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Al-Assad: detached from reality | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bashar al-Assad’s speech, which lasted almost an hour and forty minutes, and consisted of over 11,000 words, can only be described as an act of begging, and evidence of his detachment from reality. From reading the speech, rather than listening to it or watching it, you feel that you are facing a man living in his own world, like Gaddafi, specifically when he addressed the prominent families of Libya by name!

Al-Assad’s fourth speech came after a long silence, which he acknowledged by saying “I know that I have been away from the media for a long time”. He still wanted to tell the Syrians that there is a foreign plot in the country, and that it has gone unnoticed. Then he proceeded to explain, justify and deny aspects of his interview with an American television network [ABC], when he said that “they [the army] are not my forces” and that no government kills its own people unless it is led by a crazy person. He elaborated and dwelled on this extensively, yet it is striking that he again repeated his original denial, namely that there were no orders to kill in Syria! This means that the repercussions of the ABC interview are still ongoing and causing Bashar al-Assad embarrassment within the regime’s corridors of influence. [During his speech] al-Assad also begged for public sympathy for the security services, reminding the Syrians that the soldiers have not seen their families in months.

Al-Assad’s speech not only provided evidence of begging, but some have even interpreted it as an unprecedented attack on the Arab League, and the Arabs, but this is an inaccurate assessment. The al-Assad regime has previously attacked [the Arabs] over more than what al-Assad said yesterday, whether from the President’s own tongue in the past, or through his ambassador to the Arab League. However, al-Assad’s speech yesterday was an attempt to justify his position, and question why the Arabs have condemned him. He was begging to the Syrians because he knows the danger of being an outcast from the Arabs and the international community, which could put an end to his legitimacy and make him vulnerable to an internal coup, perhaps in the near future. He elaborated on this extensively when he claimed that the Arabs are dealing in a cordial manner with Israel, while they are strict and hostile towards Syria!

Al-Assad’s speech also confirms that he is a man detached from reality. He wants the Arabs to keep quiet about his regime’s crimes, such as the murder of a girl who was only 5 months old, only because the killer this time is a Syrian, rather than an Israeli. This is the age-old naivety of the Syrian regime, and it is time now for it to come to an end. This is not all; further evidence of al-Assad’s detachment from reality can also be found in his criticism of what happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. This is exactly what Gaddafi did before he was overthrown, when he defended Mubarak and Ben Ali!

Thus, al-Assad’s speech and his talk about the Arabs, the pseudo-Arabs and others, is nothing more than evidence of his begging and detachment from reality. It is like an upgraded version of Gaddafi’s famous “Zenga Zenga” speech, but is in fact more similar to Saif-al Islam Gaddafi telling his people to forget water and electricity, and forget oil, especially when al-Assad elaborated extensively in his speech about olives and olive oil.

Indeed, the most prominent inspiration for the Syrian revolution over the past ten months has been al-Assad himself, whereby through his gross errors he has been able help the revolution maintain its internal momentum, and has forced the Arabs and the international community to take a stand against him. He demonstrated this yesterday par excellence.