Last night on WSRE TV, an interview was aired with the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
I watched with great interest, looking into the eyes of a man who allegedly ordered the death of about 100,000 people. The terror he has caused, the sadness, the destruction of his own country...I wanted to see those things in his face.
I saw nothing.
He is delusional.
When Charlie Rose told him that he is being considered among the most heinous of the world's tyrants, being called a "butcher", there was no lucid response. Assad looked at him and changed the subject - basically saying war is cruel. He talked about how 80% of his country is behind him; that it is terrorists supported by other countries, the US included, they are fighting, not his own people. He mentioned Al Quaeda repeatedly.
I realize when a person, like myself, is overly passionate about something they might come across as naive. I am not. If anything, I have seen too much of this war in Syria.
You see, I have a friend there. A young friend I met through my daughter. He is on my Facebook and I have seen his posts. He lives in Aleppo. I remember when the center of the conflict was in Damascus and I warned him it was spreading. He was confident that it would not reach his city. He did not have access to the same news media we do in America.
Two months later, bombs were hitting his neighborhood. It was cold and the power was sporadic. Going to the grocery store meant taking a chance of death by sniper. His friends were fired upon and people behind them, hit. When he was sitting in a college classroom, despite the war outside on the streets, he told me the snipers would shoot through the windows of the school and hit empty chairs next to the students to terrorize them.
He posted photos and videos of death and destruction. They were not exclusive. A trip to YouTube brought the same results, sometimes worse.
He and his mother are trapped there with little money, at this point, they refuse to leave and live in a camp with refugees from their country. He is trying to take a test to finish his degree in computer science.
It isn't because I have a friend in Syria that I am angry at this war. I do know I became more focused quicker because of my friend and his mother. I know my attention was drawn to news stories there. I began studying what was happening more around Aleppo because of them.
But the atrocities speak for themselves. Horrible news stories coming out of the Syrian war zone continue to keep my attention. Beautiful, innocent babies lain out with the other victims...gassed, stabbed or shot.
No one seems to want America to do anything about Assad. We are in too many wars; we are stretched too thin. World War III might start...
I'm not stupid. I understand these things. I also know that being the greatest country in the world means nothing if we sit by, with the power to make change, and do nothing, it would be like an American police officer watching a murder and walking away without doing anything.
Can you imagine being an innocent victim at the mercy of an alleged murderous government with no one to help?
Asaad is a bully of the worst kind and we don't put up with bullies.
Or do we?
For more on the Charlie Rose interview: