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How Assad Wooed the American Right, and Won the Syria Propaganda War
Foreign Policy ^ | September 9th, 2013 | David Kenner

Posted on 09/10/2013 4:48:12 PM PDT by Third Person

Even before President Barack Obama put his plans to strike the Syrian regime on hold, he was losing the battle of public opinion about military intervention. Part of the credit, no doubt, goes to a successful media blitz by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and its supporters. In an interview aired on Monday night, Assad himself advanced his government's case to Charlie Rose, saying that the United States had not presented "a single shred of evidence" proving the Syrian military had used chemical weapons.

Assad has always been able to skillfully parry Western journalists' criticisms of his regime -- and, at times, it has won him positive international coverage. Before the uprising, the U.S. media often described the Assad family as Westernized leaders who were trying to bring their country into the 21st century. The most infamous example was Vogue's profile of Asma al-Assad, which described Syria's first lady as "a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind ... [with] a killer IQ." But even experts in the field went along: Middle East historian David Lesch wrote a biography of Bashar describing the president as a modernizer, before changing his mind during the uprising.

The carnage over the past two and a half years put an end to much of this praise -- but now pro-Assad media outlets have found a new way to influence the American debate. Assad supporters' claims have repeatedly been republished unquestioningly by right-wing commentators in the United States, who share their hostility toward both Sunni Islamists and the Obama administration. It's a strange alliance between American conservatives and a regime that was one of America's first designated state sponsors of terror, and continues to work closely with Iran and Hezbollah.

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.foreignpolicy.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; Politics/Elections; Russia; Syria; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911truthers; antiwardotcom; assad; davidkenner; iran; israel; lebanon; lewrockwelldotcom; maaloula; maalulu; maheralassad; potassiumfluoride; putinsbuttboys; randsconcerntrolls; russia; sarin; sodiumfluoride; syria; thebrotherdidit; unitedkingdom; waronterror
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From the article:

But right-wing Americans partisans have not been shy about simply copy-and-pasting claims made in pro-Assad media outlets when it suits their interests, no matter the source. For example, the website Jihad Watch, which is run by leading Islamophobe Robert Spencer, repeated a claim by the Arabic-language al-Hadath that Syrian rebels attacking the Syrian town of Maaloula "terrorized the Christians, threatening to be avenged on them after the triumph of the revolution."

It doesn't take much time reading al-Hadath to realize that this is a site staunchly loyal to the Syrian regime and its allies -- and therefore inclined to dramatize stories of rebel crimes. The website contains an editorial by the editor-in-chief lauding Hezbollah, and another article reports that a kidnapped European writer said that the rebels launched the Aug. 21 chemical attack (the writer has denied making such claims).

Other stories in such publications, of course, would never see the light of day in the U.S. media. Al-Hadath, for example, features a section dedicated to news about Israel titled "Know Your Enemy" -- a strange match for the American right-wing, to say the least.

Assad and the Tea Party, partners in crime... the left's new slanderous meme.

1 posted on 09/10/2013 4:48:12 PM PDT by Third Person
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To: Third Person

Assad didn’t do anything. He still sucks, and runs an authoritarian regime. But, he isn’t out there killing and raping apolitical Christians. The rebels—or rather, the foreign forces who took over the rebellion—did it to themselves by their barbaric behavior.


2 posted on 09/10/2013 4:51:35 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Third Person

Or it could be that the right doesn’t trust this president after all the lying and scandals. It should give the author pause that Assad and Putin have as much or more credibility than Obama. But he’ll just chalk it up to racism.


3 posted on 09/10/2013 4:52:07 PM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Third Person

Sure beats the hell out of the new meme for Obama and the democrats...arming Al Qaeda and other assorted Islamist animals.


4 posted on 09/10/2013 4:52:31 PM PDT by penelopesire (TIME FOR OBAMA TO ANSWER FOR BENGHAZI UNDER OATH!!)
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To: Third Person
Assad himself advanced his government's case to Charlie Rose, saying that the United States had not presented "a single shred of evidence" proving the Syrian military had used chemical weapons.

Hey Assad: We're still waiting for a single shred of evidence that Osama Bin-Laden is dead never mind if you got chemical weapons. Evidence means squat to this administration, even when it comes to our own Ambassador and Seals being murdered.

5 posted on 09/10/2013 4:53:41 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (What do we want? Time travel. When do we want it? It's irrelevant.)
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To: Third Person

Nope Assad is a brutal dictator but he’s a stabilizing force who doesn’t kill his people or neighbors at random.

Cuba is more of a threat to us than Assad.


6 posted on 09/10/2013 4:54:20 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Third Person

Right, if we are anti-American intervention we must be pro-Assad.

The concept - “It’s None Of Our Business” just does not compute with them.


7 posted on 09/10/2013 4:54:34 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Third Person

Obama’s Benghazi lies is the biggest reason to distrust the claims of “proof” about Assad’s involvement in the chemical weapons attacks.

Obozo lies 24/7. Nothing he says should be taken even remotely as being factual. And his actions show he serves foreign masters not the interest of the US.


8 posted on 09/10/2013 4:54:44 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: Third Person

Assad didn’t do sh**, but the Radical Left has to have someone to blame Obama’s/their failure on....


9 posted on 09/10/2013 4:55:20 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: Third Person

When is Zero’s speech?
(I am in Central time zone)


10 posted on 09/10/2013 4:55:48 PM PDT by Kansas58
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To: Third Person

Oh noes! We’ve been busted as Assad’s co-conspirators! Good for us nobody reads this crap.


11 posted on 09/10/2013 4:56:02 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Third Person

“But right-wing Americans partisans have not been shy about simply copy-and-pasting claims made in pro-Assad media outlets when it suits their interests, no matter the source.”

Of course, the leftists pimping the ANSWER/DailyKos/NBC bs during the Bush years did not.
What a self-serving piece of hate.


12 posted on 09/10/2013 4:56:40 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: Third Person

We are not Assad apologists, we just learned a great deal on Sept. 11, 2001, and would prefer to keep Islamic power at a minimum.

Muslims are the planet’s terrorists, evil to the core. (yeah, I know there are moderate Muslims, but one does not hear of them often)


13 posted on 09/10/2013 4:57:35 PM PDT by madison10
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To: Kansas58

9 PM Eastern Time. Be sure and get your toilet cleaning equipment a the ready. ;)


14 posted on 09/10/2013 4:58:28 PM PDT by madison10
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To: Texas Fossil

If this article was from 1979 it would be about ...

How the Shah was beaten by the Left and lost the
Iran propaganda war.

He was a “modernizer” too, fat lot of good it did.


15 posted on 09/10/2013 5:00:35 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Third Person

It comes to this - Assad is telling me one thing, and Obama is telling me something else. I don’t have any particular reason to trust either one of them, but I can point to many more instances of having been lied to by Obama than I can Assad.


16 posted on 09/10/2013 5:03:34 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Third Person

17 posted on 09/10/2013 5:07:24 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Third Person
I've yet to hear one theory from a liberal as to why, when Assad's forces are winning, that they'd choose to launch a chemical attack with UN chemical weapons inspectors nearby.

While mass killing innocent women and children is nothing new for the terrorists; a slightly bigger kill count than the typical car bombing of a mosque or outdoor market, plus a reduction on pressure for rebel leaders to find more food for civilians in their ‘territory.’

If they had taken out a rural village, it might have actually been more believable; well, except that the Russians caught them at it last time, and the assumption that the urban area as well as loads of instantly uploaded videos would compel immediate attacks on behalf of Al Queda backed forces.

I've tried to press a few liberals on the issue, but they come just barely outside of openly admitting that they think that Islamics are bat guano insane and kill for kicks. That's the only rationale that liberals have to hang on Assad as for motive for his government taking an action like this.

18 posted on 09/10/2013 5:08:41 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: kingu

When you talk to them, could you PLEASE ask they why we should bomb Assad’s forces on behalf Al Qaeda? You know, the folks that murdered 3000 American in 2001 and took several other runs at us before that and since then?


19 posted on 09/10/2013 5:15:22 PM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Like America's military is saying, "I didn't join to fight for Al-Qaeda."
20 posted on 09/10/2013 5:16:35 PM PDT by Bogie
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To: Little Ray

A month ago we were closing embassies in fear of Al Qeada.

Now we want to provide them air cover.


21 posted on 09/10/2013 5:20:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Third Person

Let’s see: was it the “right wing” who called Assad a “reformer”? Or who dined with him in a swanky Damascus restaurant?

The a$$hat author of this article is just another water-carrier for his hero Bathhouse Barry.


22 posted on 09/10/2013 5:20:16 PM PDT by mojito (Zero, our Nero.)
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To: Third Person
Found this on a site earlier today:

They are going to run with this meme...

23 posted on 09/10/2013 5:23:39 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Third Person
My position is simple...so far,Osama Obama has sided with the wrong side,the “greater of two evils”,in Tunisia,Libya *and* Egypt.Given that track record I'd bet the clothes on my back that the Syrian “rebels”,with whom Osama has sided,are the *greater* of two evils.Therefore...I oppose striking Assad.
24 posted on 09/10/2013 5:30:02 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If Obama Had A City It Would Look Like Detroit)
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To: GraceG
And what they don’t have in common is the US Constitution.
25 posted on 09/10/2013 5:30:10 PM PDT by Bogie
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To: Third Person

26 posted on 09/10/2013 5:32:00 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Third Person
Ha ha ha! Spin, spin, spin away from the truth. So typical of the Left. Blame anyone and everyone except themselves.

The "Syrian propaganda war" was lost by King Zero as soon as he started it. Simply put, we do not believe or trust the current President of the United States; he has lost all credibility with everyone but his most blind, loyal servants (Mostly the "news" media).

27 posted on 09/10/2013 5:38:08 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: Third Person

This is an inept smear job. Pathetic. Conservatives dont like Assad, in fact, they were the ones pointing out what a criminal he was, all the while the likes of Obama, Kerry, and Pelosi were supporting and wining and dining him.


28 posted on 09/10/2013 5:43:55 PM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: Third Person

I guess then 90% of Americans must be on the Right, because that’s the percentage that opposed going into Syria.


29 posted on 09/10/2013 5:47:00 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Third Person

B. S.!

I was against this stupidity well before Assad spoke.

I’m tire of the narcissist in Washington.


30 posted on 09/10/2013 5:51:06 PM PDT by KittenClaws ( You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Texas Fossil

“And his actions show he serves foreign masters not the interest of the US.”

Well, photos show that Buckwheat can’t get an umbrella through an open gate.

So, did that happen on his foreign master’s orders or did he do that all by himself? :-)

Howya doing, buddy? Best to you and your family, as always.


31 posted on 09/10/2013 5:54:06 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: Third Person

More info in regards to some of the tactics of Assad & Co.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3065016/posts?page=52#52


32 posted on 09/10/2013 5:55:26 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: KittenClaws

And another thing.

Even if Assad DID do it. I’m against intervention.

It has NOTHING to do with us. Let their Allah sort out the dead as he wills.


33 posted on 09/10/2013 5:55:30 PM PDT by KittenClaws ( You may have to fight a battle more than once in order to win it." - Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Third Person
On the moves of Putin & Co.,...

U.S. to Work Through U.N. on Syria Arms Proposal (Putin bait and switch: Israel WMD on table)
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3065162/posts

Exclusive: Does Israel Have Chemical Weapons Too?
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3064991/posts


34 posted on 09/10/2013 5:57:52 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: tcrlaf

‘simply copy-and-pasting ‘

What is this “copy-and-pasting”, thingy???

I have no glue...


35 posted on 09/10/2013 5:59:49 PM PDT by Delta Dawn (Fluent in two languages: English and cursive.)
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To: Third Person

The writer is so full of manure.


36 posted on 09/10/2013 6:14:23 PM PDT by Dogbert41 (Up yours NSA Obama ass lickers!)
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To: Third Person

This is a bunch of BS - at least the part about the right supposedly being wooed by Assad.

These libs cannot understand a simple concept - Barack Obama is not smart, he lies, and is an incompetent POTUS. Why would any right-minded individual believe the current occupier of the Oval Office would be able to send any message of value to Syria?


37 posted on 09/10/2013 6:36:37 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: Gumdrop
This is a bunch of BS - at least the part about the right supposedly being wooed by Assad.

What is there in the leftist mind, I wonder, that it can compose such conspiratorial drivel.

Perhaps, it's because saluting and supporting a brutal dictator is the kind of thing they would do if it served their agenda.

See Iraq War II, Democrats rally round Saddam Hussein...

38 posted on 09/10/2013 6:58:08 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: Third Person

Assad never wooed me, but neither did Obama. Sad thing that neither is trustworthy. When you have no good options, choose doing nothing.

Americans do not want another war that could escalate. I believe this one would.


39 posted on 09/10/2013 7:01:31 PM PDT by dforest
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To: Third Person

Sadly there has been much open adoration of the mass-murdering socialist monster Assad right here on FR, as well as of his loathsome fellow mass-murdering tyrant KGB Putin, America’s worst and most hateful enemy in the world. It’s despicable and it gives conservatives a bad name.


40 posted on 09/10/2013 7:17:04 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

It’s not adoration, just an acknowledgement that whatever would replace Assad would be even worse.


41 posted on 09/10/2013 7:18:19 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Gay State Conservative

The jackasses who said that al-qaeda would take over Libya if we bombed Kadaffy are the same ones who now prophesy that al-Qaeda will take over Syria if we bomb Assad. They were wrong. Al-qaeda didn’t take over Libya. In fact the Libyan leader told us the truth that it was al-qaeda that attacked us at Benghazi when Obama lied and tried to say it was an angry Libyan mob. The terrorist Kadaffy killed scores of innocent Americans and Libya is better off without him.


42 posted on 09/10/2013 7:22:25 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Third Person

“How Assad Wooed the American Right”

Yeah...here’s proof of that right here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGU0bE4GKVY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlRhu4kSIwk


43 posted on 09/10/2013 7:55:12 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Third Person; a fool in paradise

Assad din’t woo me, honestly, but Prince Jones Dimka from Lagos, Nigeria did, I readily admit, and for my cooperation he will deposit a substantial sum into the bank account number I forwarded to him last week.


44 posted on 09/10/2013 8:03:42 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Third Person; All

The Foreign Policy Magazine is the CFR’s propaganda medium.


45 posted on 09/10/2013 8:42:54 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: GraceG

I thought Assad was a dentist?


46 posted on 09/10/2013 8:49:20 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: Third Person

When on reads on they’re blaming Rush Limbaugh, the Vatican, Jihad Watch - calling Robert Spencer an Islamaphobe, Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix...and lots more...


47 posted on 09/10/2013 10:17:15 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Duh.


48 posted on 09/11/2013 3:33:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
I thought Assad was a dentist?

No, he is by training, and I expect by inclination, an eye doctor. He was never meant by his father to succeed him, and I fully expected that no good would come of his doing so, and I have thus far not been surprised at the outcomes...

the infowarrior

49 posted on 09/11/2013 4:37:33 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: GraceG

What is a “Teabagger” anyway?

Whenever liberals use the term, they giggle like it means something dirty.


50 posted on 09/11/2013 5:00:22 AM PDT by Berosus (I wish I had as much faith in God as liberals have in government.)
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