Syria’s president not taking responsibility for crackdown

By Jack Macias ’14

Amid huge publicity surrounding the brutal government crackdown on Syrian protesters, the president recently met the American media with comments that are highly controversial.

President Bashar al-Assad claims that the recent violence in his country Syria is in the manner in which he has no control over. According to him, “I’m president. I don’t own the country. So they are not my forces.”

Being the president of any country means having an undying commitment to your country, to take responsibility for anything that might have gone awry. Merely stating that because you don’t own the troops does not save said reputation, nor does it take the blame of the president.

If what he says is true, and he has no military power, then he should then be removed from office by the people, as they have been trying to do.

Surprisingly, this is the first instance in which Syria government and policies of cracking down of the Syrian protesters have come under fire. Syria has been known to be one of the more oppressive nations during the entire Arab Spring.

Since the beginning of Arabian Spring, several countries’ governments have been overthrown, but Syria, along with some of the stronger government countries, has remained as it was through brutal crackdowns by the regime.

Although the president is correct in saying that he does not have complete control over the country, he is not correct in saying that he has no control over his army.

The president is the single most powerful man in any “democracy” and although there is a hierarchy below him, he is the figurehead of the entire country. Saying that he has no control is not a completely straight statement for him to give.

Another of his controversial statements is that he did not give the orders to “kill.” He claims that they were acting on their own, while he is in control of the armed forces. The Syrian president is currently in a complete state of denial.

Click to watch video and read about al-Assad’s interview.