Why do we think of kings as better than dictators? Could it be too much Disney, or the old tradition of upper-class Americans sucking up to the Queen (or King) of England? What differentiates an elected President-for-life like Franklin D. Roosevelt from a dictator like Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein?
Americans don't ask themselves these questions, but they should. While this essay is focused on Dr. Bashar Assad [or al-Assad], the current President of Syria, this is just one example of how Americans fall prey to propaganda created by the government of the United States of America. And how lying, especially systematic lying, backfires.
[Note that the U.S. government, with cooperation from Microsoft and Google, has hidden or blocked access to official Syrian government web sites. Try searching "government of syria official web site" or any variation on it if you don't believe me.]
In the Dictator column place the fact that Bashar Assad became President when Hafez Assad, his father, died. On the other hand, we have had two father-son presidencies in the U.S., Adams and Bush, and have come close to having others (Taft).
The U.S. considered Hafez Assad an enemy because he was a leftist, and therefore pro-Soviet, back when we demonized anyone who dared to not let their country become a U.S. colony. But within the leftist — everyone get up in the morning and have a nice day instead of slaving for some capitalist boss — countries, Hafez was a pretty decent leader. Richard Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger's, description of Hafez is worth quoting at length:
"Withal, I developed a high regard for Assad. In the Syrian context he was a moderate indeed. He leaned toward the Soviets as the source of his military equipment. But he was far being from a Soviet stooge. He had a first-class mind allied to a wicked sense of humor. I believe that I was the first Western Leader with whom he had dealt consistently. He grasped the opportunity for some free tutorials on Western political systems. During the Syrian shuttle, almost every bargaining session began with an hour or so of perceptive questioning on the institutions and personalities of the Western democracies."
The quote is direct from Years of Upheaval [page 781], and is about negotiations in the year 1974, the year Nixon was hounded out of office.
Why did the end of the Soviet era not result in the un-demonization of Hafez Assad, which would have meant that Bashar Assad might have been viewed factually, rather than demonized?
Syria, not just the Assad family, had reason to be anti-U.S. aside from being socialist. Syrians know Syrian history. Add that to the ability of the state of Israel to look covetously upon any lands adjacent to their own, and the enormous pro-Jewish bias of America, and you have your answer. It never had anything to do with Islam, though it will pretty soon if ISIS adds all of Syria (except that part already occupied by Israel) to its new Caliphate.
Syria is in the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of civilization, as far as we know. It has had its ups and downs over the past five millennia. When industrialization gave the western European powers the ability to take any colonies they wanted, starting around 1800, for a long time Syria was "protected" by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire.
Contrary to popular mythology (taught as history) in the U.S., World War I was started by England (the British Empire), France, and Russia mainly in order to grab the lands governed by a weakened Ottoman empire. France had already grabbed Algeria in 1830 and Tunisia in 1881, and after the war grabbed Syria (sending in troops to depose Faisal I in 1920), with the fig leaf of calling their colony a League of Nations mandate. This is despite the fact that the British Empire had promised that a united Arab nation would be created, which would have included present-day Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
France, of course, was allied with the United States. France became Vichy France during World War II, a Roman Catholic dictatorship allied with Nazi Germany. A sucked-dry Syria gained independence in 1946, unlike other French colonies like Vietnam and Algeria. American support for the continuation of the French and British empires led not just Syria, but most newly-independent nations, to be rightfully suspicious of the United States.
And so Syrians were not pro-American, and had to be demonized, long before the first Assad came to power in 1971. But it is political suicide for anyone in a position of power in the U.S., like Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, or members of Congress, to stand up and say "Bashar Assad is okay." The other dogs would rather use such an incident to rip their rivals apart, rather than change U.S. policy to reflect reality.
Not to mention Zionist Israelis and Americans. Say anything nice about Bashar and money just would drain from the campaign funds, and the slush funds, and the other indirect bribes that make America a pseudo-democracy.
American foreign policy has a way of shooting itself in the foot. We helped France grab its former colony of Indochina after World War II, and ended up fighting the Vietnam War. We helped radical Islamists throw a modern, Soviet-backed regime out of Afghanistan, and they morphed into the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We talk about democracy, but when the people of a nation decide not to elect American puppets, we back military coups. We are allied with the Dictator of Saudi Arabia, but opposed to a democratic regime in Iran.
We, led by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, decided to encourage the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria. Instead of just demanding elections, the pro-U.S. faction, which would have lost elections, started a civil war. This provided an opening for radical Islam, which before had been minimally present in Syria. Not only has ISIS grabbed much of Syria, but it used Syria as a base for grabbing much of Iraq.
President Obama is befuddled. If he helps Assad, the Republicans will accuse him of helping Iran, another unfairly demonized nation. If he helps the non-ISIS rebels against Assad, most likely ISIS will take over the entire country. So Obama's best domestic political bet is to do as little as possible and hope that Assad's popularity will enable him to defeat ISIS, and of course the pro-U.S. rebels, without U.S. assistance.
The Israelis are stone-cold crazy too. If they had any sense they would let the Palestinians have their rump independent state in the West Bank and come to the aid of Bashar Assad. ISIS is the equivalent of the Jews after the Holocaust: it has come through the fire, and if it has the resources of both Iraq and Syria at its disposal, it will probably take over Jordan and Saudi Arabia too and then drive Israel into the sea.
Hillary will likely be our next President. Despite the liberal gloss, Hillary is America's Margaret Thatcher, a cold-hearted imperialist who will kill anyone who gets in her way, including women and children. That is why everyone is trying to get their battles won before January 2017. No one who knows her expects any mercy or humanity from President Clinton II.