Video: The bizarre Bashar Assad/Barbara Walters interview

posted at 9:05 pm on December 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

Even if you’re not following news about Syria’s civil war, watch this for a rare glimpse at how an Orwellian mindset copes with “unhelpful” facts. When she asks about kids being tortured and he says, “I don’t believe you,” is that a glib dismissive lie or has he actually somehow convinced himself that this isn’t happening? A State Department spokesman watched it this morning and wondered whether Assad might be legitimately crazy. And the craziest part is that it sounds like he was the one who was gung ho to chat:

Walters said she had met Assad twice before, which cut down any fear she may have had of him. While in the Middle East several years ago, she said Assad’s wife called and asked Walters for an off-the-record meeting with the couple in Damascus. Walters also traveled to Syria three years ago, hoping for an interview, but it didn’t happen.

She thought this interview wouldn’t happen, either, after Assad canceled one get-together two weeks ago, presumably because it was to happen around the time the Arab League was condemning Syria. Then word came that Assad was willing to talk.

Assad hand-picked Walters for the interview.

“I can’t tell you why he requested me,” she said. “I can only tell you that I have met him twice before.”

Presumably he asked for her because they’d met before and because she’s known these days for gauzy celebrity profiles. She’d have been a laughingstock for the ages, though, if she’d avoided questions about the regime’s brutality and anyone familiar with western audiences could have told him that, but maybe he’s so accustomed to state media that he couldn’t quite conceive how this would end up making him look. That is to say, I think he agreed to this as a PR gesture, because he thought it would somehow improve his image in the west and might drum up opposition to potential plans for a no-fly zone or some other form of intervention. Makes me wonder if Syria’s military leadership isn’t seeing him more and more as a pure liability to be discarded, a la Mubarak, before things get much worse. The continuing protests against the junta in Egypt may be discouraging them from doing that right now, but this Asia Times piece is probably right that the Saudis are working behind the scenes to try to make it happen. One way or another, this may well be Assad’s last interview with a westerner.

Here’s the AP’s story on the UN report referenced by Walters alleging that hundreds of Syrian kids have been tortured or killed since the rebellion began. One soldier claimed he defected to the opposition after he saw a comrade shoot a two-year-old to make sure she wouldn’t grow up to become a protester.

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Baghdad Basshar

John the Libertarian on December 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Bashar Assad is a fan of “The View”…

… that should explain everything.

/

Seven Percent Solution on December 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

SECOND!

FLconservative on December 7, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Assad hand-picked Walters for the interview.

“I can’t tell you why he requested me,” she said. “I can only tell you that I have met him twice before.”

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. The poor old bat had to wait until December to have the Best Useful Idiot Remark from a Leftist Media Hack of 2011. It’s like Jane Fonda saying, “Gee, I don’t know why these commies invited me to Hanoi.”

Rational Thought on December 7, 2011 at 9:10 PM

One characteristic of every invincible strong man dictator is they are invincible strong men until suddenly they are not, and then they are running for their lives a few hundred yards in front of a howling mad lynch mob. Odd how that seems to happen so often.

Skandia Recluse on December 7, 2011 at 9:16 PM

I’m actually sitting in my middle eastern relations class right now talking about this crazy guy. Even our Iranian professor agrees that Assad is crazy

clo004 on December 7, 2011 at 9:16 PM

The last time I saw her do a “serious” interview, it was with Hugo Chavez, and she asked him nothing. I mean, it was literally just, “So, you’re a big fan of Martin Luther King Jr, huh??” The reason she was hand-picked is because she treats these guys with kid gloves in return for the big “get”– no follow up, no nothing.

I’m sure she’s a sweet old lady, but her “serious” interviews are so bad, they’re almost offensive.

Pasalubong on December 7, 2011 at 9:16 PM

What a phony…and so is Assad

50sGuy on December 7, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Bashir’s an eye doctor. I truly wonder how much he’s in control of the country rather than being the accepted figure head for the generals. AP & Ed could you get J. E. To weigh in on this? One day you’re a doctor in London, the next you’re in charge on a major ME country? Not buying that

rbj on December 7, 2011 at 9:17 PM

What a phony…and so is Assad

50sGuy on December 7, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Thread winner right there.

The Ugly American on December 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Yeah. Only crazy leaders kill their own countrymen with his military brigades. Musta been somebody else.

 

It may be a journalism coup, but Baba Wawa and the entire ABC News hierarchy should be publicly flogged for contriving a public propaganda platform for Assad the Butcher and airing his tripe.

SD Tom on December 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM

This Tweet,came in last night!
==============================

@WilliamsJon
#Syria’s Assad to @ABC: mistakes made, but no policy to crackdown on protests. Tells @BarbaraJWalters “no command to kill or to be brutal”

15 Hrs.ago
Update
========

http://www.breakingnews.com/?lastid=ahBicmVha2luZ25ld3Mtd3d3cg0LEgRTZWVkGKSo3gUM

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM

“I can’t tell you why he requested me,” she said. “I can only tell you that I have met him twice before.”

Maybe he felt like he owed her. *wink,wink, nudge, nudge*

predator on December 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM

If you could be a Muppet, what kind of muppet would you be?

Laura in Maryland on December 7, 2011 at 9:21 PM

When will they be broadcasting the full interview soon?

Question: Does Assad really think he’s going to change Western minds? And why is he worried about what we think anyway? Syria isn’t Libya, the situation is far more complex given its proximity to Israel; its doubtful the West is going to take any dramatic action against Assad. I mean, what was his goal here? And what is Iran going to think about their puppet’s lame pandering to the West?

Lawdawg86 on December 7, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I miss Gilda.

Laura in Maryland on December 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Dude stays on message.

Maybe he’s angling for a spot as Jay Carney’s replacement.

sulla on December 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM

His wife is still super fashionable, right? Maybe Anna Wintour recommended Walters to Assad.

MayBee on December 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM

************Assad the Jihady Space Cadet**************************

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM

If you could be a Muppet, what kind of muppet would you be?

Laura in Maryland on December 7, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Laura in Maryland, for the thread win.

Lawdawg86 on December 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Ya know,with that lisp thingy,Assad
sounds like a WW2 SS Nazi!

Jus say’n!!

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:26 PM

This is similar to the Assad/Ba Ba Walters interview!!
======================================================

Nathan Thurm 1984 – Martin Short(SNL)
**************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc2o8ywKqos

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Part of me thinks that it is possible that Assad is kept in his own special bubble and honestly believes the things he said to Walters. It is not that he is crazy, it is that those around him insulate him from the real world. I think that may be an option.

Albert T. Tappman on December 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Lawdawg86 on December 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Aw, shucks. Thank you, friend. *blushes*

Laura in Maryland on December 7, 2011 at 9:33 PM

One soldier claimed he defected to the opposition after he saw a comrade shoot a two-year-old to make sure she wouldn’t grow up to become a protester.

horrific

ted c on December 7, 2011 at 9:33 PM

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM

LOL – You’re the best!

50sGuy on December 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Assad: “Tell Pelosi I said ‘Hi!’.”…

Seven Percent Solution on December 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Its the visiting Goon’s from Iran,I bet!!!

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Assad hand-picked Baba because she’s a useful idiot who would interview Hitler for ratings and money.

“Oh, you’ve done such a wondafwul job redecowating the bunker here Adolf, and how’s Eva ?”

viking01 on December 7, 2011 at 9:36 PM

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:31 PM

LOL – You’re the best!

50sGuy on December 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM

50′sGuy:I wish,I could of found a better quality tho!:)

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Baba just creeps me out – it’s like looking at the mummy exhibit in Madam Toussaud’s House of Wax. I’m sorry but natural wrinkles are easier on the eyes than that dried out shrink wrapped looks ready to crumble at any minute visage staring out at you. I always jump a little in my chair when her mouth moves, amazed that it can talk.

tommyboy on December 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Here is all News Related to Syria,as it rolled in,
and a good source to timeline!!
===============================

Syria
******

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/syria

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 9:40 PM

We also have a credibility problem. I see Maj General Wesley Clark telling us we’re going to seek regime change in Syria in 2007. He says he was told this right after 9-11. That we’d attack, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and I believe Sudan in the next several years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXS3vW47mOE

So now I see these news stories about what Iran, or Syria or Libya has done and I have to wonder; What’s true? Do I have to just accept the media stories against them, knowing that our military has a plan in place (created years ago) to invade these countries?

This is why I’m a Paul supporter. I’m tired of this crap. I’m tired of the lies that got us in Iraq. I think it’s obvious we’re fomenting a lot of these uprisings through the CIA. Ghaddafi got rid of his nukes and he ends up killed anyway. It’s such a game right now and I don’t know that we’re really on the right side – if THERE IS ONE.

fatlibertarianinokc on December 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM

tommyboy on December 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I agree. If a bee stung her in the face do you think she would feel it?

50sGuy on December 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t fly off the handle, huff around and slam a bathroom door, if his flight attendant asked him to power down his game boy. That would be crazy crazy.

2Tru2Tru on December 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM

She is not the only one from ABC News who had a creepy interview with Assad/

Check out this one with Diane Sawyer done around 2008

http://newsbusters.org/node/10624

She asks him hard hitting questions like his fav movies or what is on his iPod

gamurgis on December 7, 2011 at 9:56 PM

So…………….what does he have on his IPod now?

BL@KBIRD on December 7, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Intense shelling and gunfire erupts as Syrian forces terrorize the streets of Homs,Syria
Added: 6 hours ago Occurred On: Dec-7-2011
**********************
**********************

(December 7th, 2011) Video showing Syrian tanks and intense gunfire shelling residents and Mosques in Homs, Syria. Over 9 minutes of intense shelling and gunfire.

Beginning shows firing on residential streets as Assad tank stalks the residents of Homs.

At 5:10 Syrian forces shell a mosque w/ explosions.

End shows street scenes of protesters on the ground clashing with Syrian forces.
==============

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a08_1323291949

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Re the handshake pic: wonder which one washed faster after the interview?

Marcola on December 8, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Did she ask him whether he thinks it is OK to slap women?

Christien on December 8, 2011 at 1:02 AM

Full transcript of ABC’s Barbara Walters’ interview With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – @Nightline
***************************************

14 Minutes ago.
Hot
Update

http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

TRANSCRIPT: ABC’s Barbara Walters’ Interview With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Dec 7 2011
***********

The following is the transcript of the interview ABC’s Barbara Walters conducted with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It was his first American interview, and the president was asked about Syria’s role in the Arab League and how he is treating protesters in his country.
(More….)
===========

http://abcnews.go.com/International/transcript-abcs-barbara-walters-interview-syrian-president-bashar/story?id=15099152#.TuBZ6PI2hIE

canopfor on December 8, 2011 at 1:51 AM

Boy Assad is not crazy. He is quite certain he can get away with this.

CorporatePiggy on December 8, 2011 at 2:51 AM

I’d interview him just for the remote chance that I’d get to flirt with his uber hawt wife when he was powdering his nose in the green room.

Hmmm if I were looking for a silver lining…….

At 5:10 Syrian forces shell a mosque w/ explosions.

canopfor on December 7, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Alden Pyle on December 8, 2011 at 7:18 AM

It’s just a matter of time before Damascus goes up in a mushroom cloud. Once a move is made to take Assad out, there will be an attack on Israel.

zoyclem on December 8, 2011 at 7:22 AM

Assad hand-picked Walters for the interview.

Well, Barbara does have that reputation for screwing her way to getting what she wants. I guess she found someone it will work with, while at the ripe young age of 82?

MNHawk on December 8, 2011 at 7:50 AM

I finally agree with a Middle Eastern dictator on something!

“Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution? [...] It’s a game that you play, not a game you believe in.”

Nicely said. A bit self-indicting as well, but what the heck?

Prufrock on December 8, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Nicely said. A bit self-indicting as well, but what the heck?

Prufrock

lol-athon

Albert T. Tappman on December 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM