cnn interview assad

CNN's Christiane Amanpour 'interviews' Bashar al-Assad in 2005
In late 2005 CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed Syrian president Bashar al-Assad ahead of the publication of a UN report on an investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minster of Lebanon, on Valentine's Day that year. Syria's leader was at the time effectively tried and condemned in a trial-by-media as having ordered Hariri's assassination, though there is to this day no conclusive evidence proving either Syrian or Lebanese government links with the massive bomb attack in Beirut that killed Hariri and 22 other people. In fact, the evidence strongly points to an Israeli hand in the murder.

Given that Hariri's death triggered a popular uprising known as the 'Cedar Revolution', which overthrew the pro-Syrian government in Beirut and led to Syrian troops being forced out of Lebanon after decades of peacekeeping since the Lebanese civil war, it's difficult to see what possible motivation the Syrian government may have had for assassinating Hariri - though one can certainly see how certain other countries in the region may have benefited.

Having grilled Assad on his alleged involvement in that macabre deed, Amanpour went on to tell her interviewee, to his face, that the US government was 'actively seeking' to depose him by force:
"Mr President, the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader. They are granting visas and visits to Syrian opposition politicians. They are talking about isolating you diplomatically and perhaps a coup d'état or your regime crumbling."

From this published Wikileaks cable, we also know that the following year, in 2006, the top US diplomat in Syria believed that the goal of US policy there should be to destabilize the Syrian government, by any means available:
  • that the US should work to increase Sunni-Shia sectarianism in Syria
  • the US should try to strain relations between the Syrian government and other Arab governments, and then blame Syria for the strain
  • the US should seek to stoke Syrian government fears of coup plots in order to provoke the Syrian government to overreact
  • the US should work to undermine Syrian economic reforms and discourage foreign investment
  • the US should seek to foster the belief that the Syrian government was not legitimate, and that violent protests in Syria were praiseworthy
And still there are those who believe that the US and its collaborators are NOT to blame for EVERY SINGLE DEATH over the past 7 years of bloody mayhem in Syria.