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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan --Israel's Enemy, Hamas' Friend-- Mocks Turkish-Armenian Friendship

Turkey's Islamist prime minister, Erdogan, is not satisfied with continuing to deny the Ottoman Empire's genocide of Armenians during WW One. He has now demanded destruction of a statue celebrating Turkish-Armenian friendship. Erdung recently visited the Kars region, part of historic Armenia and near the present Turkish border with Armenia. He called the monument a monstrosity, and pointed to its location near the tomb of a Muslim scholar. Of course, Erdung can get away with saying and doing almost anything, since he enjoys the favor of America's WonderBoy President, the highly cynical Barack Hussein Obama who --before his election in 2008-- had promised the Armenian-American community that he would recognize the Armenian genocide. Since then, of course, Obama has curried favor with the Erdung govt in Turkey, used Turkey against Israel in the "Free Gaza" Turkish armada, and refused to call the Armenian genocide a genocide.

The statue's sculptor, a Turk named Mehmet Aksoy, warned that destruction of his work would remind the world of the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, and would harm Turkey's candidacy for membership in the European Union.
"La Turquie détruit une statue célébrant l'amitié avec l'Arménie La Turquie a entamé mardi le démontage d'un imposant monument célébrant l'amitié avec l'Arménie près de la frontière entre les deux pays, après que le Premier ministre eut tourné en dérision la statue et demandé son enlèvement. Recep Tayyip Erdogan avait déclenché un torrent de critiques lors d'une visite à Kars en janvier au cours de laquelle il avait fustigé la statue comme une monstruosité... une drôle de chose érigée à proximité de la tombe d'un érudit musulman. Les critiques avaient vu notamment dans ses propos des accents islamiques orthodoxes: les statues considérées comme idolâtres sont souvent rejetées par l'islam. Le sculpteur Mehmet Aksoy a averti que la démolition de son oeuvre rappellerait la destruction des Bouddhas de Bamiyan en Afghanistan par les talibans et gênerait la candidature d'Ankara à l'entrée dans l'Union européenne." [Guysen News 26 IV 2011]
Since we're on the subject of Armenian-Turkish relations, there are still scholars who seek to deny or minimize the genocide or claim that it was just part of the war, etc. Yet, Eitan Belkind, an activist in the NILI group led by Aaron Aaronsohn, was an eyewitnes to massacres of Armenian civilians during WW I. Aaronsohn's sister, Sarah, was an eyewitness to the cruel deportation of Armenians from their homes in Anatolia toward the area of Dayr az-Zur [Deir ez-Zor] in the Syrian Desert where many of the mass murder acts were actually committed. Ironically, a Syrian ruler has lately killed many of his fellow Arabs in Dayr az-Zur who were protesting his despotic rule.
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Earlier posts about the Armenian genocide on this blog, also Aaron & Sarah Aaronsohn, Eitan Belkind: here & here & here & here & here.
4-28-2011 Syrian oppositionist Farid Ghadry asks Erdogan why he doesn't send a "freedom flotilla" to Syria, while Erdogan noisily and actively demonstrates concern for Gaza [here]

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Did Obama Harshly Scold Mubarak, Demanding that He Leave, while Coddling Bashar Assad?

UPDATING 4-23&24&26&27&5-7-2011See at bottom

Many have noticed that Obama and Hilary were rough with Mubarak, telling him to leave office just a few days into the mass demonstrations in Egypt, whereas it took them two or three weeks to tell Qaddafi to get out, and whereas Washington --Obama, Hilary, the State Dept-- are still coddling Bashar [Basher] Assad. What explains this differential treatment? Many competent commentators have taken a stab at the question. Lee Smith wrote a fine article on the subject. Just this afternoon [4-22-2011, Israel Channel 1], Eyal Zisser of Tel Aviv University, pointed out that Hilary called Basher a "reformer" just a few weeks ago, albeit to widespread contempt. Zisser, like Smith, discussed the differential treatment for Mubarak who was not exceptionally bad or cruel, as Arab rulers go, and for Bashar, who --Zisser pointed out-- is being protected or coddled or treated leniently by the Washington mob. But Zisser did not claim to have an answer.

Why this differential treatment? In fact, there is one and the same answer for Obama wanting to get rid of Mubarak while keeping Assad in power. Obama and his evil advisors and mentors, like Zbig Brzezinski and Lee Hamilton, want Israel to be encircled by enemies. So Obama encourages Turkey against Israel, scoffing at the Armenian-Americans who naively supported him on account of his promise to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. He encouraged the Code Pink and Free Gaza campaigners who teamed up with the Turkish jihadists on last May's convoy to Gaza. Lee Hamilton's Woodrow Wilson Center even gave Turkish FM Davutoglu the Woodrow Wilson award a few weeks after the Mavi Marmara incident. No doubt as a reward for embarassing Israel in world public opinion.

Syria is a very hostile state on Israel's northeast which supports the equally hostile Hizbullah on Israel's north in Lebanon. Both, by the way, are clearly Judeophobic, not merely "critical" of Israel. The Hizbullah, well-armed by Iran and Syria, could not exist in Lebanon as a state within a state --as the hegemonic body in the state-- without Syrian support. Iran which is farther away threatens Israel with the Bomb and with long-distance rockets. Obama was counting on a strong, stable anti-Israel front on Israel's north and northeast to threaten and pressure Israel, joining with Western diplomatic pressure from the US, UK, EU, etc. The protest movement in Syria threatens that strong, stable anti-Israel front.

Mubarak on the other hand was cooperating with Israel on security matters, especially in regard to Hamas and Iran. To be sure, he was violating the 1979 treaty with Israel in regard to anti-Israel agitation and propaganda in the Egyptian media, schools, etc. But he was cooperating, if only minimally, on security, especially in regard to Hamas. Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a sworn enemy of Mubarak, and of course a bitter enemy of Israel and the Jews based on medieval Islamic teaching. Obama wanted to much increase MB influence over Egyptian policy towards Israel, if not to bring the MB into the govt. Recall that a US official said --before Mubarak's ouster-- that "non-secular" factors in Egyptian society and politics should be brought into the govt for the sake of "democracy." "Non-secular" factors was a clear reference to the MB. And now, the post-Mubarak regime is giving in to various MB demands, warning of renegotiating the agreement for purchase of Egyptian natural gas. The two serious candidates for president of Egypt, `Amr Musa --head of the Arab League-- and the repulsive Muhammad al-Barada`i who helped along the Iranian Bomb Project, are talking against Israel, warning of intervening against any Israeli attack on the Hamas and demanding reopening of the 1979 treaty besides the gas purchase agreement. Obama's endeavors to encircle Israel with a more hostile power on the south [more hostile, less amenable to peace with Israel than Mubarak was] have borne fruit. That has happened. Note that democracy was never Obama's real concern. Demonstrators have been shot since Mubarak's ouster. Dissidents like Maikel Nabil Sanad are now in jail. Ten or more Copts were killed in clashes with MB thugs. The army damaged Coptic monasteries. Moreover, the people in Egypt are poorer and less secure economically than before the ouster, albeit things were bad then too.

So here Obama succeeded in having a more anti-Israeli front set up on the south. Yet, the northern anti-Israel front is being shaken by pesky demonstrators in Syria who demand freedom for their country and improvement in their situation. The Syrian demonstrations are a blow to Obama's encirclement strategy. So after more than a month of anti-regime protests in Syria, Obama and his Washington gang have not demanded that Assad get out. The criticisms from the State Department are relatively mild. Of course, the Assad regime is immensely more bloodthirsty than Mubarak ever was. Obama's concern is not with decency or democracy but with encircling Israel with very hostile powers. Hence, the answer to the question asked by Lee Smith and Eyal Zisser is one and the same. Obama wants to encircle and besiege Israel. Assad serves that purpose much better than Mubarak.

Also consider why Obama has been soft on Iran, friendly to Erdogan's Turkey and Pakistan [another Muslim fanatic state].

Lastly, consider the role of the so-called "left" and the so-called "human rights" organizations. These bodies, insofar as they focus their hatred on Israel, serve the anti-Israel policy of the EU, UK, and the old hatred for Jews of the US State Department. The self-styled "human rights" outfits like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch hate Israel more than they love or believe or serve the cause of human rights. The anti-Israel "Left" cares much less about exploited, ill-treated workers --in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, let us say-- or about the vast capital concentrated in the hands of the Arab oil billionaires than they do about harming Jews in Israel. They are unwitting tools at best of the UK, EU, & US State Department.

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UPDATING 4-23-2011 Can it be true that goody goody "peace groups", like CodePink for instance, can be considered "tools" of wealthy and powerful Establishment forces? Alana Goodman thinks so. She wondered why "the anti-war movement has pretty much evaporated under President Obama". She concludes that "the anti-war movement was little more than a partisan anti-Bush movement. Obama has continued most of Bush’s counterterrorism tactics, increased AfPak [Afghanistan-Pakistan] drone strikes, kept open Guantanamo Bay, sent the U.S. into a war in Libya and tinkered with Miranda rights for terrorists. And yet no massive anti-war protests greet him in California, nobody burns him in effigy, nobody chants that he’s 'the real terrorist.'" [here]
Simon Tisdall admits that Western govts are soft on Assad the Basher, some --such as the US & UK-- wanting to keep him in office supposedly for the sake of "Israel-Palestine peace efforts." The so-called "peace efforts" & "peace process" are thinly disguised efforts to weaken Israel and thereby give the Arabs a chance to finish Hitler's work. As I say above, the Obama gang wants to maintain a strong, stable anti-Israel front on Israel's northern & northeastern borders. [Tisdall here]
Walter Russell Mead points out that the reasons given for US intervention in Libya are present "in spades" in Syria. Mead also reminds us that, "For decades now, Syria has been a principal state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. Hezbollah and Hamas would not exist in their present forms without Syrian protection and support. On its own behalf, and as Iran’s closest strategic ally in the Arab world, Syria has a long record of arming, training and sheltering terrorists." [here]
Washington Times editorial 4-23-2011 [here] supports Alana Goodman's premise that the "anti-war movement" dried up under Obama and her conclusion that the "anti-war movement" under Bush was mainly a partisan movement cynically manipulated by Democrats [here].
4-24-2011 Elliott Abrams notes the disrepancy in Obama's positions toward Mubarak and Assad respectively. Abrams calls for stronger US action.
William Harris says that Bashar the Basher is committing war crimes. Further, Harris does not think very highly of Obama's Syria policy: "
It is difficult to think of anything more obstinately counter-intuitive than Barack Obama's reluctance to give up on the Syrian dictatorship and the bankrupt policy of "engagement" [with Assad]. Morality, strategic interest, and simple good sense together demand an end to the nonsense about reforming what cannot be reformed; if it survives, the dictatorship will be so blood-soaked that no decent person could "engage" its leadership. On the other hand, a new Syria will mean a new Middle East, with the Iranian theocracy's capability in the Levant dealt a stunning reverse and new prospects for a real Arab-Israeli peace process. " [see here]
Carlo Panella has written several pieces about Syria: "Assad First Slaughters the Demonstrators, Then He Calls Them Martyrs"[in Italiano qui] e "Nazi Repression in Syria. . ." [qui] e "Assad's Opponents" qui.
Wall Street Journal on the Syria lobby in Washington [here].
Aaron David Miller, ex-State Dept, informs us that "the Assads hold a special place in the schemes and dreams of U.S. policymakers." But, but. They're bloodthirsty bastards, aren't they? How could Washington possibly like them? [here]
Lee Smith asks "Why Is Obama Protecting Assad?" [here]. He quotes Michael Doran who writes that Obama was counting on Assad's Syria to be part of a general, comprehensive "peace" agreement between Israel and the Arab states. Doran writes: “the Obama administration has made the Arab-Israeli peace process the organizing principle of its Middle East policy.” Getting rid of Assad would somehow thwart that purpose. Doran implies that Assad staying in power in Syria is essential to this "peace" strategy. Doran doesn't explain why a Syrian govt without the Assad clan could not also make "peace" or even peace with Israel. Or be just as likely or just as unlikely to do so.
Lee Smith concludes: "the Obama White House’s Syria policy is not pragmatic and cautious. Rather, it is adventurist and ideological. The administration is sheltering Damascus in order to salvage its own bankrupt Middle East policy. If he loses Assad, Obama is lost in the region and the administration will be forced, obviously against its will, to recalibrate. The question is, how much will U.S. interests suffer in the meantime?" [here]. What Lee Smith and Doran say fits in with what Aaron David Miller wrote: "the Assads hold a special place in the schemes and dreams of U.S. policymakers."
Syrian oppositionist Farid Ghadry asks where the West is in Syria's time of travail. He especially wants to know why Erdogan of Turkey wants to send a "freedom flotilla" to Hamas-ruled Gaza but is not interested in sending a similar "freedom flotilla" to the Syrian people [here].
Elliott Abrams on Obama's Syria policy [here]
Julian Borger on British Syria policy since Junior Basher rose to power in 2000 [here]
St Andrews University in Britain said to be embarassed over Syrian funding for a "Syrian Studies" center [here]. A pimp of the pen like Patrick Seale, a toady for the Syrian regime, is an advisor to the center.
Washington Times editorial scolding Obama's policy ["The Nobama Doctrine"] & calling for intervention to save the Syrian people [here]
Lee Smith has more on why Obama & Company are soft on the Assads [here]: ". . . in place of a rational intellect and a moral center, all the White House has is an imaginary peace process, a pipe dream that requires the “reform-minded” Bashar al-Assad to come to his senses and engage with Washington."
4-30-2011 James Traub gives reasons why he thinks that Western powers were so fond of Syria and Bashar the Basher [here]
Elliott Abrams complains about the soft Obama adminstration response to Syrian govt physical abuse of an American diplomat [here]
Jonathan Spyer takes on the Israeli fools [Uri Sagi, Alon Liel, etc] who want a "deal" with Assad's Syria and need the West to prop him up until that will o'the wisp eventuality [here]
Barry Rubin points out that Assad's Syria has never been a real partner for peace for Israel despite what the Obama and previous US administrations have "believed" or pretended to believe. This should have been known and understood in the West as far back as the 1960s. [I believe that it probably was understood in the West]. He goes on to point out the danger of surrendering Israel's natural defense of the Golan Heights to Syria. How can we know in advance that the Assad gang or any succeeding regime in Syria will keep a peace treaty with Israel if it controls the strategic advantage of the Golan Heights? [here]
Barry Rubin points out that everybody --every Western govt, in particular-- should have [& could have] known just how bad the Syrian regime was many years ago. But up till the recent revolt, the Western govts were playing dumb about Junior Assad, Bashar the Basher [here].
Another piece by Barry Rubin, if combined with his two articles linked to above on Syria, supports my argument that Obama and his gang want Israel to be surrounded by hostile powers. Barry might not agree explicitly with my sound inferences from his analyses.
5-7-2011 Barry Rubin despairs over any decent response to the Syria crisis emerging from Washington's Foggy Bottom [and Foggy Top][here]

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Vittorio Arrigoni Was an Enemy of Human Rights, a Warmonger & a Hatemonger

UPDATED 4-16 & 20&21-2011

"Human rights activist" and "peace campaigner" were some of the chief words of praise thrown at Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Nazi activist in the "International Solidarity Movement" that campaigns to help our generation's Nazis to kill Jews. Yesterday, Thursday, 14 April 2011, Arrigoni was kidnapped in Gaza by a jihadist gang called at-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad [= the Oneness (of God) and Jihad]. In the usual brutal relations between rival jihad gangs, the Hamas, currently ruling in Gaza had arrested some of the group's leaders and militants, so the Tawhid gang kidnapped Arrigoni --a supporter of Hamas-- threatening to kill him if its comrades were not released by 5 pm, today, Friday, 15 April 2011. As is consistent with typical jihadi behavior, Arrigoni was executed many hours before the group's own deadline had passed. Hamas operatives ["policemen"?] found him murdered overnight. He had been strangled with a metal cable.

All this may serve to depict Hamas as a "moderate" gang contrasted with the barbarians of at-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad. Hamas of course refuses any peace with Israel and preaches the mass murder of Jews at the End of Days, although Hamas is too impatient to wait till then and murders en masse even before then, as it has done. Hamas' genocidal vision is contained in its charter, especially Article 7, which concludes with a medieval Muslim fable of how at Judgment Day Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, hiding from the Muslims. The rocks and trees will cry out, according to this fable, O Muslim, O Slave of Allah, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him.

But what is more important now is to expose just how vicious, how contemptuous of human rights and peace Arrigoni was. Here is one of his own blog posts:

"Michele Alliot-Marie, French foreign minister, expressed her solidarity yesterday --during a press conference in Israel-- with the soldier Gilad Shalit, the only Israeli prisoner in Palestinian hands.

"Despite the French minister knowing very well that Shalit was taken prisoner during an Israeli attack on the border of Gaza (and therefore is a prisoner of war), insofar as she appeared yesterday with the soldier's parents at her side, she spoke of a "war crime" to be imputed to the Palestinians of the Strip. She passed in silence over the clear and real Israeli crimes every day in Gaza.

"By virtue of these statements of hers and her silence in view of the tragedy of occupied Palestine, when crossing at the Erez Passage and entering the Strip, Michele Alliot-Marie met a deserved reception today on the part of relatives of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners (many of them women and children) illegally held captive and tortured every day in Israeli jails."

Michele Alliot-Marie, ministro degli Esteri francese, ieri in Israele durante una conferenza stampa ha espresso la sua solidarietà al soldato Gilad Shalit, unico prigioniero israeliano in mano ai palestinesi.

Nonostante il ministro francese sappia benissimo che Shalit è stato fatto prigioniero durante un attacco israeliano al confine di Gaza (e quindi è un prigioniero di guerra), a quanto pare ieri con di fianco i genitori del soldato ha parlato di “crimine di guerra” imputabile ai palestinesi della Striscia. Tacendo sui palesi e reali crimini israeliani ogni giorno a Gaza.[here in Italian]

In virtù di queste sue dichiarazioni e al suo silenzio dinnanzi al dramma della Palestina occupata, oggi passando il valico di Erez ed entrando nella Striscia, Michele Alliot-Marie ha trovato la meritata accoglienza da parte dei parenti delle migliaia di prigionieri politici palestinesi ( molte le donne e i bambini) rinchiusi illegalmente e torturati ogni giorno nelle carceri israeliane.[qui]

There are several lies here, one of which Arrigoni contradicted in another one of his blog posts. That is, the lie that Shalit was taken prisoner during an Israeli attack on the border of Gaza. In the other post, he boasts that Shalit was taken prisoner by a "Palestinian commando squad." This indicates that he knew that the event was initiated by the Arab side. This is because commando squads operate behind enemy lines, in this case, behind Israel's lines. Hence, Arrigoni was consciously lying. The other post also includes gems like "the ongoing genocide in Gaza." [here]. Those who really want to wallow in this pig's muck can go to the other post. It's in Italian but the google translation isn't too bad [bad, but clear enough if you read it carefully]. He writes there that mayors of cities that showed solidarity with Shalit [held incomunicado in Gaza for almost five years without ICRC (Red Cross) visits] by turning off the lights in such places as the Colosseum in Rome, etc., as well as the local Jewish communities are "accomplices in Israel's war crimes."

Was he useful to Hamas? His Gaza kidnappers wanted to trade him for some of their members held by Hamas. In other words, the "militants" who killed him knew that this ISM activist was a valuable asset to Hamas.

On the other hand, maybe the Hamas put the other group up to kidnapping Arrigoni so that the Hamas itself could appear more "moderate" by comparison. The first explanation is probably the correct one. But Arrigoni was clearly an enemy of Jews and Jews' human rights, the rights of Gilad Shalit in particular. A commenter on his blog made that clear, disputing some of the lies:

[first the commenter posted the wiki link in English to the Shalit page] "Really, things happened differently: Some Hamas militants crossed the border and kidnapped him.

"If he is a prisoner of war, then he has the right to be visited by the IRC [international red cross], something that Hamas refuses to allow."

Here is the commenter's comment in the original:


"Veramente le cose sono andate diversamente: dei militanti di Hamas hanno attraversato la frontiera e lo hanno rapito.

"Se è un prigioniero di guerra, allora ha diritto ad essere visitato dalla CRI, cosa che Hamas rifiuta di permettere."

Arrigoni also showed a most decidedly non-peaceful, non-pacifistic attitude to the Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad who refused induction into the Egyptian army since he did not want to fight Israel. On his twitter, Arrigoni called Sanad a traitor. Sanad has been in jail for several days now, supposedly for insulting the Egyptian army. Arrigoni stood in solidarity with the Egyptian army --against a true pacifist-- by calling Sanad a "traitor."

Here's what he said about Sanad on his Twitter page:
"No habibi you're not a spy, you're a traitor. . . . VikUtopia . . . Vittorio Arrigoni"
He also provided a link to a Ynet article on Sanad, showing that he was well aware of his stance. Far from being a "peace activist" or "peace campaigner," Arrigoni emphatically urged Arabs to make war on Israel.

Aussie Dave at IsreallyCool blog put up some photos that he found on our peacemonger's facebook page [here at IsreallyCool]. Look at them closely. Clearly, VikUtopia [arrigoni] did not want peace with Israel but the destruction of Israel so that the Arabs that are today fashionably called "palestinians" can take all of what they call "palestine," that is, all of the Land of Israel. No "two-state solution" for him.

More cartoons from Arrigoni's facebook page [here]

Can the MSM media please stop falsifying what this creep really stood for? He was an enemy of both peace and human rights.
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Fiamma Nirenstein
on the murder of Arrigoni, "A Pacifist? He Hated Israel" [in Italian & English], and a statement in the Italian parliament made to Signor Napolitano, the President of Italy [qui in Italiano], about Arrigoni and the murder by his beloved Hamas of the Israeli boy, Daniel Viflikh.
JustJournalism points out that major British media cover up the fact that Hamas has been holding an Israeli prisoner for almost five years incomunicado, in violation of the international laws of war by not allowing ICRC [Red Cross] visits to the prisoner, Gilad Shalit. We don't even know if he is still alive, if he has not been murdered in captivity, as the Hizbullah in Lebanon did to Israeli prisoners several years ago.
Let's not forget another Italian Communist murdered by Arab terrorists after having helped Arab children in Gaza [here Go to bottom]
4-21-2011 Arrigoni was literally in bed with Amnesty International, another gang of Israel haters [here]
4-23-2011 Claudia Milani, an Amnesty International representative in Gaza appears in the mourning tent set up for Arrigoni in Gaza. Both Photos #181 & #182 at the link show her wearing both a kefiyya and a PLO flag. How more obvious can it be that she --and therefore the Amnesty that she represents-- is [are] not impartial? However, the yahoo page does NOT identify her as Amnesty's rep.
Also note that Claudia seems rather well-dressed otherwise. Her hair has been professionally dressed, so it seems. Moreover, her hair has been streaked. The other woman in photo #181 seems be more mature, and thus her hair seems to have been dyed. All the necessities for feminine good grooming available in Lager Gaza.[here]

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Academic Slug Fawns over Junior Assad -- Maybe Because Hitler Isn't around anymore

UPDATING 4-3&5&12&21&24-2011 See at bottom

If you want to measure the slimy creepiness of much of American academia, take a look at David Lesch of Trinity University in Texas. He entitled a fawning biography of Bashar al-Assad, The New Lion of Damascus [Yale U Press 2005]. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone describe you as a lion. I would be flattered. Now if I could only convince my wife. Anyhow, Lesch, who teaches Middle East history, apparently knows enough Arabic to know that the word assad means lion. Isn't that cute? His name means lion so we can be cute and call the swine a lion.

Lesch published a semi-moronic op ed in the NYTimes today in which he strains to tell us that Assad isn't really like that real bad guy, Qaddafi. Actually, Assad is likely much worse which we may see in coming days. But Lesch is full of regret that Assad didn't do what Middle East expert David Lesch thought that he ought to do. Who says there's no humor in the academic world? Lesch does a great parody. Here he describes Junior Assad:
. . . he had begun to equate his well-being with that of his country, and the sycophants around him reinforced the notion.
See, what Junior did wrong was really the fault of the sycophants around him. Lesch is très adroit at identifying sycophants. I guess it takes one to know one. Let's let Lesch let loose his toadying nature:
I believed he had good intentions, if awkwardly expressed at times.
See, Junior Bashar [or Basher?] had "good intentions." Who would doubt it? At least our expert from Trinity U "believed" it. Maybe Hitler probably had "good intentions" too, or at least the David Lesches of that time would have believed it.
This is what passes for political understanding in American academia, in Washington and at the NYTimes.

Martin Kramer wrote that Lesch was "fawning" toward Assad in his book. That's the word for it. A commenter on Kramer's facebook page [where I found the links תודה רבה] went further with that.
Fawning . . . couldn't be more accurate. Lesch states in his preface "I find the story of [Asad's] rise to power as president of Syria a compelling one". Being the son of a dictator does not make for a compelling story about a "rise" to "presidency" no matter how you characterize it. It's nepotism and despotism through and through. One day people will question how these "liberal" writers came to fall in love with dictators. [Ryan Kashfian - kudos to you from Eliyahu]
So we have reached a state where commenters on facebook have more insight and common sense than profs of Middle Eastern history and NYT op ed authors. Bear in mind that when Muslim Brotherhood enemies of Assad Junior's father, Hafiz, were using the city of Hama as a center for terrorism against the Syrian state and against members of Assad's own Alawi sect [1982], Senior Assad had his artillery pound the city for several days. The usual estimates of dead in Hama run from 10,000 to 30,000, with most estimates around 20,000. Yet Lesch fawned over the son as if he were different. More recently, in early 2005, Junior had Rafiq Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon, assassinated by a massive truck bomb in Beirut. Yet Hariri had been an obedient pawn of Senior and Junior Assad for years. When Hariri showed signs of disobedience, he was eliminated. Most Lebanese and most knowledgeable outside observers blamed Junior for the murder. But Lesch doesn't so much as mention Hariri in the NYT op ed, let alone how he departed this Vale of Tears. Since Lesch's biog of Junior was published in 2005, the same year as the assassination, I wonder if it was maybe mentioned in the book. On the other hand, Lesch does mention Lebanon in the op ed but in such a way as to make Junior Assad seem like an anti-imperialist while acting as an imperialist himself:
Contrary to American interests, he [Assad] firmly believes Lebanon should be within Syria’s sphere of influence.
Can you contain your admiration for Junior's defiance of America and his overflowing Syrian patriotism? So much for Junior Assad whom we will be hearing a lot more about in coming days I trust. Now, let's think about his chic and elegant wife, Asma. She used to be a banker at J P Morgan, Lesch tells us. And, he unfortunately fails to mention, Asma was the recent subject of a flattering photo feature in the ultra-fashionable Vogue [search for it on google. I didn't save the link]. With an ophthalmologist husband and her own pre-marriage career as a banker, Asma is about as good a safe, decent, trustworthy, civilized bourgeoise matron as you could want.
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Jeff Jacoby about Junior Assad & his admirer, Barack Obama.
British & American academic pimps working for Mu`ammar Qaddafi [here]. A useful listing of Harvard and LSE denizens working to polish the image of the author of The Green Book Qaddafi's attempt to imitate Mao Tse Tung.
4-9-2011 William Harris describes the situation in Syria [here]. But the Syrian problem is not only in Syria. Harris tells us, that ". . . Western governments . . . have always had a soft spot for the Syrian dictatorship . . . identifying Bashar as a 'reformer.'"

Lesch's testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [2007]. Here are some gems:
"Bashar has a progressive and modernizing outlook" --
"I have seen him grown into the position with more confidence and more of a comfort level since I've been meeting with him.
"He has been on the upswing politically, domestically and even regionally, since surviving the intense pressure of the . . . investigation into the Hariri assassination, in part by default, because of mounting U.S. problems in the region and also partly due to his own maneuvering. I think the makeup of the February 2006 cabinet reshuffling in Damascus was a clear reflection of this upswing.
Lesch told the Senate Committee that his hero was on "the upswing."
More gems from David Louche [Lesch?].

Now, about Lesch himself. Could he be related somehow to Ann Mosely Lesch, also a sort of Middle East expert who worked or "served" for some time as an American Friends Service Committee field rep in the Land of Israel in the mid-1970s?
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4-11-2011 Ramesh Thakur tries to explain why universities go for corrupting cash from Arab dictators and other unsavory types. He is too soft on the univs. They have been corrupt for decades.
4-12-2011 Harvard profs pimp for Qaddafi [here]. Martin Kramer comments on the same issue. A live interview with a Harvard prof critical of pimping for Libya in Harvard's name.
4-14-2011 Tony Badran's take on the babboonish Syria watchers, like Lesch [here]
4-2-2011 Fiamma Nirenstein rightly complains that Washington pretends that Syria is democratic [qui in Italiano].
5-24-2011 Martin Kramer reports on another thrust of brilliant wit, another priceless bon mot from the silver tongue of David Lesch, Professorus Most Respectibus [hic], doctor honestissimus et decensissimus. Certe, this good, simple and decent man tells of his bonding with Junior Assad --known in these parts as Bashar the Basher-- as a fellow father concerned with his kiddies. Junior told honestissimus that he sang "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" with his bright and beaming children. Martin Kramer, awestruck at all this Damascene decency, as I am too, I confess, commented: "Ah a good man at heart." Dearest darling, bring me another hankie, please.

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