Bashar Al Assad: An Intimate Profile of a Mass Murderer
December 20, 2013 3:52 PM   Subscribe

And if a series of well-timed massacres by the regime would provoke outrage in the West, Assad also knew that images of carnage would cause Gulf states to arm the Islamist opposition and escalate the sectarian warfare. This was his strategy: to make intervention so unpalatable that the international community would take no steps to alter the course of the conflict. “These jihadists who have come in, largely courtesy of private Gulf money, these are his enemies of choice,” says Frederic C. Hof, the Obama administration’s former envoy to the Syrian opposition and currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “I call it a coalition of co-dependency.” - An in-depth piece in The New Republic Examines Bashar Al Assad
posted by beisny (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The assumption is that Assad has had a strategy.
posted by humanfont at 4:49 PM on December 20, 2013

And did you know that 9-11 was an elaborate plan by the CIA to get the U.S. into a war in Iraq? See, it wasn't an intelligence failure of the dismal everyday incompetence variety, it was all planned, all foreseen! Think about it! It makes sense! Everything fits!

"the Obama administration’s former envoy to the Syrian opposition" - that's all you need to know about Frederic C. Hof.

The Gulf States and Saudi Arabia were motivated by 'images of carnage' you see, even though there is no evidence that images of carnage ever bother these regimes. It couldn't be, because these states are traditionally opposed to Syria as a client state of their great fear: Iran. See, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are arming the worst scum jihad type fighters because they are troubled by images of carnage(!)... never mind that the images of carnage, including ripping the heart out of the enemy and consuming it on camera come from these very jihadists. And never mind that no lesser a 'source' than the NYTimes had anonymous big wigs from Saudi Arabia talking about fighting Iran in Syria, and never once mentioned 'images of carnage'.

Instead of acknowledging, that yet again, U.S. interventionism in complex foreign wars about which we understand remarkably little, had gotten us to align with all the wrong forces, Mr. Hof needs to spin a preposterous tale a truther would be ashamed of, to make it seem as if it was all that bad man Assad's fault that we have an incompetent foreign policy... see that fiendish devil Assad forced us into disastrous mistakes! Oh the perfidy!

Fred C. Hof and his amazing tale - this is the quality of brains and analysis involved in our meddling in foreign wars - and these are the results. Quelle surprise!
posted by VikingSword at 5:38 PM on December 20, 2013 [8 favorites]

If our only choices are Assad vs. Jihadists, I guess I'm pro-Assad.
posted by Renoroc at 7:00 PM on December 20, 2013

But really, voicing a binary like that is worthless.
posted by planetesimal at 9:39 PM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

TNR may not have much ground to stand on with respect to foreign policy
posted by destro at 9:46 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

If our only choices are Assad vs. Jihadists, I guess I'm pro-Assad non asshats.

I refuse to accept that our only choices in this world are terrorists or dictator-terrorists.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:41 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'll admit to not having possession of all knowledge and therefore thank you for this article; I enjoyed it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:31 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

So Assad is Lawful Evil and the Jihadists are Chaotic Evil, right?
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

There isn`t much the US can do in Syria, but what about Russia and Iran? They don't have to give an insane mass murderer their full backing. Putin an Rouhani and Soleimani have the power to replace Assad with someone sane, just as they had the power to remove the chemical weapons.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2013

On Monsterphilia and Assad
Where Are The Good Guys? - "The rise of jihadists and the worsening sectarian strife in Syria have put Western backers of the rebel opposition in a quandary"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:25 PM on January 2, 2014

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