Current Magazine

Assad Emails: Harley Street Cardiologist Advised President About Spinning Suppression

Posted on the 16 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Assad emails: Harley Street Cardiologist advised President about spinning suppression

Protesters in a Galilee town tread on a poster of Assad as HItler. Photocredit: Freedom House

The cache of emails between President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his coterie, uncovered by The Guardian, continues to provide insight into the regime that is presiding over a country in chaos. The latest is that Fawaz Akhras, the 66-year-old father of Assad’s wife, Asma, used a private email channel to advise the president and his wife about how to spin the suppression of the uprising. Akhras is a Harley Street cardiologist, reported The Guardian.

What did he say? Akhras offerred, over a nine-month period, “detailed political and media handling advice as well as moral support.” He advised Assad to respond to a Channel 4 film showing civilians being tortured by calling it British propaganda. He suggested that the troubled democracies of the Arab Spring should be brought into the frame, as well as Western response to the Occupy movements, and to the length of time it took for the West to intervene in Libya. Akhras had until recently been seen as a “modernising influence” on Assad. He was unavailable for comment when The Guardian tried to contact him.

What else is there? The Guardianalso revealed Assad’s music taste – New Order, Right Said Fred and the American singer Chris Brown feature. More significantly, perhaps, was a song by Blake Shelton, a US country star singing “God Gave Me You”, which contains these lyrics: “I’ve been a walking heartache / I’ve made a mess of me / The person that I’ve been lately / Ain’t who I wanna be / But you stay here right beside me / Watch as the storm goes through.” He also apparently ordereed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. And a biography of Steve Jobs. So, thinks Periscope, can we infer from this that he views himself as a genius evil supremo, like Jobs or Voldemort? Perhaps.

How do we interpret Assad? “Some men are born evil, some achieve evil, and some have evil thrust upon them,” said Theodore Dalrymple in The Daily Telegraph. al-Assad is in the third category – but that “hardly matters.” The emails published by the Guardian are “entirely plausible.” Though “physiognomy” is not an exact science, when you look at Assad “you see a weak man” – a “pettifogger rather than a brute.” But the weak can often be very dangerous. Assad wasn’t meant to be a dictator – that should have been his “vicious brother”, who died in a car crash. Assad just wanted to be an opthalmologist. By all accounts, when training, he was quiet and careful; it’s possible that when he returned to Syria “he harboured genuinely reformist ideas.” Having accepted the “poisoned chalice” of leadership, he must drink it to the dregs. But the shallowness of the psychobabble lyrics that he chose, and of the emails between him and his wife – “Hahahahahahaha, OMG!!! This is amazing!” – are sadly symptomatic of endemic shallowness across the world. We must not be complacent about this.

How do the Syrians see it? Reuters reported that it only reinforced their image of him as an insulated tyrant, “fiddling in his palace” whilst his country burns. The newswire quoted an opposition supporter, who said of Assad and his circle: “Those who are in a fog will stay in the fog. They have no heart and this won’t affect them.”


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Emojis Can Be Used to Show Intent ?

    There has been a lot of talk about emojis when it comes to domain names. It now seems that they are moving their way to be used in court proceedings. Read more

    14 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • French Onion Chicken

    French Onion Chicken

    I have long been a huge fan of the flavours of French Onion Soup . . . caramelised onion, sweet and succulent . . . cheese . . . toast . . . garlic . . .... Read more

    15 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Suffer the Little Children - Manchester Monday

    Suffer Little Children Manchester Monday

    As on other occasions recently, I find myself unable to write to theme for this week's blog. In fact I have been sitting here for over an hour trying to find a... Read more

    16 hours, 44 minutes ago by   Ashleylister
    BOOKS, CREATIVITY, CULTURE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Pandan Chiffon (cooking Method)

    Pandan Chiffon (cooking Method)

    这是我吃过的最好吃的班兰戚风!不夸张,没骗你。这个戚风蛋糕体真的是鬆软到可以做瑜伽,忍不住要小心翼翼地捧在手心。一口一口吃到班兰和椰奶的香,太棒了!Pandan Chiffon (cooking method)(recipe adapted from Wen's Delight)Ingredients:5 egg... Read more

    18 hours, 36 minutes ago by   Cathysjoy
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Chris Blue Winner of The Voice Debuts at No. 1 on Hot Gospel Songs Chart

    Chris Blue Winner Voice Debuts Gospel Songs Chart

    ChristianNews You better let your light shine Chris Blue!!!!!! The  12th season of NBC’s The Voice winner Chris Blue — a worship leader at Cokesbury United... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • Movie Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (Second Opinion)

    Movie Review: ‘Guardians Galaxy Vol. (Second Opinion)

    Movie Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' (Second Opinion) Plot: Set several months after the events of the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy are o... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   House Of Geekery
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO
  • Bravery is an Option, Not an Obligation

    It’s interesting to note that in a world where people constantly claim anyone with a conscience or a complaint is being a “special snowflake”, stoicism is... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   The Guyliner
    DATING, LGBTQ, LOVE & SEX

Magazines