10:48 GMT +3 hours31 May 2016
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview. File photo

Compared to Washington's Regional Allies, Assad Looks 'Positively Angelic'

© AFP 2016/ HO/SANA
Middle East
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Syrian political scientist Bassam Abu Abdullah argues that it is the height of cynicism for Western leaders and the media to call Syrian President Bashar Assad a dictator, suggesting that they should take a good look at their allies in the neighborhood before making such accusations.

Interviewed by Latvian radio station Baltkom, Abdullah, a professor of political science at the University of Damascus, suggested that when Western commentators say that Assad is an 'undemocratic leader', they are deceiving their audience, because Western allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar aren't exactly shining examples of democracy.

"Briefly describing the conflict in Syria is not so simple; there are several layers, including the domestic and international. But I do not believe that democracy, freedom and human rights are the main object of this conflict, however the West might portray it," Abdullah said.

"The main forces fighting against the Syrian government consist of groups tied to Al-Qaeda and Islamist ideology. We are not fighting against people fighting for freedom and democracy, but against terrorists, which are clearly being supported by the government of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The ideologies of these countries have nothing to do with democracy," he added.

Western leaders and the media, the analyst suggested, aren't being honest with themselves when they characterize Assad as a dictator.

"The West is being dishonest on this matter. I do not want to polemicize about whether Assad is a democratically elected leader or not, because the West's key allies [in the region] are Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and they are not exactly shining examples of democracy."

In truth, Abdullah noted, "democracy is just the slogan under which the West hides its real objectives in Syria. [The path to] democracy demands a long process, touching on culture, reforms in the country; it doesn't come about overnight."

Ultimately, the analyst suggested, the West is keen on removing Assad because he interferes with their geopolitical plans for the region. For the US and Europe, "it's not that Assad is not a democrat, but that he stands against the West's objectives in Syria. One can love him or hate him, but he is the country's leader, and represents Syria's national interests. Look at Erdogan, the president of Turkey, a NATO member – he is not a democrat. The same is true in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. So it's all a matter of politics – to swing the Syrian government and society toward the West – these are the real goals."

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interview, opinion, Bashar al-Assad, Middle East, Europe, Turkey, Syria, United States, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
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  • ivanwa88
    I believe the world wide geo-political ramifications surrounding Syria is a far more serious matter than if I one likes the President or not! if it came from personal interactions it should still be kept private to avoid playing into the hands of colour revolution media orchestration.
    Otherwise one would end up supporting what in fact he may feel very strongly against. That obviously being the murderous attempted overthrow of a legitimate sovereign duly elected holder of office who refused to allow a Qatar gas pipeline to Europe!
    Otherwise many will start to doubt your integrity in these matters. It matters little if you dont like any politician. May I suggest you change your ID to 'All politicians suck' instead of vendor which has a confused and obtuse sense to it. Vendor; im not buying but I am selling!!?
  • Linda
    70% of the Syrian population support Assad who the criminal US and allies Turkey,Saudis Israel and Quatar has been trying to oust from Power by supporting their Proxy army Daesh

    If you live in europé. Go and ask the Syrian refugees and find out for youself that Assad has massive support by the Syrian population
  • in reply toMr. Blair M. Phillips(Show commentHide comment)
    Mr. Blair M. Phillips,
    Possibly Syria?
  • One US JDAM is equal to 20 of assads primitive barrel bombs, the saud just bought $1.07 billions worth. But if you listen to the mass chorus of jews in the media, you would think assad is the biggest butcher since Pol Pot !!
  • in reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, jewboy yer yarmulke is showing
  • No Name
    "TURKEY is planning invasion in Syria -breaking news"

    NOT Turkey dear people, that corrupt id.i.ot called Recep Erdogan.
    It seems that it's time for the Turkish Military to find an Osman-al-Sisi to get rid of that Muslim-Brotherhood Recep Morsi.
    Otherwise hundreds of Turkish soldiers will go back home in plastic bags for the PRIVATE business of the oil-smugglers and human-organ-traders aka the SON and the DAUGHTER of this wannabe Sultan.
  • No Namein reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    @WW3 is here,

    :-) .. Yes, and "the Russian Air Force kills only poor helpless civilians..."
    Well it looks like it's very TRENDY to have an Al-Nussra or ISIS flag on their "Toyotas", for these humble .. civilians.
    Saudi-Arabia shall give the bandits some Saudi -uniforms and the "civilian -killings" will suddenly stop , he-he! :-) Sometimes I'm sorry for the COSTS of such an intelligent bomb dropped on the heads of such im.be.cille criminal bunch of camel-sh*t.
    They shall push together a little ...
  • No Namein reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, whom did you sell your soul,

    Vendor aka Shlomo in Yiddish. Get lost, go back to YOUR RT.com, there are YOUR Zion-Dgydows that censor, HERE still works the common human sense.
    Hey.. Putin will send you a postcard from Kiev or Ankara, soon.
  • Andreas Koppa
    The worst Assad's sin is not to follow the US directives and policies. That makes him an enemy of "democracy" and an "international" pariah. He is not the first leader facing such struggle and will not be the last, unless something radical changes the world. However, sooner or later this will happen for sure. Empires do not last forever.
  • bangein reply toAndreas Koppa(Show commentHide comment)
    Andreas Koppa, you are right nothing last forever.
    But I hope western media read this article because it is very clear and lucid.
    The world is wakening.
  • michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, just to add to this, I think that sometimes when we write we tend to do it in short hand so to speak. I'm like you in that I will look at a person's actions and agree with what they are doing, but not necessarily like that person. The second point you made about politicians, ABSOLUTELY! (sorry to shout.:) )
  • michaelin reply toAndreas Koppa(Show commentHide comment)
    Andreas, agreed - it's sad to think that it is for that reason - in part that we have the current situation. I do mean we, even if we are not in Syria - as it can effect many of us eventually. :(
  • vendorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, you will become a Jew now too :) You should not have said it :)
  • michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, chuckles!!!! Oh we are having fun with this! :)
  • vendorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, is there anything better than being a part of the chosen group :) Come, come, join us please :)
  • vendorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, did I say that out loud? LOL
  • michaelin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    Ivanwa88, I'd like to add a couple of things;
    1. agreed about the geo-political ramifications of Syria.
    2. interestingly I didn't read in Vendor's comments that he liked or disliked Assad - initially this was suggested by armor from his prior readings. It was only above that Vendor then stated his opinion of politicians, which as you will note, that I agree with.
    3. On the issue of politicians, for me it is an issue of trust or lack of with these people but at the same time, this is the system which is place in the world and so we work with that. So, we have to be pragmatic or realistic...
    4. I appreciate you raising the point about integrity, I think that that is something which has been (for me) noticeable to a large degree in several threads in the past few days.
    Thanks for the comments,:)
  • michael
    Funny, after all of that I forgot my original comment; compared to w's regional allies, what about when compared to washington itself? :)
  • vendorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, appreciated but not worth your time invested as it will bounce off like against a brick wall. You see - after your comment the forces have been gathering and are getting annoyed :) Geez, don't you love it when you see them throwing a tantrum :)
  • michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, it's interesting to see that's true! :)
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