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Jun 03 2012

Assad blames monsters for Houla massacre

Syrian President Bashar Assad claims his government had nothing to do with the bloody massacre of men, women, and children in a town named Houla last week and that not even monsters would so such a thing. He went on to insist the Syrian government, i.e., the Assad crime family, is only interested in peace:

(CBS News) — “Despite the political and reform process which we launched, terror has not stopped. I don’t have a magic wand. I have tried all political solutions with no avail. Terror will not stop unless we force it to stop,” he said in his televised speech. He pledged to press ahead with his military crackdown.

“The enemy has entered to the inside. We hate blood, but we have to deal with the situation on the ground as it needs to be dealt with,” the Syrian leader warned.

The president’s first comments on the massacre expressed horror over the deaths of more than 100 people, nearly half of them children. U.N. investigators say there are strong suspicions that pro-government gunmen carried out the killings, but Assad denied that.

Obviously the killers were working for the Assads, whether junior here knew about the plan ahead of time is hard to say and we’ll never know.

What I wonder is why this guy would want to stay in Damascas? Thanks to daddy warbucks he’s the head of one of the 500 or so billionaire dynasties in the world. There are plenty of much nicer countries that would love to have him and his money, plus the host nation would get the chance to play peacemaker. He would spend the rest of his days celebrated for leaving power in the heart of luxury. Why guys like Mubarak, Gaddafi, and now Assad, hang on to the bitter end, and what goes through their minds as part of that calculus, is beyond me.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    geraldmcgrew

    He’s still there probably because he’s long past committing crimes against humanity. Once you cross that line, you’re pretty much assuring that the only way you’re giving up power is over your cold, dead body. I imagine there’s an element of extreme pride and arrogance in there too.

  2. 2
    Reymma

    More likely it’s a matter of personal security. It is not in the nature of dictators to feel safe, hence the self-fulfilling paranoia. If he left the country, only the law, money or connections could protect him. These do not feel tangible the way a private army and fortified palace do. Of course, the loyalty of that army is no more concrete, but at least he’s surrounded by something he has built himself.
    But there is also the fact that dictators usually believe their own propaganda; those with doubt tend to go one way or another. When such people say they are the only ruler fit for the country, it’s not just bluster; personal pride and patriotic pride have come together.

  3. 3
    grumpyoldfart

    They are hooked on power and control. The money is nice, but it’s secondary. Living in luxury in another country would mean losing all that power and control. They’d rather live in a mud hut with no cash as long as they remained in charge of the country, giving orders, making decisions and deciding who lives and who dies. It’s as if they are gods!

  4. 4
    lorn

    As with so many things if you take their point of view into account their actions and words make a whole lot more sense. I suspect that Assad is being honest when he says he is “only interested in peace”. You have to remember that both he and his father enjoyed a long period of peace. Peace brought about by a massacre of the opposition. Lesson being that if you just wipe out the opponents you can both enjoy peace, on your terms, and afford to be magnanimous.

    As such leaders tend to do, driving while looking in the rear-view mirror, and desiring to get back to the good-old-days, when there was peace, he really wants that peace. Wants it so much that he is willing to overlook the actions of his allies while they dispose of those standing in the way of his peace.

  5. 5
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    “Why guys like Mubarak, Gaddafi, and now Assad, hang on to the bitter end, and what goes through their minds as part of that calculus, is beyond me.”

    Because giving up would be losing.

    And they’d rather die than lose. Especially to the ‘stinking rabble’ they’ve been stepping on all their lives.

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