Part two aired this morning. Here’s the transcript, which begins with him blaming the world for forcing him to seek the shelter of Iran’s tender embrace. To Sawyer’s credit she did ask tougher questions in this segment, including a few about the Hariri tribunal in Lebanon that’s got Damascus so nervous. Assad handled them easily, of course. By now, he doesn’t even flinch when he says “we don’t believe in violence” in the course of explaning his support for Hamas.
It’s always tough to pick one magic moment for clipping but today’s blue ribbon goes to his disquisition on democracy. He worked hard for it, having funnelled suicide bombers into Iraq for years now precisely so that he could claim the rubble as evidence of what happens when Arabs try to govern themselves. Fifty years from now, some reporter will be asking his grandson the same question and will be getting the same answer, practically verbatim, in reply.