In light of recent news:
After reading The New Republic‘s cover feature, “How Assad Won,” (1/6/14 Issue) the proposition that Bashar Al Assad has indeed succeeded in thwarting international prosecution for the disgusting treatment of Syrians is found to be a correct characterization of the murderous and oppressive head-of-regime. The ability to stir-up violence between opposing forces in order that western intervention be made an unsavory course of action is identified as a deft tiptoeing around neutralizing entities.
The most problematic element of the article is that there is the constant and ringing insistence that Assad is a “weak” leader, as in, “The subtext here is that Assad is weak.” As the reader continues indulging the trickery, evasiveness, tactful misinformation, economic cronyism and ability to change strategies in accordance to a change in political weather, he is inclined to urge a clearer understanding of what is meant by the word “weak.”
By the standard of most peace, life and liberty-loving global citizens, to say Assad is morally weak would be an understatement; he may also be weak for his inability to discuss politics (or anything at all) with his tyrannical father; he may also be weak for his inability to express his views and ambitions openly with others, e.g. the jet ski fable, where the young and still-human “Bashar” gleefully ascents to his friends’ request to use the new toy, but secretly has it reported broken to prevent it leaving the presidential palace.
As of today, Assad still stands the leader of Syria. In dictatorial tradition, he has fabricated the support of his people for the living rooms of the West. He has managed to give the Obama administration the excuse it needed to avoid military action. He is, by all accounts of survivalism, a shrewd Arab Spring survivor who knows how to play the game. “Weak” underestimates this reality.