Here are excerpts from the interview:
Interviewer:Â You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?
Father Daniel:Â â€œThe idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. Iâ€™ve been in Qara since 2010 andÂ I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people.Â That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people.Â While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.
Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular stateÂ in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully.Â There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good.Â It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.â€
Now, before you declare this as a lie realize that this has happened before. In the aftermath of the Iraq War extremists groups did this very thing. They committed countless acts of terror and sparked a civil war that decimated the country.
Interviewer:Â Mother AgnÃ¨s-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub (â€œSaint Jacobâ€) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.
Father Daniel:Â â€œMother AgnÃ¨s-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look,Â it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assadâ€™s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.
When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists.Â Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: â€œThis country belongs to us now.â€ Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.â€
This response checks out as well. Assad has been a huge protector of Christians and his civilians since his time in power. He ran a secular regime that kept extremismÂ from brutalizing non-Muslims in the region.
Interviewer:Â You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assadâ€™s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.
Father Daniel:Â â€œDo you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time?Â They have sold pure nonsense about Assad. It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed.Â Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin?Â It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.â€
Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed.Â Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.â€
Now the first part of his comment is debatable. From what we have seen from the MSM Syrian refugees were anti-Assad but we also don’t know much about the ones being interviewed. The rest of what he says is verifiable fact. We know that Syria is oil rich and that a lot of money can be made to control it. We know that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are actively pushing for a Sunni state under strict Islamic law. We also know that moderate Muslims and Christians have no issue coexisting. It is when either side becomes radicalized that bad things happen. The most heartbreaking part of this is the fact that our own government has played a role in supplying these Rebels. These Rebels have used that to kill innocent civilians across Syria and Libya.
Interviewer:Â You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a “devil in holy water,” because as Secretary of State she deliberately worsened the conflict.
Father Daniel:Â â€œI am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands:Â That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americansâ€™ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.
What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants?Â If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putinâ€™s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.â€
His comments on Hilary are nothing exciting. We already know when she is involved bad things happen. What is interesting is his comments on Trump. He talks about how much he likes his plan for Syria and how the future looks bright. This mindset may have changed after the bomb parade Trump released on Syria.
Interviewer:Â You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?
Father Daniel:Â â€œI speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing:Â The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.â€
Many journalists just transcribe what the government tells them. Many journalists do nothing but report what people of power want them to believe. They are used as a propaganda machine for the people who control them. It is time for Journalism to hold itself up to the standard of the truth, to go beyond what we see on first glance. To research into things that are considered “conspiracy theories”. To go where others dare not too.
This interview with Father Daniel is important. He is someone who has a great vantage point on the Syrian Crisis. He not only sees the suffering but he is able to look at the big picture. He knows what these Rebels stand for, He knows who the real bad guys are. We need to listen to him.