Is Assad anti-Western?

Since even before what has been pinned — by mostly the Western community — as the ‘Arab Spring’, the rhetoric we’ve heard from President Bashar al-Assad is rather anti-western.

Mr. Assad has accused Western nations, from the U.S. to the U.K. of meddling in Syrian affairs, of trying to destabilize his country, of supporting Israeli expansionism in region as well as arming and mobilizing various extremist and/or terrorist groups in the region.

He has criticized the West for what he deems a continued policy of imperialism and colonialism that endured through the entirety of the twentieth century and for centuries before. 

President Assad also argues that forces within Western societies (and governments mainly) are bent on portraying all movements for national sovereignty in the Middle East and elsewhere as a security threat to the international community. He points to Western media conglomerates, lobbyists, and spies and blames them for fabricating lies as pretenses for war, as in the case of the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the cold-war between Iran and the West. 

President Assad has also criticized the West for its double-standards, championing democracy on one end and supporting anti-democratic, extremist terrorist groups on the other. He looks to the West’s strongest Arab allies in the Middle East, and notices that only kings and democracies get along. 

The question of whether President Bashar al-Assad is anti-western is a complicated one, especially because the man is a champion of secularism, social liberalism, liberal Islam, and economic prosperity. His main opponent is extremism, which spills over from the Gulf, and armed conflict, which is mainly instigated by Israel. 

Therefore it seems that President Bashar al-Assad is not anti-Western, but rather, that he is opposed to the foreign policies of Western nations which, he argues, are contrary to the philosophical foundations of Western society. 

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