hopefully you have a box of Kleenex handy.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, you would miss the point, wouldn’t you?

          • paulthorgan

            More self-preening.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …self-preening would provide more than your emptiness, lad.

              • paulthorgan

                Only in your opinion.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, something is more than nothing, lad.

    • Owen Price

      Yawn.

    • Owen Spedding

      I don’t agree with starving them of the oxygen of publicity – arguments are not won by forcing your opponent to be silent. To twist Maggie’s metaphor let them burn up in the oxygen. Trouble is they currently get to exist in this very advantageous place where their media-message typically goes no further than their name: ‘Stop Wars, that sounds marvellous !!’.

      They need a re-branding: ‘Stop the War (on Islamo-fascists) Coalition’, ‘Stop the (possibility of true democracy but instead return to a slow and quiet grinding) War (on any political opposition) Coalition’.

      • paulthorgan

        “arguments are not won by forcing your opponent to be silent.”

        Actually they are. Witness the socialists accusing anyone who wanted a proper debate on immigration of being a racist. That shut down the argument for about 30 years.

        ” To twist Maggie’s metaphor let them burn up in the oxygen.”

        This does not work if the oxygen suppliers are the BBC and Channel 4 and they have an infinite supply of oxygen.

        ” Trouble is they currently get to exist in this very advantageous place where their media-message typically goes no further than their name: ‘Stop Wars, that sounds marvellous !!’.”

        It is advantageous because it appeals to those who are undereducated and also those who have an ulterior socialist agenda.

        “They need a re-branding”

        Yes. Call them what they are. Socialists without a cause now that the collapse of the USSR has disproved socialism. Or History’s Losers for short.

        • Owen Spedding

          Arguments are postponed but not won.

          I agree the oxygen is not there with the BBC – I never watch C4 news so I’ll take your word for it. ‘All political points-of-view’ TV has failed in the UK and BBCs dominance is dangerous to free speech. People in the UK are snotty about US Fox News but ignore the numerous left-leaning (and honest about it) channels that exist in the US. It is ridiculous that I am not permitted to see a news item that views news from a particular political stance so have to read a newspaper/website for opinion – surely there is room for diversity of opinion on TV – there are more than 4 channels.

    • https://twitter.com/merlov1 Rhoderick Gates

      “and these socialist perverts wanted the USA to do nothing about this unprovoked act of war” Wrong on both counts. Extradition and 9/11 was an act of crime, was my position. It’s not fair to just make sweeping claims like this, you know.

      • paulthorgan

        “Extradition and 9/11 was an act of crime, was my position.”

        This is not actually English.

        • https://twitter.com/merlov1 Rhoderick Gates

          Pursuing extradition of Bin Laden, instead of invasion, was my position on Afghanistan. And that 9/11 was an act of crime (terrorism is a crime, after all).

  • darwins beard

    Another reason we should keep the religious out of the political spectrum and let the adults make the policy

  • MakingSense

    As a Syrian Christian, I can tell you that the majority of Syrian Christians would agree with Mother Agnes. Why wont you listen to Syrians? Or at least People living in Syria who can provide first hand accounts of what is happening? I can hook you up with everyday Catholic, Maronite, Antiochian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Evangelical Christians…..Just say when.

    • David Lindsay

      Over to you, Fraser Nelson.

  • rhoderickgates

    “The real question is why any respectable person would think it ok to appear at a Stop the War event in the first place” I was an Edinburgh delegate for the 2006 conference. I was in it to be part of a mass movement to oppose wars of aggression and occupations & war crimes. Not hard to understand, Mr. Bloodworth.

    • darwins beard

      What was the anti war position on Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Bosnia if your anti occupation and anti war crime ?

      • David Lindsay

        Totally against all three of them, and proved right by subsequent, including ongoing, events.

        • Toby Esterházy

          By reviving and maintaining artificial non-nation-states and delaying the inevitable war for another century.

      • rhoderickgates

        STWC didn’t exist at the time.

  • http://5MFI.com David Guy

    Christians in Syria mostly support Assad as the lesser of the two evils. What an upside down world it is when one can say that with a straight face.

    • Paul J

      The planet must have got weird when i find myself rooting for hezbollah, and Putin is left looking like the leader of the free world.

      But I suppose that’s what happens when the west decides to back al qaeda. My opinions haven’t really changed at all. I still think hezbollah are a bunch of hardcore islamo-fascists, and I still think Putin is a gruesome, super-corrupt would-be dictator.

      It’s the policy of the west which has changed, and the MSM. They don’t actually believe the stuff they say they did.

  • Paul J

    Still pumping out the pro-jihadi nonsense, eh?
    Fortunately, the rest of us can see what a catastrophe a rebel victory in Syria would be, and we don’t want it. To think we were a dozen votes from bombing al qaeda into power in Damascus.

    • Andy Salter

      Most of use can see throught the propogander and have seen the truth that al Qaeda is fighting on Assad’s side, killing his FSA and other opponents for him. Truth is, if al Qaeda wasn’t involved the west would of gone in and help remove Assad long ago, so who denifits the most from there involvement?

  • PeteCW

    I’m pretty sure that picture is actually Dennis McShane trying to escape court dressed as a nun.

  • David Lindsay

    Come on, Speccie. Get rid of Murray, a has-been at 34, and give his blog to Mother Agnes. If she is not sufficiently confident in her English, then she could write in French or Arabic and you could run it along with a translation. Come on.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …a fine idea. Maybe she can give you and Joe Biden and Barry Obama some guidance on the sanctity of life.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Oh good Heavens, another essay seems to be coming on…

      • David Lindsay

        Maybe she can?

        This ball is now well and truly in the court of our esteemed Editor.

        Mother Agnes’s monastic institution has a Facebook page here, which even features a telephone number – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monastery-of-Mar-Yakub-St-James-Syria/416458778418179?sk=info

        • the viceroy’s gin

          The “esteemed editor” is a neocon, much like you and the Millipedals and the rest of the LibLabCon clones.

          • David Lindsay

            He gives a perch to Taki, to Freddy Gray, to Ed West who is not quite a neocon, to various others on an occasional basis. So, over to him.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Rest assured, they want to go bombs away somewhere, much like you and the Millipedes.

              • David Lindsay

                Rest assured, the first two, at least, most certainly do not.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The second is a confused dolt, and can’t matter. That leaves your judgement suspect on the others.

  • David Lindsay

    This has been cross-posted on Harry’s Place, and it is getting hardly a better reception there than it is here. Things are not as they were. Thank God.

  • S&A

    ‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’

  • Tom Tom

    James sunshine you should read up more facts and less opinion.

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-bloodworth/38/486/274

    She actually showed that the children in the videos were kidnapped in Latakia about which people with your bias fail to report. That their parents had been executed by Islamists. That relatives recognised these children in videos. It was further reported that Prince Bandar, erstwhile Saudi Resident in Washington and now Chief Thug of Saudi “Intelligence” had been actively staging spectaculars just as Inspectors arrived in Syria. The Turks have captured truckloads of chemical mix on their border. The Iraqis have found “kitchen sarin” in the Sunni strongholds of Iraq. There are Iraqi soldiers trying to stop Sunni insurgents spreading across the Iraqi desert.

    It is always amusing to read your juvenile rantings. As for Adolf Hitler since your schoolboy yearning for the most famous European continues abated, he would romp home in the Euro Elections in May 2014 if he were in a position to stand

  • TRAV1S

    Why is the Spectator publishing this Al Qaeda supporting propaganda?

    • David Lindsay

      Israel is bombing Syria on the Islamist side.

      • Tom Tom

        actually it is firing stand-off missiles from Lebanese air space and providing hospital care to Islamic terrorists in Southern Syria

      • Owen Price

        Bang on David.

        • David Lindsay

          Thank you.

          Even if you choice of phrase is a little unfortunate.

  • The Blue Baron

    The Christians currently living in Syria mostly realise that their only real hope of continued survival inside that country lies with a victory for the Assad regime, or at the very least a denial of victory to the Islamist opposition.

    By most decent standards the Assad regime has been ugly, cruel and oppressive and if I were a Christian living inside Syria I would be backing it to the hilt.

    • StrangerThenRedz

      thats why assads army is hezbollah , IRGC & iraqi militas they will be good to the christians

      • David Lindsay

        By comparison, yes.

        And the Christians know it.

    • David Lindsay

      These days, there are those thing called telephones and Skype. Her institution has a phone, and it probably also has Skype.

      The BBC is hopeless on Syria, but Mother Agnes ought to be on Channel 4 News or Sky News.

      And which MP or Peer is going to invite Mother to speak at the Palace of Westminster?

  • Grant Munn

    Of course she is going to support the Assad regime. Which Christian in that country wouldn’t?

  • Daniel Crowley

    ” She is on the record as saying that the video of the August 21 sarin
    gas attack on Ghouta in Damascus by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was
    staged by the Syrian opposition.”

    So is everyone with an ounce of intelligence -including Rusia and finally the UN. Everyone is wise to what the American CIA folks get up to to de-stableize economic dissenters.
    Nobody actually believes Assad had anything to do with what the ‘rebels'(read: Muslim nutters) did. And how dare she speak out against a war that would see Islamic extremists rounding up Christians and slaughtering them?! What a crackpot she is!

  • David Lindsay

    Still shilling for war in support of the Islamist insurrection in, and invasion of, Syria? I ask you! Saudi money? Did someone mention Saudi money?

    Your mind cannot comprehend the existence of Christians in Syria. If your desired outcome came to pass, then there wouldn’t be any more.

    You have already come close to that in Iraq, and in Syria you are allied to two neighbouring states that were founded on it.

    Of course the rebels staged that attack. Everyone knows that. Enough MPs could see it to stop British intervention there, which had the knock-on effect of staying America’s hand, too.

    But the rebels cannot succeed without such support. So you have already lost. Get over it.

  • In2minds

    The Stoppers, they never got over Tony Benn standing down.

    • Ian Chamberlain

      Tony Benn never did stand down. He’s currently president of Stop the War.

  • SimonToo

    Assad heads the established government of Syria. That country is suffering from a prolonged, vicious insurgency by a variety of groups, a few of whom seem well intentioned but ineffectual while the others, the more prominent ones it seems, hardly present any attractive choice for a replacement regime.

    Assad’s regime may well be very unpleasant but, even if anyone else had to be an improvement on Assad, it seems to be wrong to be giving support, active or tacit, to anyone other than the established government unless they have some prospect of success. At present, none of the opposition actually looks like succeeding, except in reducing the country to chaos and misery. Unless, of course, it is in our policy to reduce the country to bloody chaos regardless of who governs it.

    “Anything must be better than Assad” seems an argument founded in unsupported wishful thinking, with vile consequences for Syrians as a whole.

  • ram2009

    ” She is on the record as saying that the video of the August 21 sarin gas attack on Ghouta in Damascus by the regime of Bashar al-Assad was staged by the Syrian opposition ”

    She is not in the minority. Saudi Arabia which seems to have a hand in every dirty deed in the area has been accused by more than source. Yet the statement above aims to blame the Syrian President.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      We should have withdrawn our support for the Saudis after 9/11. Maybe not whilst people were still leaping to their deaths from the burning buildings, as Michael Moore suggested in his film, but pretty soon afterwards. Instead we first of all invaded Iraq on the Saudis’ behalf and today Cameron and Co seem determined to do everything they can to support this epicentre of Islamic extremism, even as their oil reserves become increasingly irrelevant.

    • callmeback

      The syrian president was never elected like his father before him. He is a decor President anyway. Iran shia militias and death-sqwads from Iran are doing the fighting and are on control of syria.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        So the various strains of islamofascist are killing each other?

        • David Lindsay

          But one of them is also killing everyone else.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Would that be the one you and the Millipedals have historically favored and helped out?

            • David Lindsay

              Give him his due: unlike his brother, he opposed the war in Iraq, even trying to persuade Gordon Brown to resign over it, but Ed Balls, who was in London whereas Ed Miliband was teaching at Harvard, was able to win that one.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Talk is cheap, and means less than nothing. When he had his chance to do something, he and the rest of the Millipedals voted unanimously to go bombs away in Libya, like you neocons always do.

                • David Lindsay

                  It wasn’t unanimous. Almost all of the votes against were cast by Labour MPs. Very few of them. But far more than anyone else managed.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  It was unanimous. A tiny few got lost or were too intoxicated to walk through where you Millipedal neocons wanted them to walk through…. which was the bombs away lobby.

                • David Lindsay

                  Even if that were true, then it still wouldn’t have been unanimous.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The intoxicated don’t count. It was unanimous. You neocons won unanimously.

                • Paul J

                  afV

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The Millipede prevented UKIP from poaching votes from those who despise the type of neocon stupidity the Millipede demonstrated in Libya.

                  Don’t confuse political self serving with principle.

                • McClane

                  Obama backed away because he is a coward. He didn’t need anybody’s support, not from the UK, nor from France, which he got. He just chickened out.

                • David Lindsay

                  He was given pause for thought. And he took it.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and thanks to UKIP for giving him that pause.

                • David Lindsay

                  Yes, I am sure that the name of Nigel Farage is constantly on the lips of the President of the United States. Awestruck, we may have no doubt.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  It doesn’t really much matter what’s on the lips of one of you socialist nutters, including this one. He’s a neocon bomber, much like you, the Millipedes and the rest of the LibLabCon clones.

        • Lech Lechoslaw Trzesowski Tres

          so, that is the good new. Perhaps they will exterminate each other…

      • Lech Lechoslaw Trzesowski Tres

        He was elected, even if you can question legitimacy of such elections in non-democratic societies.

  • HookesLaw

    Stop the world we want to get off.

    There is a lot of that about.

    • David Lindsay

      A majority on the floor of the House of commons, in fact. Leading to an American decision not to intervene, either. Thank God that the world did stop, and that we did all get off. Thank His appointed instruments to that end, Vladimir Putin and Ed Miliband.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        You mean, the same Millipede who went bombs away in Libya shortly before?

        Re Syria, the Millipede found religion, via a UKIP evangelization.

        That was a close one for the Millipedes. Brother Nige was just that close to tagging the whole LibLabCon lot as neocon nutters, which they are, but the Millipede did manage to light a candle that day.

        • David Lindsay

          Where does one even begin? Why bother trying?

          As for Brother Nige, his own party increasingly wants rid of him. But that’s another story.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            In your case, I’d suggest you cease bleating plaintively for the bombs away crowd, neocon nutters all.

            • David Lindsay

              Where does one even begin? Why bother trying?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Again, I’d suggest in your case that you cease bleating plaintively for the bombs away crowd, neocon nutters all.

                • dalai guevara

                  Oh look, and there was I mistaken her for a bloke in a hoody, banned from entering Westpoint or even the Trafford Centre surely.
                  Capitalism excluding the Church – societal implications for Britain. Why not discuss that?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Was there some reason this gibberish was tagged to my post, you leftist kook?

                • dalai guevara

                  Bomb away all hoodies, dude. They do not comply with current anti-terrorists legislation and the latest facial recognition tech. I was merely playing for time for you to get a head start, that’s all.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …and can one of you other leftist kooks translate this kook’s gibberish?

                • dalai guevara

                  Allah is one bombastic xmas sale.
                  No one apart from the British start this nonsense seven (!) weeks before the actual event.
                  I blame it on the lack of stringent religious upbringing.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …not that this gibberish would likely have much value, mind you.

          • S&A

            The only thing that’s ‘trying’ is you, you pretentious little no-mark with delusions of adequacy.

            • David Lindsay

              Touchy, touchy.

              Used to being able to order up wars to be fought by classes (upper, working) and by ethnic groups (Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, non-white) other than your own, and to being able to scream down even the slightest criticism.

              But now finding that it no longer works like that.

              Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …amusing, coming from the socialist nutter conjoined with the neocons voting up those wars.

              • S&A

                Sad little Walt.

                • David Lindsay

                  Touchy, touchy.

                  Used to being able to order up wars to be fought by classes (upper, working) and by ethnic groups (Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, non-white) other than your own, and to being able to scream down even the slightest criticism.

                  But now finding that it no longer works like that.

                  Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      If it’s choice between ‘stop the world we want to get off’ or ‘bomb whoever the Saudis tell us’, give me the former every time.
      Iraq, Libya, Egypt, then Syria. Which relatively moderate country (by the standards of the region) is next on the House of Saud’s list of countries due a heavy dose of Islamic extremism, complete with cannibalism and suicide bombers (all funded by you and me every time you fill up your car)?

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