As Western and Arab governments step up pressure for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to resign from power — and even Syria’s main supporter, Russia, has begun distancing itself from Assad’s iron-fisted rule — the Syrian leader insists that his leadership is no impediment to peace.
Assad sat down for an interview with Juergen Todenhoefer of the German television network ARD recently to explain that while, sure, pretty much the entire world is against him, the Syrian people themselves are actually really enjoying the daily massacres that have resulted in up to 17,000 innocent civilian deaths, according to the UN:
“The United States is against me, the West is against me, many regional powers and countries and the people against me, so, how could I stay in this position? The answer is, I still have public support.”
Well, of course the Syrian public loves him! What’s not to like? Here in America, we brag about being able to see really violent war movies in 3-D in our homes, but in Syria, the action literally takes place right in their living rooms. It’s like a real-life Hotel Rwanda, and the lucky Syrian civilians are the stars of the film!!
Assad conceded that he had not conducted any public polls recently to determine how many people in Syria actually support him, but, you know, whether it’s two people or 2 million, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, someone likes him, probably. ”How much, what’s the percentage…I don’t have numbers now,” he said.
And actually, the Syrian government is the martyr here, according to Assad. He characterized his government the “victim” and insisted that one cannot be a “victim” and a “criminal” at the same time. While the UN estimates the number of government officials and army members killed is less that 1/5 that of civilians killed, the Syrian leader suggested that the number of people killed among his supporters was far greater than his opponents, including more than 100 victims of the Houla massacre in May. “The majority are people who support the government and large part of the others are innocent people who have been killed by different groups in Syria,” he said. “If you talk about the supporters of the government – the victims from the security and the army – are more than the civilians.”
But…Bashar…what about all of that video evidence of army members killing civilians? Pshhh!!! Totally fake!! It was just a bunch of gang members dressed up as Assad supporters.
Full video of the interview:
Photos: Fair Use (NBC/Fabio Pozzebom/flickr; Garda/flickr)