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Is Bashar Asad a Nice Person Surrounded by a Wicked Clique? Or, Is He the Devil Incarnate?

Bashar Asad’s supporters propagate that he is a nice person but surrounded by nasty coteries. It is argued here that Bashar is the boss of a wicked Mafia family and that he is personally responsible for the long suffering of the majority of Syrians. 



A Childhood in a Home of Intrigue, Conspiracy, and Betrayal

Bashar’s father, Hafiz, was deceitful, cunning, and cruel. Bashar follows in his father’s footsteps. In its illegitimacy, lawlessness, and violence, the Asad regime is a Mafia family business. At best, the regime might count on the support of about a third of the population. Shielding the family from most of Syria’s 75% Sunni majorityare trusted Alawite soldiers. An outer protective ring is composed of opportunistic non-Alawi soldiers and hangers-on. 


The relationship between the Asads and their security commanders is one of mutual dependency: Help the Asads’ hold on power and you will get very rich very quick. Institutionalized corruption keeps the enterprise together. Breaking the law with impunity is the glue that binds the group. Dissolve the glue and the entire edifice will collapse.


The Asads' Police State

Bashar Asad presides over a monstrous police state composed of myriad blood curdling “Abu Ghraib” type prisons with demonic interrogation dungeons manned by sadistic, well-paid security men. A million eyes and ears snoop in schools, universities, mosques, and offices. Like that of his father, Bashar’s killing machine bulldozes its way through Syrian society. Live ammunition is used to disperse unarmed demonstrators. At the slightest suspicion, victims are arrested and tortured; some spend years in prison without charge. Others might expire under torture. Wives and children of dissidents are often hauled away and tortured in order to reveal the whereabouts of a wanted relative and/or to force the wanted person to surrender.


The cruelty of the regime is legendary. Amnesty International documented 38 types of torture used against detainees; including, electrical shocks, pulling out fingernails, burning genitalia, forcing objects into the rectum, beatings while the victim is suspended from the ceiling and on the soles of the feet, alternately dousing victims with freezing water and beating them in extremely cold rooms, hyperextending the spine, bending the body into the frame of a wheel and whipping exposed body parts, using a backward-bending chair to asphyxiate the victim or fracture the spine, and stripping prisoners naked for public view.[1]


Like his father, Bashar Asad is prepared to destroy Syria to stay in power. When he was 15 years old, he witnessed his father and uncle Rifaat destroy the city of Hama in February 1982. They killed tens of thousands, maimed many times more, destroyed most of that city of 400,000 inhabitants, executed thousands, and forced tens of thousands to flee to neighboring countries. Earlier, on June 27, 1980, the day after a failed assassination attempt on Hafiz, hand grenades and machine-guns annihilated at least five hundred inmates in the cells of the notorious Palmyra jail.  


The father's viciousness is matched by the son's unimaginable cruelty in dealing with Syria's popular revolution since March 18, 2011. He killed and maimed 2-3 million citizens, may be more, made around six million into refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey in addition to another six million displaced within Syria, let alone the hundreds of thousands of prisoners and the bulldozing of most big cities like Aleppo, Homs, Hama, and Idlib. 



[1] GlobalSecurity.org, “Syria Intelligence & Security Agencies.”



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