In a deeply critical assessment, it is evident that the recent interview with Bashar al-Assad conducted by Sky News Arabia merely served as an attempt to whitewash and restore the image of a ruthless criminal leader, cloaked under the facade of a ruling regime. The interview, seemingly designed to appear professional and impartial, instead provided a platform for Assad to spin his narrative, all while avoiding challenging questions and meaningful follow-ups.
Observers who analyze the interview’s tone and line of questioning will detect an unsettlingly casual approach toward discussing the accusations levelled against Assad and his regime. Astonishingly, he was permitted to justify his actions without significant scrutiny, giving him the space to manipulate and distort historical events, fabricate falsehoods, and reshape the ongoing reality – all with audacity and arrogance.
Far from acknowledging his role in Syria’s tragic state of affairs, Assad took the opportunity to exacerbate it by rewriting a history that remains vividly documented through audio and video records. Despite nearly 13 years having passed since the inception of the Syrian revolution, Assad continues to rebrand his regime’s sectarian crimes as acts of “defending Syrian national interests.” His narrative dismisses the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people as a conspiracy aimed at both the country and the so-called “axis of resistance.” Astonishingly, he contends that the demonstrators who rose against his rule did not exceed a mere “one hundred and odd thousand.” In this distorted perspective, anyone opposing his oppressive regime is automatically branded a “terrorist,” while his continued leadership is framed as a triumph for Syria and a setback for its adversaries.
Astoundingly, Assad’s narrative finds a way to rationalize the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the widespread destruction, the displacement of millions, and the dire conditions faced by Syrians. In his distorted view, these atrocities are warranted consequences, justifiable prices to pay for his twisted vision.
The televised interview stands as a testament to the collusion among authoritarian Arab regimes, united in their disregard for their people’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, and dignity. These regimes, normally divided by their interests and alliances, conveniently converge to smother any prospect of genuine change. The interview demonstrates that alliances shift according to convenience; al-Assad, for instance, depicts Russians and Iranians as allies despite their undeniable involvement in the Syrian conflict. Similarly, other Arab regimes find alignment with Western powers, despite the latter’s history of neglecting their atrocities against the Arab population.
During the interview, Assad dared to address the League of Arab States’ shortcomings and discuss combating the drug trade. It’s worth noting that international reports have linked his regime to the production and distribution of drugs regionally and globally. Al-Assad’s counterparts in oppressive Arab regimes, for whom suppressing their own people remains paramount, eagerly lent an ear to his words. The unity in their suppression of their people overrides differences in loyalties and calculations.
Ultimately, the interview’s platform allowed Assad to broadcast his deceptive rhetoric, absurdities, and falsehoods. This stage was gifted to him by the very regimes that share in his distorted narrative, revealing a disturbing unity in perpetuating repression and manipulation.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.