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The Confederate Lawyer
July 8, 2013

Syria
by Charles G. Mills
fitzgerald griffin foundation

Fr. Fr

Fr. Francois Murad (1964-2013), was one of three
Franciscan friars beheaded in Syria on June 23.

GLEN COVE, NY — We are doing everything wrong in Syria. In fact, we are doing everything wrong from North Africa to Pakistan. One consequence of our stupidity is that we find ourselves allied with the killers of the 49-year-old martyr, Father Francois Murad, who was beheaded with two others by rebel Moslems in Syria on June 23.

Father Murad was ordained as a Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land. He was in the process of building a monastery based on pre-Benedictine Coenobitic monasticism, but he moved back in with the Franciscans when his monastery was bombed. There is a graphic video on the internet of his beheading in front of a large, cheering crowd, praising Allah. Father Murad recently sent messages to Archbishop-Archeparch Jacques Behnan Hindo; the priest said that if he was killed, he offered his life for peace in Syria.

 

Syria ...has a dictator who falls short of Western standards but has always protected Christians. ...Syria's Christians warned us against overthrowing him, but we did not listen.

 

Syria has one of the most ancient Christian communities in the world. Its traditions go back all the way to the Apostles. The nation has a dictator who falls short of Western standards but has always protected Christians. At one time, it seemed that he might be overthrown; it is still American policy to overthrow him. Syria's Christians warned us against overthrowing him, but we did not listen. Father Murad is not the only Christian martyr in Syria these days.

Now we have decided to give the anti-government forces some small-bore assault rifles and bayonets to fight against airplanes, tanks, and nerve gas. This is not enough to help the rebels win, or even enough to make them believe Christians are good, but it is enough to put us on the wrong side. All we will achieve is to put ourselves on the losing side, make Syria's Christians wonder what is wrong with us, and alienate a dictator who will probably survive and is already aligned with the crazy ayatollahs in Iran.

The leaders of our foreign policy establishment believe that forcing people to be nice is more important than ensuring religious liberty. They refuse to recognize that we are dealing with wicked people who want a tyrannical, authoritarian, intolerant Islamic empire from Granada and Toledo, to the Congo and Serengeti, to the Danube and Siberia, to Indonesia. Often, the best thing for us to do is to leave dictators who protect Christian liberty alone. Our foreign policy establishment leaders, however, value religious liberty far less than something they call "democracy." Therefore, we overthrow dictators who have a record of protecting religious liberty and bring fanatical Moslems to power who persecute Christians. We do this without thinking either of American interests or of the danger of creating more intolerant Islamic countries.

We are losing the war. This would probably not be true if we left well enough alone. There is a good chance that we will leave the ancient Christian communities in Iraq worse off than we found them. In Afghanistan, we quickly ousted a bunch of Moslem thugs who outlawed teaching girls to read and destroyed ancient art. We left the people better off in some ways, but then we decided to go back; now our soldiers are being shot in the back by our supposed allies, and the old thugs may regain power. In Libya, we may hand another victory to the Moslem extremists. In Egypt, a country rich in ancient Christian communities, we helped to overthrow a religiously diverse government and turn over power to Mohammedan gangs that have launched massive persecutions, killing Christians and burning churches. In Turkey, the ordinary people seem to be flirting with Moslem intolerance, although there are some hopeful signs as well.

Iran, not too long ago, had large Christian, Jewish, Druse, and Zoroastrian populations, and a pro-American monarchy. The Carter administration decided that a lunatic Ayatollah would be better; the Christians, Jews, Druse, and Zoroastrians have all been driven into exile, and mentally unstable Ayatollahs are working on atomic bombs and throwing their weight around in Syria.

 

Often, the best thing for us to do is to leave dictators who protect Christian liberty alone.

The Russians are going to come out of Syria in good shape. A strong Christian Russia run by ex-Communist thugs is not, however, as bad as a strong Soviet Union run by active Communist thugs. Iran is going to be emboldened by our mistakes in Syria, but there is little we can do about that. Iran is a long-term problem that we created when we betrayed our friend, the Shah. Sometimes, we have to learn to not make things worse.

Our Constitution recognizes a distinction between war and peace. We might have left well enough alone if we had preserved that clear distinction. Egyptian and Iranian monarchies and the French Foreign Legion were far better than Moslem fanatics.

We are setting up a very bad world. The victories at Lepanto, Vienna, and Granada were the product of great spiritual armor. This time, unless there is a great moral rearmament of the West, we may not fare so well.

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The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2013 by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com. All rights reserved.

This column may be forwarded, posted, or published if credit is given to Charles Mills and fgfBooks.com.

Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles about the law.

See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.

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