By Jerry Alatalo
n a just under half-hour interview with Associated Press, President Bashar al Assad of Syria discussed worrisome, long-suffered details related to recent events and the situation in the country. His words were rather direct when describing his perceived view of United States’ (un)willingness to fight terrorism, in particular ISIS-Daesh in Syria and the Middle East:
“I believe that the United States is not genuine regarding having cessation of violence in Syria. The United States doesn’t have the will to work against al Nusra or even ISIS, because they believe that this is a card they can use for their own agenda. If they attack al Nusra or ISIS they will lose (a) very important card regarding the situation in Syria, so I don’t believe the United States will be ready to join Russia in fighting terrorists in Syria”.
Asked if he thought the American-led coalition attack on Syrian army forces in Deir ez-Zor where 80 Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 sustained injury was intentional, Bashar Assad answered that – yes – he thought the attacks were intentional. He explained that there were (4) four war planes involved at Deir ez-Zor, that the compound or base covered a large area, and that the attacks went on for 50-60 minutes, therefore signifying intentional actions.
Responding to often-mentioned allegations of chemical weapons use by his government and army, Assad noted that the United States has opposed Syrian initiatives to bring in United Nations chemical weapons experts for investigations after such weapons became unleashed in the past. Assad explains American opposition to chemical weapons investigations as fear on the part of Americans that rebels would become identified as the chemical weapons criminals, and not the Syrian army.
Responding to similarly oft-used, long-term accusations of Assad that “he kills his own people”, Bashar al Assad conveyed to the Associated Press reporter that “We don’t kill civilians… Who (then) is going to support us?” On somewhat of a side note about media coverage in America, after the September 17 (Saturday) attack by American-led coalition planes killed over 80 Syrian soldiers and injured over 100, the news program “Democracy Now” failed to give the Syria situation any measurable attention, time segments or reporting whatsoever.
Some have claimed that “Democracy Now” – because of their financial backers, foundations, etc. – performs the role of what some refer to as “gatekeeper”, meaning the substance, content and issues covered, reported on, and the organization broadcasts around the world (Dish, DirecTV) become limited to only those approved by their money providers. This “limited hangout” label stands out in particular when it comes to Democracy Now’s reporting on Syria. What can explain Democracy Now’s (4) four days of non-Syria coverage when veteran journalists and world affairs experts express great alarm over events there, even hinting of World War III?
Democracy Now anti-Syria bias aside, Associated Press asked Bashar al Assad about the U.S. presidential election: “The problem with every American candidate regarding the presidency, I’m not only talking about this campaign but elections generally, that they say something during the campaign, and they do the opposite after the campaign”.
“So, you cannot judge these people according to what they say, you cannot take them at their words. To be frank, we don’t listen to their statements, we don’t care about it, we don’t believe it… We have to wait until they become president, we have to watch their actions, policies, behaviors. We don’t have a lot of expectations – we never had. We have hopes we can see rational American presidents, fair, obey international law, deal with other countries according to mutual respect, parity, etc…”
Syrian President Bashar al Assad concluded the interview: “But, we all know that this is only wishful thinking and fantasy”. Pray for peace in Syria. Pray for peace on Earth.
(Thank you to Syrian Presidency at YouTube)