Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria: A profound lack of perception | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I urge you to watch the interview that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad conducted with the Syrian Addounia television channel. Afterwards, you will be able to identify the reasons behind the acute political crisis engulfing Syria and the region, as well as the high volume of victims of civil war massacres in the country.

The highlights of the Syrian President’s interview were as follows:

He claimed that the defections that have taken place in the regime recently are a positive sign, for they indicate the “self-cleansing of the government firstly and the country generally”. Commenting on his military operations, Bashar al-Assad added that a military resolution to the conflict has not yet been fully carried out by the Syrian army, but this will happen soon.

He also added “the situation in Syria now is much better than a year ago”.

The interview did not lack references to a regional and international conspiracy against Syria, in its capacity as the “main resistance state” in the region.

Finally, President al-Assad emphasized that any citizen who serves his people cannot relinquish his position at a time of challenge, in a clear indication that he rejects the principle of stepping down from power.

Hence the Syrian President’s rhetoric can be summarized as follows: the current situation is better than a year ago, a military end is imminent, defections have had a positive impact, and I will remain as President!

If this is indeed the essence of President al-Assad’s vision, then this undoubtedly means that the man lives on a different planet to the rest of us.

President al-Assad’s rhetoric suggests that his interpretation of the Syrian political scene locally, regionally and internationally is completely wrong.

The gravest mistake a political or military leader can commit is to live in an “illusionary victory”; whilst the tangible reality on the ground confirms that he has suffered a “resounding defeat.”

Such a disparity between victory and defeat, and between success and failure, prompts the leader to feel an overwhelming desire to remain in power, although the fact is that he must leave. His mind is deeply convinced that he must continue, whilst reality necessitates that he must step down immediately.

The crisis in the mindset of Bashar al-Assad does not lie in the fact that he is governing in the wrong manner, because deep down he is aware of this, rather the crisis lies in the fact that he strongly believes that he is doing a great service to his people and is bringing glory to his nation, and will go down in the history books as a result.

This is what psychiatrists call a “profound lack of perception”; a case that eventually prompts one to destroy himself and everyone around him.

All this confirms that the problem runs very deep indeed.