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Opinion: How Bashar Al-Assad Resembles Kim Jong-un | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A picture of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is seen on the central bank building in Damascus, in this February 24, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS)

A picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen on the central bank building in Damascus, in this February 24, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS)

A picture of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is seen on the central bank building in Damascus, in this February 24, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has, for a decade, fooled many figures around the world with his civilized appearance, good manners. Nevertheless, anyone who knew him in reality discovered a callous individual. Bashar is like the Michael Corleone character in The Godfather. At first he is portrayed as the most civilized family member of the mafia, but then we realize that, in fact he is the most dangerous.

Indeed, Bashar al-Assad does not physically resemble crazy North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but, in reality, Assad is actually worse. Ever since he succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian president he has committed a succession of terrible crimes and masterminded endless wars. He has assassinated numerous Lebanese figures, outnumbering his father’s records during the civil war in the seventies.

For almost seven years, Bashar orchestrated a war from Syria under the banner of “Iraqi resistance” against what he termed American occupation. During that war, more than 100,000 people, 3,000 of whom American, were killed.

As for North Korea’s insane leader, despite his frequent threats, he has confined his crimes within his country’s borders. The two men are quite the same, but the difference lies in their self-image. Unlike Kim Jong, Assad always seems to be well dressed, accompanied by his elegant wife as if he is a Wall Street broker. However, deep inside, he is a cruel dictator who during the course of revolution in his country did not hesitate to commit multiple massacres that were unprecedented in the history of our region.

Similar to Kim Jong, he was not the expected successor. According to reports Kim Jong’s brother was dropped by his father, after the elder Kim discovered his son had secretly travelled with fake passports to visit Disneyland in Japan; he got arrested and deported from there, and the father appointed his brother, Kim Jong, to rule after him. As for Bashar, his brother, Bassel, who was killed in a car accident whilst driving a Ferrari at high speed along the airport road, was meant to be Hafez’s heir.

Bashar succeeded in concealing his truth; many were swindled by his civilized appearance, especially in the West. Whoever met him admitted to being fooled and this included former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was eager to support Assad, lift the economic sanctions imposed on Syria, and host the Syrian president and his wife in a national ceremony in front of fellow leaders. For almost two years, Sarkozy worked hard to defend Assad every chance he got and politically support him, but, eventually, he discovered the truth; despite his Italian suit, Bashar is nothing but a criminal dictator. Sarkozy then became one of the leaders most enthusiastic about overthrowing him.

In addition to his appearance, Bashar al-Assad’s policies are also tricky. The New York Times stated that Assad assigned a number of loyal businessmen to use their influence in order to persuade the U.S. administration that the dominant forces who are fighting against him are jihadist terrorist groups.

It is undeniable that jihadists have joined the Syrian rebels, given that they have finally announced their affiliations with al-Qaeda. This is what stirs suspicion; is the Syrian regime and its Iranian allies behind the infiltration of these terrorist groups in order to intimidate the international community similar to what they did before in Iraq and Lebanon.

The Syrian uprising is not solely to free the country from the tyranny of one of the world’s worst regimes, but also to save the world from a regime that has been supporting terrorism for 30 consecutive years. Iraq’s Saddam and Libya’s Gaddafi are gone; the most dangerous regime – Assad’s regime in Syria – is still lingering.

And let us not forget, that with the same misleading appearance, Vogue magazine was also duped when it deemed his wife Asma one of the most respectable women of our time, until the publication discovered the shocking facts that she is merely a deceptive dictator’s wife.

Kim Jong, who calls himself the wonderful companion, is Bashar al-Assad, whose followers display his name on the walls of the burnt villages where families have been killed: Either accept Assad’s rule or we burn the country.