“Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians”

{Please note: by posting this article, I am not defending this government or its European stooges. I simply wanted to point out that Assad is not the victim of all this hell, but the Syrian people are! And if you don’t read the article, then don’t bother commenting!!}

I want to thank Norman Pilon, whose posts I have reblogged recently, for awakening me to the truth about Assad and what is happening in Syria. I still don’t fully understand how all of this plays out, but what I really can’t understand is why this not-so-obvious truth has bothered me so badly.

All I truly desire is truth, and for it to be exposed and empowered, so it can then expose the heinous lies of these elite-swine creatures, who arrogantly believe they rule the entire world with impunity. I have changed my opinions, views and long-held beliefs, of all types, throughout the years; knowing that I could be, and often was, very wrong. But I hate my own government so much, that I guess I lost sight of my desire for the truth, for a moment, and so I didn’t want to hear it, when it was exposed to me.

I was lied to, and not only by this government and its cohorts in crimes against humanity, but by the alternate media, as well. And maybe the alt-media are as fooled as I have been? I don’t know? But I now know I cannot fully trust any source of information, from here forward. And so I will be more cautious about getting caught up in other areas of the world, where there is no way for me to know what is truly happening there.

Hell, I don’t really know what’s happening here!

Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians

By Mehdi Hasan

April 19, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists,

Sorry to interrupt: I know you’re very busy right now trying to convince yourselves, and the rest of us, that your hero couldn’t possibly have used chemical weapons to kill up to 70 people in rebel-held Douma on April 7. Maybe Robert Fisk’s mysterious doctor has it right — and maybe the hundreds of survivors and eyewitnesses to the attack are all “crisis actors.”

Maybe Assad didn’t use sarin to kill around 100 people in rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun a year ago either. A joint investigation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found “unmistakable evidence” that he did. Human Rights Watch and Hans Blix also agree that Assad was probably to blame. But maybe they’re all wrong. Or, maybe they’re paid shills for the CIA.

My point is this: Who cares? Seriously, who cares? Whether or not it was Assad who used chemical weapons in Syria earlier this month, or last year, might matter to the leaders of the U.S., the U.K., and France, who decided to launch brazenly illegal and rather pointless airstrikes against his regime, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Syrian president-for-life is a monster who has perpetrated a vast array of blatant human rights abuses, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Now, I totally understand why those of you on the MAGA-supporting far right who cheer for barrel bombs don’t give a damn about any of this. But to those of you on the anti-war far left who have a soft spot for the dictator in Damascus: Have you lost your minds? Or have you no shame?

Remember: Whether Assad used chemical weapons in Douma is irrelevant to the moral case against him. What about the rest of his crimes? Was Assad any less of a war criminal when his “indiscriminate bombardments,” according to the U.N., were destroying “homes, medical facilities, schools, water and electrical facilities, bakeries and crops,” without the aid of sarin or chlorine? When he was dropping barrel bombs (68,000 since 2012, according to one count) on defenseless civilians? Or cluster bombs? Or good ol’-fashioned shells?

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when his troops “opened fire during protests in the southern part of Syria … and killed peaceful demonstrators” at the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, long before any jihadists had arrived in the country to fight against his regime? Or when his soldiers delivered the brutalized corpse of 25-year-old protester Ghiyath Matar — nicknamed “Little Gandhi” for his commitment to nonviolent activism — to his pregnant wife and parents in Deraya in September 2011?

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when his barrel bombs were forcing hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee from their homes? An October 2015 survey of Syrian refugees living in Germany found that seven in 10 of them blamed Assad for the violence in their country, compared to one in three who blamed the Islamic State.

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when he was torturing tens of thousands of Syrians in his dungeons, many of whom ended up dead or disappeared? “The mass scale of deaths of detainees suggests that the government of Syria is responsible for acts that amount to extermination as a crime against humanity,” declared Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, chair of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, in February 2016.

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when his security forces were literally starving the people of Madaya, an opposition-held town an hour’s drive from Damascus, in 2015 and 2016? Scores of residents died from malnutrition and starvation, according to Physicians for Human Rights; others were forced to survive on soup made from grass and rice. “Let me be clear,” declared then-U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in January 2016, referring to the situation in Madaya and other regime- and rebel-held towns, “the use of starvation as a weapon of war is a war crime.”

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when he was bombarding and besieging stateless Palestinians at the Yarmouk refugee camp, a few miles from his presidential palace, in 2012, 2013, and 2014? “The harrowing accounts of [Palestinian] families having to resort to eating cats and dogs, and civilians attacked by [Syrian army] snipers as they forage for food, have become all too familiar details of the horror story that has materialized in Yarmouk,” noted Amnesty International in March 2014.

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when members of his notorious mukhabarat were repeatedly whipping Maher Arar with electrical cables in 2003, at the behest of the U.S. government and long before the Arab Spring kicked off in 2011? The Syrian president was an eager accomplice in the Bush administration’s “extraordinary rendition” program, and Syria became one of the “most common” destinations for rendered suspects. To quote former CIA agent Robert Baer: “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria.”

Was Assad any less of a war criminal when he was funneling jihadists from Syria into Iraq to carry out suicide attacks — not just against American soldiers, but against Iraqi civilians, too? “Ninety percent of terrorists from different Arabic nationalities infiltrated Iraq through Syrian territory,” then-prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, claimed in 2009. “I went and met President Bashar al-Assad twice, and presented him with material evidence … that his security forces were involved in … transporting jihadists from Syria to Iraq,” the former Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie revealed in 2015.

Are you really going to tell me this is all “fake news”? All pro-rebel or pro-Gulf propaganda? That none of it happened? That none of the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, or the millions of refugees, are the fault of Assad? That none of the torture was real? Or that Palestinian refugees starved themselves? Maher Arar made it all up? Ghiyath al-Matar killed himself? Seriously?

Is this atrocity denial really necessary? Is it the only way you know how to oppose rapacious U.S. foreign policy, or Saudi-inspired extremism, or Israeli opportunism? By absolving Assad of well-documented war crimes, while smearing all humanitarian rescuers as “Al Qaeda” and all of the civilian victims of his bombs and bullets as “terrorists“? By cozying up to Iran and Russia in order to give the finger to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? Is this not the “anti-imperialism of fools“?

Let me be clear, before you revert to the usual evasions and whataboutery, or try and smear me as a dupe of the CIA or an agent of the Zionists or the Qataris: Yes, Syrian rebel groups have committed their own fair share of murders, kidnappings, and torture. I’ve been a consistent critic of the rebels (see here, here, and here), and I need no lessons from any of you on their shameful role in prolonging and escalating the violence and chaos in Syria.

But here’s the thing: You can condemn rebel atrocities and western meddling in Syria without heaping praise on, or making excuses for, the loathsome Assad. Have you forgotten the old adage about walking and chewing gum at the same time? Or the one about my enemy’s enemy not being my friend? Denouncing the rebels and their backers doesn’t require defending Assad and his backers. Compared to ISIS, the Syrian president may be, in your view, the lesser of two evils — but he’s still evil.

And, look, we can argue over whether or not to support a “no-fly” zone (I didn’t); arming the rebels (I didn’t); U.S.-led airstrikes (I don’t); or regime change in Damascus (I don’t). What we can’t, and shouldn’t, argue over are the unspeakable war crimes committed by Assad against his own people; what we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to is the vile — and violent — nature of his regime.

The truth is that Bashar al-Assad is not an anti-imperialist of any kind, nor is he a secular bulwark against jihadism; he is a mass murderer, plain and simple. In fact, the Syrian dictator long ago booked his place in the blood-stained pantheon of modern mass murderers, alongside the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Henry Kissinger, and George W. Bush. I can think of few human beings alive today who have more blood on their hands than he has.

So, why defend him? Why indulge in conspiracy theories on his behalf? Why minimize his crimes and abuses? And isn’t it more than a little hypocritical of you to constantly call out the violence of the West or the Gulf states or the rebels, while ignoring or downplaying the violence of Assad?



This article was originally published by “The Intercept”

Sources and links can be found here:



13 thoughts on ““Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians”

  1. I didn’t think for a moment that anyone disputing the gas attacks was apologizing for Assad, only outraged by U.S. aggression…

    None of the articles I read regarding the reality or fictitious nature of the gas attacks defended Assad. Not one. I think that most know he is a heavy-handed dictator. That doesn’t mean the U.S. should assault more Syrian people, their cities or industries – they are not Assad.

    To imply that anyone who disputes U.S. actions an “Assad apologist” is a terribly weak strawman, IMO, and only highlights the establishment’s complete inability to even marginally legitimize the recent, U.S. led assault. Instead the character of any and all who dare question official narratives must be assassinated as ‘theorists,’ ‘apologists,’ and fools ‘defending war criminals.’

    Challenging U.S. crimes is not equivalent to defending the crimes of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You just helped to clarify what I couldn’t.

    This is how I see it as well, although, I did, in great error, begin to believe that Assad was a victim, too.

    I was condemning the actions of the US and NATO, and their atrocities against the Syrian people.

    Also, what is happening in Syria, as far as the US is concerned, is one of many repeat performances, going all the way back to Korea, Chile, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, just to name a few.

    But what I wasn’t aware of, and I am still troubled by, is the idea that Russia is in on all of this.

    Anyway, I agree with you. But I am sorry that I was also supporting Assad, out of misinformation/ignorance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just followed your link back to ‘Information Clearing House.’ Typical responses to be expected from any choir. Left a link to Hinnebusch’s work. Hopefully, a few people will follow it up and learn a bit more about the situation as it really is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have certainly found myself in that situation before, spun round to defending an indefensible wrong because of a situation so convoluted that the only people taking action against evil, have agendas roughly equal in potential to harm humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Did not read the article. Did not need to. The West’s humanitarian concerns are pure bovine excrement.

    Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Ebola, vaccinations, Global banking fraud, petrol-dollar, CIA/NATO interventions in Africa, US interventions in South America, CIA global drug running, NSA/GCHQ global spying, Trojan horse vaccinations, False flags, Hollywood/news propaganda…all to support the rule by a “royal”/financial criminal cadre.

    The Western establishment are proven liars: US, UK, France, Germany. Calling them out does NOT mean we think Assad or the Russians are saints or above reproach.
    Remember the “Cold War”? That bogus war that profited tee military industrial complex and divided teh world into two economic/ideological camps.

    The biggest war criminals bar none are the leaders of US/NATO countries. The pretentious upholders of international “rule of law”.

    Let us deal with one simple economic fact – the petro dollar.
    A fundamental conceit that allows the US to print IOUs to buy what it needs and the profits thereof going to the criminals behind the deceitfully named Federal Reserve. How does the us maintain the petro-dollar? By force/violence.

    So there we have it. US hegemony (Global bully) maintained by financial deceit/fraud and military violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. FYI:

    You have just repeated every article I have been posting for four years now.

    I posted this article, because I was falling for the “Assad is a victim” lie, not because I am a supporter of this piece of shit government and its European stooges.


  7. I am definitely getting feedback here. One person didn’t even read the article, they just went off, as if I am a rabid USA lover.

    Go figure!;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We do not like to hear what we think goes against our sense of basic human decency and what we already think we know.

    But as MacThule puts it, the situation is so convoluted, that we can all be forgiven for not being able to discern things as they are in our estimations, whatever they may happen to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Exactly, Norm!

    It is convoluted beyond belief, as is almost everything else dealing with this nightmare empire and its stooges!


  10. OK, point taken however I was just underlining as briefly as possible the moral bankruptcy of “western humanitarian intervention” irrespective of the despotism or not of the target nations leadership.
    I am no Russo-phile but even I find the “Russia did it” narrative tiresome without strong consistent evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

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