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Bashar’s Stenographer

Seymour Hersh’s closeness to the Syrian regime has led him to write foolishly about the Middle East, and he has been at times complicit in information operations intended to exonerate Damascus from its involvement in international terrorism.

So it was good to see that the New Yorker found a proper use for the ample time Hersh has spent in Assad’s court: publishing direct quotes from Bashar. A friend e-mails, “The quotes are almost all little gems of B-movie comic menace mixed with egotism and stupidity.” You can read them here. Want to know why people are constantly comparing Bashar to a mobster? Here he is on Lebanon:

The civil war in Lebanon could start in days; it does not take weeks or months; it could start just like this. One cannot feel assured about anything in Lebanon unless they change the whole system.

Nice little country you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.



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