Who is Mother Agnes?

by Stanley Heller

Update Nov. 28. Brian Slocock has more on Mother Agnes, much of which provides more detail about the charges below, and which also discusses her ties to 9/11 Truthers like Thierry Meyssan, and Webster Tarpley

and watch here as Mother Agnes advises NGO's not to aid refugees in camps outside Syria because "to supply outside syria means to supply weapons, those aids will buy weapons because in many camps there are the families of the fighters in Syria."

Nov. 23, 2013. A week ago Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones announced they would refuse to attened the anti-war forum organized by the British group "Stop the War Coalition" if Mother Agnes were to also appear on the platform. Eventually she pulled out of the event. Some on the Left have accused Scahill of "bullying".

So who is Mother Agnes and why is she controversial?

Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix is a Lebanese who has been living in Syria for 19 years. She was quoted in the media as saying the Houla massacre was committed by the rebels. She got worldwide attention for claiming that the videos of chemical attacks that killed hundreds of people under siege outside of Damascus were faked. She claimed that the children seemd "sleeping" or under anesthesia. (As if the rebels were so well equipped with anesthesia that they'd use it for a propaganda video or that parents would risk their children's lives by putting them under anesthesia). Human Rights Watch disputed her claims. Syrian Christian for Peace alleges she is an "agent" for Assad.

Four Other Troubling Aspects of Mother Agnes

1. Mother Agnes says she's a "lover of Israel". She said this in an interview about Syria with the excellent Ha'aretz journalist and columnist Gideon Levy.

2. The Wife of a Murdered Journalist Claims Agnes was Part of the Plot that Killed Him.

Without dispute she arranged the trip to Homs where the French journalist was killed. It's mentioned here in an article by the Committee to Protect Journalists. and here. Agnes helped arrange the trip to Homs. The wife of the journalist claims government forces killed him and that Sister Agnes was part of the plot

3. A Respected Jesuit Father Claims Her "Movement" Doesn't Exist

This is a comment about Agnes from the well regarded Italian Jesuit priest Father Paolo Dall'Oglio who has since been kidnapped probably by the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant". It came from an interview with Father Paolo Dall'Oglio by Antonella Vicini translated on this site.

Q. by Vicini: In recent days, however, there was a complaint by Mother Agnes Mariam
(Carmelite and superior of the Deir Mar Yocoub monastery of Qara, known to be very critical of the rebels, ed. note) in this regard.

A. by Dall'Oglio: Mother Agnes knows how to dose the words and she is only, I repeat and I emphasise, the (able) clerical expression of the deceitful manipulation action of the Syrian regime. Mother Agnes is a self-proclaimed leader of a movement that does not exist on the ground, Musalaha (Reconciliation, ed note), and it is a real problem because for her interpretation of the facts is always selective and one-sided: that the revolution is terrorism!

Johanna Rivera, who studied at the University of Connecticut spoke to Father Dall'oglio last winter (scroll down in her article to see reference)

4. Mother Agnes Role in Arranging an Evacuation

Here she speaks to an interviewer at the far rightist Lyndon LaRouche institute doing an interview with her this month: She talks about her role in arranging an evacuation of rebel civilians under siege, but here's a very negative evaluation of Mother Agnes role in the evacuation of an area, admittedly from a very anti-Assad site

It's hard to know the truth about these claims and counter-claims, but shouldn't the Red Cross should be doing the coordination, not this very suspect person?

On the other hand Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead O'Connor Appeared with Mother Agnes in London at the end of November.