( Check out Deconstructing the Syrian War, my new e-book on the Syrian war, the most consequential war of recent times)
Some quick facts to debunk the incessant propaganda that claims, “Bashar Assad is a brutal dictator.”
- Assad has been the leader of Syria since 2000. For 11 years, there were no protests, rebellions, revolutions or civil wars in Syria. Syria was peaceful, secular and quite prosperous under Assad. Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Christians and other sects co-existed harmoniously. People had free healthcare and free education, including college. (Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni jihadists have been a source of terrorism for the last 50 years in Syria, but Assad had them under control until 2011).
- Under Assad, Syria’s GDP tripled from 2000 to 2010. At the same time, Assad reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio from 150% to 30%. Incredible achievements.
- In fact, Syria was so stable under Assad that it was the #1 destination for Iraqi refugees (who fled because of US invasion, thank you). By 2010, there were one million Iraqi refugees living in Syria. This is a testimony to Assad’s kindness.
- In a 2009 CNN Arabic poll that included many Middle Eastern countries, Assad won the “Person of the year” title by a large margin — he won 66% of the votes.
- In a Zogby Arabic poll in 2009, people were asked which leader they admired the most outside their own country (thus, Syrians cannot choose Assad). In that poll also, Assad came first.
- In 2010 – one year before the proxy war started, 8.5 million tourists visited Syria! Why? Because it was beautiful, historic, peaceful and safe. The New York Times listed 31 best places in the world to visit in 2010, and #7 was Syria! BTW, considering that Syria’s population is only ~20 million, the number of tourists is impressive. There is a wonderful series of videos on YouTube called “Peter Marshall’s Syria,” that documents Syria through the eyes of a tourist — who also happens to be a famous British historian and writer — in 2009 and early 2011 (just when the protests were beginning). One can see how peaceful and happy the country was.
- In 2014, in a contested election in Syria — with multiple parties and candidates, Assad won with more than 88% of the votes.
- Right now, more than 80% of Syrians voluntarily live under areas controlled by Assad. Even among the rest of the 20% – who live under ISIS or Al Qaeda – most are unwilling captives.
- In 2017, Assad has been defeating Al Qaeda & ISIS. Guess what followed? More than half a million Syrians have returned to their homes in the newly liberated areas that are now controlled by Assad. This totally destroys the entire Neocon narrative about the war and the refugees.
- If Assad had been truly a brutal authoritarian like Saudi Arabia or Jordan or Qatar – all allies of the West – then there would not have been all this destruction and chaos for six years. For instance, in 2017, Saudi Arabia sentenced a 17-year-old boy to death by beheading simply because he attended a pro-democracy rally. Obviously, no western leader will demand for regime change in that barbaric country.
- In 2009, when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited the Iraqi refugees in Syria, President Assad personally drove the celebrity couple around without any security officials! Similarly, when journalists from Vogue magazine went to Syria to interview Asma Assad, Syria’s First Lady, they were surprised that she herself drove them around. This is the Syria that western propagandists hide from the public.On a personal note, Asma Assad was born and raised in the UK, got a degree in computer science, worked at JP Morgan in London, and got accepted to MBA at Harvard. Then Bashar Assad proposed, they got married and Asma moved to Syria. Bashar Assad himself is a doctor and studied in the UK to be an ophthalmologist. They now have three kids.
- Bottom line: Foreign policy is like the Mafia. If business deals go bad, the leader of a smaller nation will be demonized and the country will be destroyed. Play by the rules of the globalists, you’ll get to schmooze with them.
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