Veterans Today had a four man contingent attending this conference, including two of the top five counter terrorism experts in the world, the first time that people of this caliber had attended such an event in a country under attack like Syria. They knew from websites and our articles on NEO that we would bring some surprises, and we did not disappoint them.
Getting there was a chore, with the 20 to 25-hour flight times to Beirut in cramped airline seating and layovers in Spartan airport facilities. As we were being shuttled to Damascus that evening, we did not have a Lebanon address.
That exposed us to extra grilling by Lebanese officials about the reason for our visit. Our letter of invitation from the Syrian Minister of Justice ended up being our passport through customs and on the road to Damascus with our AK-47 packing drivers.
Syrian immigration had a special reception waiting for us at the border. They were obviously happy to see Americans who were interested in finding a solution to the regime-change madness and were savvy enough to know that the US government would not be thrilled with our attending, as VT has been a long time critic of what we politely call “misguided foreign policy”.
Midnight found us safely at the Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus with extensive perimeter security, as a conference of this type was an obvious major terror attack target. We asked for guns, but their rules did not allow for letting us participate in our own security. We were the last to arrive, not being able to leave families a day earlier on Thanksgiving. We paid extra dues for that by only having a few hours of sleep before the Sunday November 30th opening session.
The US delegation of eight, and about forty other foreign guests joined with several hundred local attendees from all levels of Syrian society except the military who was understandably absent. They were busy fighting a war. Those meetings came after the conference.
Our goal in coming was to give our input on the disaster that the Syrian regime-change fiasco has brought upon the region, something that VT had warned our own Pentagon and political establishment about much earlier. Thus, began our love-hate relationship, where we have been shunned by some part of the administration, but then sought out by others when our warning turned out to be correct.
We wanted to build bridges in Damascus, discover where areas of misunderstanding and poor or no communication had built hurdles to finding a solution to the carnage that is engulfing the region, with NATO estimating that ISIL has 80,000 in its ranks now. And that is no ragtag bunch of looters and kidnappers like the Free Syrian Army had. ISIL is all hard-core Jihadis along with their state-sponsored helpers, something which is a crime in all the countries that are helping them.
Gordon Duff, Col. James Hanke (ret), Mike Harris and I spent our days in Syria in a flurry of conference meetings, interviews and a memorable trip to Syria’s special terrorism court. They actually stopped their normal schedule to tour the international contingent through the various steps of prosecution, from dismissal of charges to conviction.
There were many questions, as Western media has smeared it as a Kangaroo court, with a 97% conviction rate. We discovered quickly what a lie that was, with their statistic on 40% of cases being dismissed for lack of evidence in the first hearing. Those convicted also had appeal rights, plus legal representation. Compared to Guantanamo, it was the Club Med of courts.
One of the highlights for me was the quality of the Imams, as contrasted with the propaganda we constantly get in the West. It reminded me of an unusual video event I did around 2005, when Marine General Douglas Stone was on a speaking tour after his Iraq duty as head of the prison systems, where he instituted a very progressive deprogramming regime for early release, which even included jobs.
General Stone was not only fluent in Arabic, but was also a Koranic scholar, all to the astonishment of his prison charges. The highlight of his talk to the Atlanta Navy League that evening was his dropping the bomb that, “There is no military solution to militant Islam. Only Moderate Islam can defeat the militants, and our job was to figure out how to help them, without undermining them.”
The audience was as stunned as I was to hear a Marine General make such an admission. While the room went dead silent, he repeated it once again to make sure that we got it.
In Syria, I watched General Stone’s foresight being put into action by the Imams, who understood that moderate Islam had to play a key role in countering Western warmonger propagandists that we were engaged in a war with Islam. These holy men realized that new approaches were needed to attack the negative propaganda, as only a broad and united multi-religious front could be an effective counter.
In that regard, they told us they had already begun a program of praying in Christian churches to show solidarity for their both having suffered under the Western and Gulf State, Israeli, and Turkish backers of ISIL. What a breath of fresh air to see eyes opening up to the age old hurdle of getting over the “divide and conquer tactics” that colonialists, past and present, have used to make serious opposition to their exploitation ineffective.
When the various working groups made their final reports, we had Gordon Duff giving the signature presentation while sitting next to our host, the Minister of Justice, Mike Harris, and Colonel Hanke. Yours truly was shooting the video, which has become one of our archival gems.
Gordon had decided to try to break through the conceptual paradigm that “bad countries” and their political systems, be they democratic or autocratic, were the well head for the scourge of destabilization, regime change, and terrorism that has been released upon us. He told the audience that those who they thought were in charge were just lieutenants in what was in reality an ongoing assault by international crime. You could have heard a pin drop. Here are some of Gordon’s words,
“Their motivation is largely economic. They’re a criminal organization, but they’re part of a worldwide criminal organization. And they’re here in your territory, taking your things — your factories, your lives, your people — for the enrichment of a very specific group of people who need to be held to account.
It’s almost as if it’s a police problem. This is crime. This is terrorism that you’re suffering… worldwide crime on a scale we have never seen before. There has never been anything like this.
It is our goal while we’re here to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations within the area to understand Israel’s control of the US, the control of the US by organized crime, and how the US government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.”
Gordon continued on, joined by Colonel Hanke, to describe how Western actors had trained an estimated 3000 Jihadis to a Special Forces operational capability. Our own officers have seen general staff and command school battle tactics being used by ISIL, the fingerprints of ranking US officers, working as contractors. He named two retired US generals involved, General McInerney and Paul Vallely, of the Christian Zionist persuasion, where the end justifies the means.
And, as if this was not enough, he went on to disclose that Veterans Today sources had provided the intelligence to the Pentagon that the Israelis had planted the faked Syrian officers’ conversations of the gas attacks, knowing the NSA would intercept them, thus triggering a US red line for an air attack on Syria.
Agents or a commando team used a standard psyop tactic of placing message transmitters in the vicinity. An Israeli Dolphin sub was caught in shallow waters in the middle of another such operation and sunk by a torpedo dropped from a Syrian helicopter.
Such events are never publicly admitted. Israel’s response was the mini-nuke attack on the big weapons depot outside Damascus a few days later. A frame by frame analysis of the video footage revealed “ball lighting”, which only occurs in a mushroom cloud of a nuclear weapon, a tactical one in this case.
We knew that many at the conference were suspicious of our true motives in attending. We were watched by the Intel agencies of four countries that we spotted, the usual routine of keeping an eye on what the foreign visitors were doing. But they learned they did not have to spy on us to learn what we are about. All they had to do was ask.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.