December 20, 2013

Bashar al-Assad: Madman of the Year

Annia Ciezadlo, The New Republic

The Associated Press

What outsiders have been slow to realize is that in the game Assad is playing, a weak man (or one perceived that way) can cling to his throne just as tenaciously, and violently, as a strongman. Over the course of his reign, he has learned how to turn his biggest shortcomings—his desire for approval, his tendency toward prevarication—into his greatest assets. The world wants him to give up the chemical munitions he used against his own citizens, and he has begun to do that. The world wants an end to the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 Syrians and displaced millions more; his government is now willing to participate in peace talks. This nebbishy second son, who was never meant to inherit the family regime, has proved exceptionally talented in the art of...

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TAGGED: Bashar Al-Assad, Middle East, Syria

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