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by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, Oct. 07, 2015 at 5:55 PM
Assad’s Struggle Against US Imperialism
by Stephen Lendman
The late Syrian expert Patrick Seale once said Assad’s popularity stems from his “standing up to Israel and its American backer, and for” providing security and stability in a troubled region.
Obama’s war changed things. Early in the conflict, Seale said “Assad may be on the ropes, but he is far from finished.”
The longer conflicts continues, the greater his popularity. Western leaders and media demeaned his landslide June 2014 reelection - a process independent international monitors judged open, free and fair, the first ever for the nation’s top job.
Syrians want no one else leading them. When he shows up in areas liberated from terrorist elements, he’s mobbed by adoring supporters.
He’s comfortable greeting them. He’s no despot like most other Middle East/North African leaders. Demeaning Western reports mischaracterize perhaps the region’s most popular Arab head of state for good reason.
Before Obama launched proxy war in March 2011, he enjoyed widespread popular support in most sectors of society. He drove his own car at times, walked openly in Damascus with minimum visible security - greeted warmly by adoring admirers.
He’s a Damascus and London trained certified ophthalmologist - quiet, reserved, medicine his first love. Duty got him into politics. Days after his father Hafez’s June 2000 death, Syria’s parliament voted to lower the minimum age for presidential eligibility from 40 to 34, then chose him for a seven-year head of state term, a role intended for his older brother Bassel until his 1994 auto accident death.
He ran unopposed in a public referendum, became Ba’ath party leader, and Syria’s military commander-in-chief - multiple roles he never imagined or sought growing up.
As president, he promised and delivered constitutional reform, overwhelmingly approved by national referendum - including 14 new articles and 37 others amended, responding to popular sentiment.
Political pluralism was established for the first time. So were presidential term limits and press freedom. Assad gave Syrians democratic rights, shaming America’s sham system.
Why is he so vilified by Western governments and media? Why when Syria pre-March 2011 was a far more open society than other Arab states run by repressive monarchs, despotic generals or other tyrants.
The answer is simple. Washington doesn’t care if nations are run by good or bad guys - as long as they observe US rules. Refuse, maintain sovereign independence, and get targeted for regime change.
Every nation America attacked post-WW II - from North Korea to Vietnam to Panama to Afghanistan to Libya and Middle East countries, as well as numerous leaders eliminated by coups and assassinations - was independent, not subservient to US policy.
That’s why they were attacked - to replace their governments with pro-Western puppet regimes, mostly but not always successfully.
Washington wants its way imposed on all governments worldwide. Along with Israel, Britain and France, it dominated Middle East policy for decades.
The phony Arab spring was manufactured in Washington, manipulated to turn out its way, not for democratic change, a verboten notion for US policymakers.
Assad isn’t going anywhere. It’s a whole new ballgame with Russia’s intervention, maybe in Iraq to follow if Baghdad requests help.
For the first time since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, America’s imperial project is being challenged. Obama’s only response so far is propaganda war.
It’s ineffective in deterring Putin’s war on terror - wanting it defeated abroad, prevented from arriving in Russia. He took the initiative, maybe catching Washington off-guard. He’s got the upper hand. The Arab street supports him. So does the entire free world.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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