tv Michael Weiss on ISIS CSPAN November 29, 2015 2:51pm-3:01pm EST
we'll keep you apprised of all develop -- i'll develop an e-mail relationship -- of upcoming events. ty for joining us. have a good night. and there's more pizza. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on instagram. follow us for publishing news, schedule updates and behind the
scenes pictures and video of instagram.com/book underscore tv. >> so i was covering the syria crisis from more or less its inception, the summer of 2011, long before there was any isis presence in syria, or at least an acknowledged, declared presence, and i got to know a lot of the opposition, which in the beginning had been peaceful protesters and activists. when it became an armed rebellion against a assad regime i started to do more reporting from the syrian-turkish border. southern turkey became a barracks for the rebellion in the summer of 2012,rama dab -- ramadan, i went into aleppo as parts of the city, the northeastern quadrants, had been
liberated from the assad regime and spent the night a town about an hour's drive north of aleppo. stayed with a family. the owner of the house was a syrian rebel. spent the night there, so did a few other journalists, and it was extraordinary because i had seen first hand -- it's one thing to open up "the new york times" or turn on cnn and see images broadcast from thousands of miles away but you have to see it for yourself to understand what is the driving force behind this rebellion, and at night these rebels put down their guns, picked up a white glove and garbage bag and were cleaning the rubble from the street because the assad government was bombarding civilian infrastructure. they actually targeted the hospital in the town so that any activist civilians or rebels who were injured or wounded could not be treated. so these guys -- it was
extraordinary. they turned a mosque into a makeshift hospital and brought in equipment and they were treating everybody, pro government militia men and progovernment fighters equally with syrian rebels. i saw that with my own eyes. about five to six months later, the town i stayed in, al back, had gone over to isis. completely taken over. the house i stayed in is now controlled by isis. the family i stayed with fled the country, went into turkey. and so i watched in real time the generation of what start edas a noble and digfully identified rebellion get a brutal government, and like many revolutions, had become sort of almost the parallel image of what it aimed to overthrow or aimed to reject, and my ceo author has san is a sirn national and comes from a town
in the eastern province of syria, the town called abu, kamal. to put this in context, this is a gateway town between syria and iraq which had been a traffic point for al qaeda and iraq, the jihaddist group known as isis. it has a relationship as being kind of juarez to el paso if you like. those who were in texas so you know it's the mexican drug cartels. has san has an extended family network. knows everybody and his family knows everybody in this region. so for the purposes of doing the book we thought we won't write a book about isis unless we can interview guys in isis. you have to understand the nature of an enemy if you have any desire to defeat it. zuo got interviews with fighter tuesday lower ranking levels and even more important than that, their family members. how come a guy -- a 16-year-old boy who is studying chemical
engineering or electrical engineering, wanting to live in the west, decides to cast his lot with a bunch of head-lopping barbarians? what is the driving mechanism behind this? so, the purpose of writing this book is to try to explain, by no means justify but to give an explanation and ant account for the rise -- an account for the rise of this terror army. by last clause now controls a swath of terrain in the middle east roughly the side of great britain. the other purpose is i did a lot of media in june of 2014 when isis stormed mosul, thus inaugurating the coalition war, and the question i kept getting asked on tv was, where did they come from? how did these guys emerge from nowhere? sounds like the most absurd question i ever heard. in the book we say, manage it's 1985 and the viet cong conner southeast asia but they don't call. thes the viet cong.
everybody is saying where did they come from? they're incutable and unknown. isis was al qaeda in iraq from 2003 to -- 2004, really, up until, well, now. they have been a primary target of the united states. and its allies in the region. so they've just changed their branding and their marketing and their strategy has evolved in a very dire and sophisticated manner, which makes them thus all the greater to defeat. a lot of this book is a work of history. we. >> back to the early origins of the terrorist organizations, the founder of the feast, if you like, al star car we, who went into iraq after the coalition campaign in afghanistan -- the pent time in syria and iran and went to iraq and set up this organization. which didn't start as an al qaeda franchise but became one after a series of spectacular terror attacks targeting the united united nat,
the jordannan embassy. we wanted to -- we're all have targets on our back. these guys, if they had their druthers, they would bomb this book festival, fly planes into our buildings, do everything they can to try to humiliate and abase the united states and frankly every civilized country in the world. so this is a broad history but it culminates with very in depth reporting and profiles of essentially who these guys are and what they want, which is maybe even more important. >> you can watch this and other programs online at become tv.org. [inaudible conversations]
hello, hello, hello. welcome. this is the southern festival of book session on the wind and the reads with author wendell pierce. we'll get ready to begin. but a little bit of housekeeping. first of all, welcome to the national public library and thank them so much for hosting the southern festival of book, or one of the hosts. i real appreciate it. this festival depends on individual donations to remain free to the public. please consider donate agent any level that is comfortablor few, you can donate via the app, facebook page, or in person at the headquarters of the festival. the format of the signatures
session will be conversational. we'll have a conversation and then open up the floor with maybe 15 minutes of questions, and please, win you have questions, please come to the center aisle the microphone you see there. the session will end promptly at 1:50. and mr. pierce will be signing books at the signing colonnade on the blast a -- plaza after the session and his books are for sale in the sales area. a portion of those proceed from the book will funds the southern festival only books and humanities tennessee. thank you. ...