Is Syria using social media to mock the US?
posted at 3:41 pm on August 30, 2013 by Bruce McQuain
A Facebook post purported to be written by the 11-year-old son of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad has surfaced. The NY Times points to certain things about the profile that may make it suspect.
However, it is undeniable that it is an attempt to both goad and mock the US and its president. You can click on the image above to get a more readable version.
The Times points out:
Perhaps most significantly, the Facebook post said to have been written by Hafez al-Assad has been “liked” or commented on by several accounts that appear to belong to the children or grandchildren of other senior figures in the Assad administration. Among them are accounts that seemingly belong to two children of Deputy Vice President Mohammed Nassif Khierbek, Ali andSally, and to three children of a former deputy defense minister, Assef Shawkat, who was killed in a bombing in July 2012.
The accounts said to belong to the children of Mr. Shawkat — one of his sons,Bassel, and two of his daughters, Anisseh and Boushra — appeared to be authentic, according to a Syrian journalist from Damascus who has extensive knowledge of the country’s ruling elite and spoke on condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns. Mr. Shawkat was married to the sister of Bashar al-Assad, making these three children cousins of Mr. Assad’s son Hafez, who is believed to be the author of the Facebook post.
Many of the people who commented on the post had changed their profile pictures to show portraits of the Syrian leader or his father, also named Hafez, who ruled the country for three decades before Bashar al-Assad took power in 2000. Several of them referenced the author’s relationship to the two President Assads. One referred to the author by a diminutive and familiar nickname, “Hafouz,” and complimented him for his strength and intelligence, writing that such a feat was unsurprising for the son and grandson of the past two presidents. Another commenter wrote: “Like father like son! Well said future President!”
Now even 11 year olds are taking shots at Obama. Of course, the point is Syria is pulling out all stops in an attempt to humiliate the US. There seems to be an understanding there that whatever the US does, it won’t be much and it won’t have much of an effect. So they feel safe in engaging in this sort of behavior (which actually has a chance of backfiring if they’re not careful – stranger things have helped gin up support for things which were lagging).
But there are those who will still try to tell us that our standing as a nation in the region of the Middle East is better than ever. And that we’re respected throughout the world (just ask all our coalition members joining us on Syria).
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