Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Syria's Bad Boy, or...........?

I've often wondered about what kind of man Bashar al-Assad is. 

Yesterday, I was talking to a fellow who said he was from Syria.  I told him he must be upset about the problem there and he said he had no family there but had many friends with whom he keeps in frequent contact. I asked him "Do they hate Assad?"   He smiled and said "They all like him.....the people like Assad, he's not been a bad leader at all....they do not hate him."

I asked him why we in America look at him as a terrible despot and he said "Oil, Israel and other reasons..."

This intrigued me.  I looked around and found this odd and slightly ridiculous bunch of conjecture at opensalon...I continued to Google around and plenty of folks are asking "What's so bad about Assad?" and it's difficult to find much on that.  Odd.  That silly opensalon piece suggests he had his older brother killed in a car crash because the brother was headed to be president instead of him.  As if a guy'd undergo the strenuous medical training to become an opthalmologist when he didn't want to DO it?

It's odd that we don't really know much about this guy....Will we be supporting Al-Qaeda if we fight against Assad?  Are all rebels in Syria Al-Qaeda?  Who knows for sure?  Is Al-Qaeda fighting Assad because he's Westernized Syria?

What do you think of all this?  Please link any facts on what you have on Assad, good or bad.  Let's talk about it........It really surprised me to know someone FROM there who says that about Syria's leader when we're taught to despise him......very odd.
(In the picture above, is Assad waving to his children as they go to school his FOLLOWERS?  Yes, I think he's waving to followers, DO they really like him?)


FreeThinke said...

You new Syrian acquaintance had it right, Z

Oil and Israel -- indeed! What the "other" reasons might be I can't imagine, but this I know and know full well:

Whoever owns and operates the ENEMEDIA (major organs of mass communication including newspapers, news magazines, movies, radio, television, education, owns and operates the US Government and most of the once-free world by default.

Follow the MONEY, and you'll find the POWER.

The moguls have been messing with our heads for the better part of a century. By playing to our worst fears, our hunger for sensation, our feverish fascination with scandal, glorifying our basest instincts, sanctifying sin, and legitimizing hatred, resentment and scorn, these fiendish elements have pretty well perverted and undone whatever good the Church may have accomplished, and turned us into ravening beasts bent in devouring one another.

Nowhere is this sick sad phenomenon more nakedly apparent than in the blogosphere.

Reverend Right. said...

These are important questions, and they aren´t being answered,...why not is what I'd like to know!

Ducky's here said...

It's clear from what's going on that Assad is loved.
People naturally love living under a dictator.

What were the ties of the person you talked to. Someone from a family tight with the Alawites and skimming a good deal of income?

The Political Chic said...

Thank you, Geeez, for persisting with questions about the important unanswered questions including those about the Benghazi attack. Some people need to pay for this administration allowing our fellow Americans to be killed.

-FJ said...

o/t - Kawanio che Keeteru!

"Song for St. Tamminy s Day. "The Old Song.

Of Andrew, of Patrick, of David, & George,
What mighty achievements we hear!
While no one relates great Tammany's feats,
Although more heroic by far, my brave boys,
Although more heroic by far.

These heroes fought only as fancy inspired,
As by their own stories we find;
Whilst Tammany, he fought only to free,
From cruel oppression mankind, my brave boys,
From cruel oppression mankind.

"When our country was young and our numbers were few
To our fathers his friendship was shown,
(For he e'er would oppose whom he took for his foes),
And made our misfortunes his own, my brave boys,
And he made our misfortunes his own.

"At length growing old and quite worn out with years,
As history doth truly proclaim,
His wigwam was fired, he nobly expired,
And flew to the skies in a flame, my brave boys,
And flew to the skies in a flame.

Silverfiddle said...

@ FreeThinke: "You new Syrian acquaintance had it right, Z"

No he didn't.

Ask a liberal voter in DC about Obama. Will that person speak for the whole country?

The opinion of Z's friend is just that. One opinion. And it is notable that he no longer lives in Syria.

I think we need to stay the hell out of Syria, but I'm not going to make myself feel better by dressing up a murderous dictator like the left did mass murderer "Uncle Joe" Stalin.

Assad is a brutal tyrant who cares nothing for human rights, and all this Isreal conspiracy crap is just that: Crap.

Hell, Israel cooperated with the Assads, as the realpolitik of the Middle East dictates. Israel would rather see a stable dictatorship in Syria than the Satan's cornucopia of hatreds and sectarian bloodletting that would bloom if Assad falls.

Your friend has a problem with Joooos, Z.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Assad is a pawn of Syria and a facillitator of Hizbollah.
Not a good thing.
Perhaps he is Michael Corleone caught up in dad's criminal enterprise.
Israel has every right to defend itself against his territorial ambitions.
We have every obligation to not be misled by his charisma, a la Mussolini.

Z said...

FT...I'd like to know that connection but we probably never will.

Rev Right...........ya, it seems odd..

Ducky, sorry; firsthand information seems so much more solid than yours, but thanks.

Political Chic....I'm glad Benghazi's not being forgotten, as hard as the mainstream media's trying.

FJ..Gad, is it THAT day again? :-)

Silverfiddle, actually, the friends who like Assad as he does do still live there.
But, I suspect you're right; they may just have a problem with Jews.

Still, I have always wondered about Assad. They say "he's attacking his OWN PEOPLE" and one wonders if those aren't HIS OWN SYRIAN AL QAEDA CONVERTS!'s worth discussion.

Ed..that's for sure/ he is nobody to be lionized.
I don't know the Syria/Israel history; tell me.

JonBerg said...

Syria appears to be just another Mid Eastern cess pool. I'm sure that Assad is a nefarious character but what of any regime that may replace his? Is Iran a better place without the Shaw? How are we doing with Lybia ang Egypt? Are Afganistan and Iraq secure? I'm just asking but a cess pool by any other name is still a cesspool!

Anonymous said...

Assad is hardly a saint and neither are those who want to overthrow him.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Syria runs Lebanon by proxy (Hizbollah) and as such supports materially their attacks on Israel.
But it itself is attached and subject to Iran.

Ducky's here said...

@Z --- Ducky, sorry; firsthand information seems so much more solid than yours, but thanks.

So the civil war is some wag the dog being filmed on a sound stage in Burbank?

As Silver also said, what are this guy's affiliations? Assad keeps a lot of folks flush in order to stay in power. Why does your interviewee represent all Syria?

You seem to be backpedaling.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Syria doesn't fall into my wheelhouse, so I can't interject much factually without research...but the previously mentioned ties to Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah are sound. That alone gives me cause for worry.

One of the problems we have to remember is that in a dictatorship, which the Ba'ath regime in Damascus surely qualifies, you're going to get two diverse narratives; the official, state run version along with the cult of personality by those who live in ignorant bliss, or receieve financial reward for being regime supporters....and the dissidents, who comprise of those who really are persecuted, but also those who seek power for their own political or financial ends.

We got burned by the Chalabi cabal pre-OIF....I'd rather we be more cautious in the future.

Jack Whyte said...

People naturally love living under a dictator.

I think it is perfectly clear that Ducky likes living under a state dictatorship, but he doesn't speak for MOST Americans; just too many.

Nevertheless, his statement appears historically valid when you consider how many Europeans preferred dictatorship over democracy between 1919-1930. But I think if you went to Syria and Vietnam or China, and you asked a similar question, you would get a remarkably similar answer.

Z said...

Const. Insurg...good advice.
And thanks for what information you could offer; it's probably more than a lot of us know.

Ducky, I'm not sure I said these many friends of his speak for all of Syria. Did I?
We don't know anybody's affiliations...these are people on the street, as is the young man I met.
Better to discuss these things than just settle on the interpretations we're getting in our news. I often wished I still lived in German or Paris, where one can get real news; not the opinion of the 'journalist' reading it. It was almost shocking to watch the information they dispel, particularly about Europe and the Middle East.
These days, looking at some of the English and Canadian papers for American and European/Middle East news gives us a slightly less leftwing stream of news because they don't have as much invested in protecting and standing up for Obama as our news people do.

Conson Fire..I wish we knew all that for sure. You're probably right.
It's important to listen to people on the street.
My stepdaughter, as her dad had, worked months and months in Venezuela. She said the young entrepreneurs despised, knowing how very dangerous it is there, I asked her to get to know the waitress where she eats and ask her, diplomatically and as safely as possible, how she liked Chavez...I asked her to ask cab drivers, etc., "the man on the street" because I knew her friends hated him because he was ruining their chances for private business success...
She told me after checking that everyone she spoke to hated Chavez...yet our news was full of red shirts and "VIVA CHAVEZ"...fascinating to get other opinions than what we're shown

Dave Miller said...

Silver and Ducky seem to have it right...

To impute a like, or dislike of a leader, based on anecdotal sampling will not lead to a fair understanding of the pulse of any nation.

It can lead to a sense of the of some of the people of a certain area. Not something on which to base an informed opinion on a nation, or a foreign policy. But a tool nonetheless.

CI, ah yes Chalabi... certainly reason alone to be cautious about even more foreign involvements.

Z said...

Dave, at my blog, I aim for clarity more than 'getting it right'...

I gave the Chavez example in my comment to show something most people don't consider; that what Americans think because of our media's twists isn't always the truth.

I believe that anybody in Syria liking Assad is news for any American, since our media paints him in such horrific colors and I welcome the discussion here about him.

There is absolutely no true understanding without getting all the sides. Had you information on the street that Assad isn't roundly hated by 'the people' he is supposedly 'gasing', I'd have hoped you'd be interested and share it. I'd love to have read it.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: You don't become a dictator and remain one without being one murderous SOB, especially in that part of the world.

My experience is in Latin America. I know people who have lived under dictatorships who fell on either side, and each camp has its reasons.

We can't imagine it here, but in many countries, this is no staying neutral. For your survival and that of your family, you pick a tribe, because going it alone is not an option.

Speaking to such people, especially ones who have reasons for siding with a dictatorship, can be a cold slap of reality, because if you really understand what they are saying, you realize that you could make the same decision, nay, most probably would make the same decision.

We Americans are shielded from so much ugliness...

Z said...

Silverfiddle, so educate me;
He's a dictator because there are no elections, or false elections?

I wonder why I'm being perceived as having taken a side and suddenly like Assad because of my post.

I'm saying that it's not always what we hear in the media and we need to keep eyes open...especially if this is a cautionary tale as you suggest, SF, though I'm not sure Syria has ever had free elections, have they?

Z said...


Silverfiddle said...

False elections, it would appear.

Please don't think I'm accusing you of anything. I take your friend at his word, but Assad is far from a benign leader, and based upon my experience I can envision why someone like your friend would make such a statement. He is obviously a partisan.

Assad inherited a Stalinist regime with a brutal and chilling police state enforcement mechanism. Phones, computers, everything is monitored, and government toadies are everywhere. The smart person says they love Assad. The person who speaks out finds himself chained to a lamppost in his neighborhood bleeding out of his mouth because Assad's Gestapo cut his tongue out as an example to others.

I apologize if I've come off as harsh, but I've seen some of this, and I know many who have experienced it personally, so I have zero sympathy for evil POS's like Assad, and when I hear anyone sounding like they are even budging on cutting someone like him any slack, I react viscerally.

I had no intention of offending you or suggesting you countenance evil.

Mustang said...

Demonstrations are interesting phenomena; they are very often not what they seem. As a case in point, the OWS demonstrations in NYC—facilitated by Mayor Bloomberg and the Cuomo Dynasty. Were they demonstrating against capitalism, or were they simply out to score?

In Japan and South Korea, people demonstrate because they are paid to do it. Chinese demonstrate because they haven’t yet had enough interaction with tanks. II think the Free Syria movement has nothing whatever to do with being free. It is a sectarian argument with Baathists trying to keep their power, and other groups temporarily supporting one another to seize power.

If al-Assad leaves, someone worse will come along to replace him. There are NO Abraham Lincolns in the Middle East (but there are plenty of Barack Obamas). For this reason alone, we should mind our own business.

Ducky's here said...

As a case in point, the OWS demonstrations in NYC—facilitated by Mayor Bloomberg and the Cuomo Dynasty.


Here's the sheet music

Sam Huntington said...

My first good laugh today—seriously. Thanks, Ducky.

But as it turns out, OWS demonstrated in Zuccotti Park, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable Power, which is owned by Brookfield Asset Management, which received a huge loan guarantee from Obama to build wind driven power generators. Gasp! Who is a member of the board at Brookfield Properties? Diana Taylor, Bloomfield’s live in girlfriend. A member of the Cuomo family serves as legal council for Brookfield Renewable Power, but I’m having a hard time tracking him down.

I wonder if NY taxpayers have a problem with Bloomberg funneling money to Brookfield Properties to clean up the OWS mess. I’m almost certain federal taxpayers don’t mind. What’s a little more debt for their great-grand children?

Brookfield, by the way, is a Canadian company … so we can see that it pays to be a foreign company dealing with the Obama administration if you intend to get taxpayer backed energy grants.

Meanwhile, Diana Taylor is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee with Georgie Soros, and also serves as a member of the FDIC … so we have that going for us.

Z said...

SF...thank you, and I was feeling frustrated, but I took no offense at what you wrote...I just felt surprise that ANYBODY liked Assad after what we here...that's all I meant.
And I totally see your point about partisans.
And, of course, when this fellow yesterday mentioned ISRAEL, I thought "UHOH....these ARE Arabs I'm dealing with", though the guy was Armenian, ergo not an Arab, he was born/raised in Syria.
Thanks for your info.

Ducky... That song sure describes it :-)
But it pretty much is the background music to everything going on today.

Sam...but conservatives seem to be the only ones who know, or even care, about those connections. There are MYRIAD of them in all of politics, but lately, it's never-ending.
GAD! The connection with Obama and Geithner's pasts and their parents and banks and the Sun 'what's it called' Bank in Florida, etc etc.. shocking, if all Americans cared to connect the dots.

Mustang..for that very reason, I believe we should have left Musharref in, too.


Z said...

and Mubarek

Bob said...

I don't know much about Assad, or the Syrian Ba'ath party which he supposedly leads. I think he is just another dictator who stays in power by granting favors, jobs, and money to his supporters.

His opposition are not freedom fighters, but Islamic fighters, i.e., extreme Muslim fundamentalists. There would seem to be no reason for the USA to get involved in Syria, and since Obama has given Iraq away and has brought the Army home, we have no local force with which to influence events.

No good will come of this.

Z said...

Syria's given Israel a lot of trouble in the past; could it again?
And do we fight, if so?

I'm for STAYING HOME, STAYING OUT OF THIS, but we do have to have concern for islamists getting chemical/bio warfare. Of course, I don't see how our getting involved would thwart that considering this is tiny particles that don't need warheads, etc...Someone could put it in his pocket and bring it here to our water system; so, do we shed blood there for that?
probably NOT

what do you all think?

Jack Whyte said...

Bob just described Barack Obama.

Scotty said...

Z said: "Syria's given Israel a lot of trouble in the past; could it again?
And do we fight, if so?"

I have NO doubt that Israel can take care of business. They don't need us.

Anonymous said...


"after checking that everyone she spoke to hated Chavez...yet our news was full of red shirts and "VIVA CHAVEZ"...fascinating to get other opinions than what we're shown.."

Seems to me we're more like so many failed Latin America "governments"...or getting closer. What's the difference there with Chavez and here with "Hope & Change"? We loan them Glover,Belafonte and Penn and then we pay them millions to "amuse / entertain" us?

I'd say theres millions of us who feel about Obama the way they feel about Chavez?

beamish said...

I'd like my suggestion from yesterday. Instead of arming Assad, we should arm Assad AND the rebels. That way we're sure the right people are getting killed.

beamish said...

Maybe threaten to nuke 'em if they don't kill each other faster.

beamish said...

Syria is the ancient homeland of my Celtic ancestors' ancestors, and I want my land back.

Z said...

beamish...I'm not so sure I disagree about arming both :-)

Anonymous said...

@Z / Beamish:

I'm not so sure I disagree about arming both :-)

Brilliant idea....we won't ever need to pick a side...arm both opponents and we'll always win. So long as they kill each other with fanatical fervor...we won't need to send troops or ever intervene.

Perfect solution.

Anonymous said...


"Maybe threaten to nuke 'em if they don't kill each other faster."

I love it...there'll never be another OPEC or oil embargo again...or $100 p/bbl either.

Lets make Texas, Oklahoma, N. Dakota, Wyoming, S, Dakota and maybe the shits in Colorado the newest and greatest oil / gas producers on the planet. Let's sell it on the open market at $500 p/bbl and domestically at $50!

We'll never be a debtor nation again to the tune of 17 trillion and we'd own the IOU's instead of China.

beamish said...


The oil under Texas is also under Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeast coast. You just have to drill deeper to get to it. We had the technology to drill down to the oil under Alabama in the 1960s.