Page:A short guide to Syria (1943).djvu/5
job is to make friends for your cause — because this is a war of ideas, just as much as of tanks, planes and guns.
You're here to prevent Hitler from taking over this strategic land. He's tried once and probably will again. That's why the Free French and the British occupied Syria in July 1941.
Under the League of Nations, France was given a mandate over Syria after World War I. When France surrendered in World War II, German "tourists" began to filter into the desert. Then the British and Free French acted to protect the oil fields and pipe lines and guard this "land bridge" to Asia.
Your coming will be welcome to Syrians. In fact, at the end of the last war, Syria sought to be placed under American mandate protection. And, too, many Syrians have been educated at the American University at Beirut. So, you are in a friendly country and you won't have much trouble making friends, if you use ordinary horse sense in your dealings with the people of this land. But, with the best intentions in the world, you're likely to make serious mistakes, if you don't learn a little something about Syrians and their ways of doing things. This pamphlet will help to give you a quick picture of Syria which may make it easier to get along.
This is a War Of Ideas. One of the ways to beat the Axis in Syria, and in other parts of the Moslem world, is to convince the people that the United Nations are their friends. From the outbreak of this war, Axis nations have tried, through their propaganda machines, to kindle a religious war of Moslems against Christians. They hoped to spread a fire of hate from Turkey and Arabia all the way across the North African coast. Their plans have failed because the Moslems, deeply religious, know that the Nazi return to heathenism is a threat to their religion, as well as to others.
By showing your understanding of Moslem character and custom, by your own conduct in your relations with the Syrian people, you can maintain the good reputation that Americans already enjoy. And you can, in a very effective way, take the poison out of Nazi propaganda.