Here is the link to the full interview US “news” caster Charlie Rose did with President Assad. Exercise extreme care in watching it, because you may intend to only watch a few minutes but the more you watch, the more difficult you will find it to tear yourself away.
Several things are clear:
Rose is simply a representative of the US State Department posing as a newscaster. He repeats time and again the accusations of Obama & Co., dressed up as questions or as “some people say.” For instance, he questions Assad time and again about the evidence Obama claims to have that the Assad regime used chemical weapons “against his own people.”
Rose’s problem is that he has been stupefied by the lap dog role he and his kind have been playing for years now. They simply blindly repeat whatever the US regime claims without questioning them in the slightest. As a result, he is totally unprepared to deal with Assad, who keeps answering Rose by saying that at least in the case of Colin Powell and the evidence of weapons of mass destruction, Powell presented some evidence. The evidence turned out to be a lie, Assad points out, but at least he presented something in public. In Obama’s case, he hasn’t presented anything; he has only claimed he has evidence.
“You are a reporter. Why don’t you go to your president and ask him for the evidence so you can present it to the American people?” Assad asks Rose. Rose scurries away from that question and on to another subject.
In fact, this happens time and again. Rose repeatedly implies to Assad that the only reason he’s still in power is the support he’s getting from Iran and Russia. Assad simply says that his government has agreements with those countries just the same as the United States has with other countries, but that any “support, if you want to call it that” he says, cannot keep a government in power. He gives the example of Mubarak in Egypt. Mubarak had the support from the most powerful countries in the world and that couldn’t keep him in power.
Rose scurries on to the next issue.
And so it went. Of course, Assad is the enemy of working class people in Syria and elsewhere. But so is Obama and the reactionaries that he is supporting within Syria. Rose’s problem – and the problem of the US media – is that they pretend to be objective newscasters while, in fact, they are simply the agents of one wing of the global capitalist class.
Would that any of these types would subject the US president to the same type of grilling.
Categories: Middle East, racism
You are correct that Charlie Rose’s skills as a journalist are inept at best and that his questions to Assad appear to come directly out of the C.I.A. playbook. However the evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons is now overwhelming. It is no longer just the C.I.A. and western governments who are making this claim. If you haven’t yet learned, the organization Human Rights Watch conducted their own independent investigation and they assert that there is very strong evidence that the chemical weapons attack was indeed conducted by the Syrian government. This Daily Kos article details their findings:
While I take anything the C.I.A. claims with a grain of salt, I place far more credibility in Human Rights Watch. To assert that Assad is no friend to working people has got to win the award for the understatement of the year! Assad is nothing more than a dictator and a thug. A United Nations panel has just released its findings on war crimes committed during this civil war. Since this war began Syrian troops have engaged in widespread war crimes. These include murder, torture and rape. Indeed, the report also found that the rebel forces commited these acts but they have not done so as much. This may only be because the rebels have been less successful in capturing enemy territory. But whatever you might say about the violations of human rights by the rebel forces, there is contained within them the germ of a real working class democratic revolution. This is the primary reason Assad is trying to crush them. This movement known as the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), represents the hope for a truly working class, democratic, revolutionary future for Syria and that is why both the Syrian government and the United States feel threatened by it. In the case of Assad the threat of toppling his fascist government is obvious. In the case of the United States the fear of such a government is that it would mean the inability to exert its imperialist domination. The United States would not care whether a regime in Syria was repressive and sectarian just so long as it had the ability to control it.
Thank you for the link. The facts claimed in the article, if correct, are significant. It is always possible that some commander gave the order without Assad’s knowledge. In fact, it seems very likely that there are commanders in Assad’s military who are plants for the “Free Syrian Army”, and it is not beyond imagination that they could have done this. It is also possible, of course, that Assad ordered it, although that would be a strategic blunder on his part, and he does not seem to be the blundering type.
You imply that we simply said that Assad is not a friend of the working class. In fact, we wrote: ” Assad is the enemy of working class people in Syria and elsewher.” In fact, if you review the other articles on this web site about Syria, you will see that we harbor no illusions in him whatsoever. Our view is that what was a popular rebellion that had anti-capitalist elements to it, while not being fully developed as anti-capitalist, was rerouted into a military battle that amounts to a war by proxy.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am pleased to note that your analysis includes an understanding of the true nature of Assad as an oppressor of the working class. It has been troubling to me that there are others within the antiwar left who appear to embrace him as a legitimate “anti-imperialist.” Antiwar protests in some places have included protestors who proudly carry his picture as though he was some great hero.
In response to your speculation that the chemical weapons attack may have occurred without Assad’s authorization and that perpetrators may have been ” plants,” I’m not persuaded as to how exactly this would work. I have heard this argument put forward elsewhere on the left and it just seems improbable to me. First as you note, Assad does not seem to be “the blundering type.” Since we both agree that this is true, then there are several questions that must be answered. If this attack had occurred without his authorization, what do think he would have done to those commanders who executed it? Why is there no evidence that Assad did anything to call commanders under his direct control on the carpet? It is very likely that if certain commanders were responsible, Assad would not only have punished them but he would have executed them. Secondly, since we both agree that Assad is not the blundering type, do you really think he would exercise so little control over his own military that he would allow this kind action to occur without being aware of it? Do you really think he would be so incompetent as allow persons to rise to level of commander in his military who were “plants” with connection to his enemy? I don’t think so.
From a strategic standpoint, it seems illogical that Assad would have authorized a chemical weapons attack since he knew it would assure retaliation from the United States and he was already winning the war. However it is very probable that its intended effect was to create psychological terror among the supporters of the rebels and the general population in order accelerate a surrender by the rebels. The idea might have been that this act and possible subsequent attacks would cause the rebels to surrender before the United States could retaliate. It might have been a military gamble that Assad thought he could take.
Any “socialist” who gives any sort of support to Assad is either extremely uninformed (to be diplomatic) or has no class sense. By that I mean they really don’t see the working class as an independent force in society.
As far as whether it is possible for the Western capitalist powers to have plants inside the Assad regime – in fact, I would be surprised if they don’t. Assuming that somebody in the government army is responsible for the use of chemical weapons, I see no reason why it couldn’t have been such a plant. Or, possibly, some rogue commander acting on his own. It is possible that Assad ordered the attack, but it seems there are all sorts of other possibilities also. And if it was a rogue commander or a Western plant, the it does seem logical that Assad would do everything he could to simply cover the whole thing over.
At the end of the day, who is responsible is significant but is not the key question. Even if it was the “rebel” forces, that does nothing to absolve Assad of his crimes. And if it was the Assad regime, that does not change the fact that the “rebel” fighters are equally enemies of the working class. Nor does it change the fact that Obama is trying to find a way to intervene to further the interests of US capitalism, and it has absolutely nothing to do with human rights, “freedom”, etc.
This comment is bit late but I agree with everything you’ve said. I watched the original interview and it is very comforting to see that at least one person has their eyes wide open. I am no fan of Assad, i am not a Socialist (I’m more an American democratic cooperative pragmatist, I suppose is my profile) but one can hardly argue that the situation in the middle east is better now than before Obama (who I voted for the first term) or that the situation would necessarily be better without Assad. How this administration can claim that democracy has broken out all over is beyond me, the word KoolAid comes to mind.