Counter-terrorism conference in Syria

Walid al-Moallem

The first day of the Counter Terrorism and Religious Extremism Conference has just ended midnight November, 30th as I am proofing this. About sixty foreign participants are attending, including eight from the US, and four of those from Veterans Today, namely Colonel Jim Hanke, along with the Press TV regulars Gordon Duff, Mike Harris and myself. Iran is attending, too… having earned its ticket through its 16,000 terror attack victims, which most American know nothing about.

We had a harrowing ride up from Beirut, where speed is considered a safety enhancement for avoiding problems. The drivers were top notch, but I admit there were times I just closed my eyes, easy to do when you are half asleep anyway.

We arrived in Damascus at midnight after 26 hours of travel and tried to get some sleep before starting this morning with the 240 other delegates from Syria plus guests. There was a big media presence, including Press TV of course, but CNN, Fox News and ABC were not present.

Security was as heavy as when I was here in June for the elections, with the block around the Dama Rose Hotel sealed off. AK-47s are as common site here as English umbrellas on a rainy day in London. The big difference I noticed right away was no shelling in the distance. The army has pushed the terror brigades further back from the city while ISIL continues its big move to carve off northern Syria for its proposed “caliphate,” the one for which there was no election.

The three sessions for today included a wide array of speakers from all segments of Syria, and from some regional countries including Turkey. Its attendees voiced growing concern that Erdogan’s support for the war against Syria is going to spread the militancy to Turkey. Despite its huge and powerful military, it is walking a knife edge by supporting the terror brigades against Assad while pretending to be anti-ISIL. Turkey has been ISIL’s main logistics supply line. We have seen the video to prove it.

I must admit that I was worrying about an extended rehash of material that those of us who have been following the Syria carnage have been living for several years now. The day began with the obligatory short documentary of the slaughter that the Takfiris have inflicted on the Syria people, compliments of the US, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and a few other former colonialist European players. The dead must be honored to not be forgotten.

By the time we got through the first session I could see that the presenters had been aware that bringing so many people in from so far away for a big “review session” would be an unsuccessful conference. There was a general thread and focus to all the speakers’ presentations… “what do we have to do now to put the wooden stake through the heart of the Takfiri werewolves.” Coexistence is not viewed as an option.

I personally feel that the terrorists and their supporters must be counter-attacked from 360 degrees, because the piecemeal approach can be staved off indefinitely as the terror funders will never run out of money. The Persian Gulf state wallets are quite thick, and the Western supporters have taxpayer pockets to pick. I found out today that I was not alone in that thinking.
At the top of the full assault list today was breaking the almost worldwide mass media blackout on what has really happened in Syria regarding the crimes against humanity under the Neo-Americana black flag of regime change, where the end justifies the means. No one reading this is a stranger to that ongoing historical terror.

Since we have no budget to be corporate raiders to buy out the Murdoch media empires of the world, we have to focus on the tools that we do have. The main ones included the alternative media where we have made great gains. Press TV has been clawing its way back out of the sanctions rabbit hole, and Veterans Today has seen a huge growth in its radio audience over the last few months with 5 million viewers a week now.

But many of these current people are the very self-motivated internet hungry truth searchers. We have gotten many of them with a lot of indirect help from mass media, which have been lying to them for so long now that you have to be somewhat comatose to realize they have turned themselves into propaganda of some selected governments, and even non-government bodies.

What we have to do now is the grunt work of building people-to-people bridges to increase awareness of the threat that this Western use of terrorism in its foreign policy is in itself a national security threat to all of us at home. There have been many signs of pre-staging what “they” are planning to do. The PR arms of the various defense and intel orgs have been prepping us through constant mentions of home-grown terrorists returning from their overseas training to duplicate their mayhem at home.

But think about that for a moment. We have been living in total surveillance countries for over a decade now. There seem to be lists for all the suspected homegrown donated terrorists, so what is the big deal about not being able to control them versus those still in the incubator system?

I fear they are making the case to let some through when they want to, and cover themselves by reminding us that they had been warning us about that for years. It’s an old psy-ops scam, one used over and over during the Cold War. Fear has many names, and wears a new cloak whenever needed.

I was also impressed by the religious leaders. They are ready to take the phony Takfiri Muslims on in open combat. And what impressed me more is they have been smart enough to not make this a Muslim-only party. They want a full interfaith outreach to rub shoulders with the other religions.

This is a brilliant and brave idea. It even includes praying in non-traditional Muslim environments, including Christian churches. This is an incredible breakthrough, and it does not require everyone to do it as it is a powerful symbolic act by itself. The old saying “big things often have small beginnings” came to mind to me immediately.

Westerners need to see another side to Islam that Western media have been hiding while it has promoted Muslim fear mongering extensively as that serves their real divide-and-conquer goals. And this also made me remember a video event from my Heritage TV archives.

I had a short notice opportunity about eight years ago to video an unknown Marine general speaking to the Navy League in Atlanta. I am a member of the Military Order of World Wars via my father being a WWII fighter pilot, and we have many Navy League cross members.

The general was a rare bird, starting with being a reserve officer who had a multi-million software development business in California, where he had a ranch on which all of this extended family lived, and where the children all attended an 1800’s-style Western school house, that is after their horse rides to school.

But he was also fluent in Arabic and a Koranic scholar, the only one the Marines had. He had pulled a long tour in Iraq, where he was cleaning up the prison system mess, also interviewing over 2000 jihadis. He also developed a deprogramming process for them and a “no release without getting them a job” program which reduced their recidivism to incredible 10% rate.

He gave the expected Power Point presentation with numbers, graphs and charts. But I have shared this story today because of his closing line he had saved as a shocker to everyone there. He made a big fanfare of stating that the US could never defeat militant Islam with military power alone. The arithmetic simply did not work out, and generals are very good at math.

He said, “Only moderate Islam can defeat militant Islam… and our big challenge is how we can assist them without undermining them.” By that, he was referring to the moderate Islamists not being tagged as puppets of the Western crusaders. The audience was stunned, and he was expecting that. He repeated his punch line again to drive home the message that, “Yes, I really did just say that.”

So that is what those of us who want to help need to keep carefully in mind… about not hurting the effort, as that item can often be overlooked. Step number one is to do the needed liaison work with our Muslim communities to make sure we have a joint approach that has been carefully vetted to avoid the foot in mouth disease.

We are late in the game now. Many have died, the wounded cannot be counted, or even the million of refugees, including those facing their third winter in tents. This is not a time, folks, for the trial-and-error approach. We need to work smarter, and learn from the mistakes of others. The message today was we simply have to do a better job, an honest admission and a good place to start a new beginning.

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