In a Damascus interview with NBC News, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad pronounced himself unsatisfied with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as U.S. presidential candidates.
NBC reports Assad “made little distinction between the two candidates, however, when asked if he was worried about Trump’s lack of foreign policy experience.”
“Who had this experience before? Obama? Or George Bush? Or Clinton before? None of them had any experience. This is the problem with the United States,” Assad complained, adding that spending a “few years” in Congress wasn’t good enough.
He dismissed most of what both Trump and Clinton have said on the campaign trail as mere rhetoric, predicting “they’re going to change after they become elected. And this is where you have to start evaluating the president – after the campaign.”
Given the bang-up job Assad has done ruling Syria as Dictator-For-Life over the past 16 years, this is a devastating blow to both the Trump and Clinton campaigns.
Assad really does think he’s done a great job, telling NBC that he hopes “history will see me as the man who protected his country, from the terrorism and from the intervention, and saved its sovereignty.”
Assad, who views everyone opposed to his rule as a “terrorist,” insisted that killing terrorists is not “brutal,” but rather makes him a “patriot.”
In another part of the interview, he lambasted the United States for not being “serious” about fighting ISIS, denouncing American airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as “illegal” and “counterproductive” — unlike the wonderful airstrikes conducted by his good friends in Moscow.
“The reality is telling that, since the beginning of the American airstrikes, the terrorism has been expanding and prevailing. It only shrinked [sic] when the Russians intervened,” he said.
“We wanted to defeat those terrorists, while the United States wanted to manage those groups in order to topple the government in Syria,” Assad added, referring to U.S. support for “moderate” rebel factions.
He denied committing any war crimes, including the chemical weapons deployment that led Barack Obama to half-heartedly call for his ouster, claiming that all evidence to the contrary is mere “propaganda and media campaigns.”
Not that a few eggs haven’t been broken to make his Dictator-for-Life omelette, mind you. “I defend my country. To talk about a clean war where there is no casualties, no civilians, no innocent people to be killed – that doesn’t exist. No one could make it. No war in the world,” he insisted, in the one part of the interview where NBC says he “showed signs of agitation.”
Assad was a good sport about Obama’s futile effort to unseat him: “He’s failed, but that doesn’t mean I win because for him the war is to remove me … for me the war is to restore Syria. If we can get rid of those terrorists, if we can restore the stability in Syria, this is where we win. Otherwise, you cannot talk about winning.”
The Syrian dictator also swatted aside culpability in the death of American journalist Marie Colvin, killed in a 2012 rocket attack on a media center in the besieged rebel city of Homs.
Last week, Colvin’s family sued the Syrian government for ordering her death, something they actually have documentary evidence of, in the form of a fax from Syrian intelligence ordering rough treatment for “those who tarnish the image of Syria in foreign media and international organizations.” Colvin filed a CNN report calling Assad’s claims of killing only terrorists “a complete and utter lie” the night before her death.
“It’s a war and she came illegally to Syria, she worked with the terrorists, and because she came illegally, she’s been responsible of everything that befall [sic] on her,” Assad told NBC News.
NBC found a sea change in Assad’s attitude throughout, portraying him as confident of victory after Russia’s intervention on his behalf, where in previous interviews, he has seemed nervous about the possibility of losing the Syrian civil war.
He can relax in the knowledge that he’s thoroughly defeated Obama, with Secretary of State John Kerry effectively offering terms of surrender by pushing for the U.S. to begin coordinating anti-terrorist airstrikes in Syria with Moscow.
It’s an amazing conclusion to the saga that began with Obama declaring that Assad had crossed a “red line,” violated international law, and offended the conscience of the entire world by using WMD. Obama’s SecState is now offering to help Russia finish off the Syrian opposition, in the hope that Russia will press Assad to ground his own bloodthirsty air force — which has been bombing the hell out of civilian areas, even though Kerry endlessly touts the “cease-fire” supposedly in effect. The only prize Obama is still playing for is a reduction of Syrian civilian casualties at the hands of their leader.