Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Assad is more popular in Syria than Obama and Hillary are in the United States

(This post includes some original research, so please inform others.)

I have discovered one of history's most galling ironies.

In order to comprehend this irony, we must first be absolutely clear on one point: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton refuse to countenance any solution to the Syrian civil war in which the elected, lawful, secular leader Bashar Assad is not removed from office.
Finally, on Aug. 18, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “The transition to democracy in Syria has begun and it’s time for Assad to get out of the way.” Obama simply issued a statement: “For the sake of the Syrian people,” he said, “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Despite this talk of democracy, the White House insists that Bashar Assad must not allowed to participate in any future election. Why? For one simple reason: Assad would win.

A new poll proves the point.
The survey, conducted by ORB International, a company which specializes in public opinion research in fragile and conflict environments, [2] found that 47 percent of Syrians believe that Assad has a positive influence in Syria, compared to only 35 percent for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and 26 percent for the Syrian Opposition Coalition.
Bashar Assad is the most popular man in Syria, according to ORB international, a credible UK polling organization whose clients have included the BBC and the Conservative party. The fact that Obama will not countenance any election in which Assad takes part proves the accuracy of ORB's findings.
The persistence of the myth that Assad lacks support calls to mind an article written by Jonathan Steele in the British newspaper the Guardian on 17 January 2012, less than one year into the war. Under a lead titled, “Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know it from western media,” Steele wrote:
Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favor of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media consider the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious.

Alas, not in every case. When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed. So it is with the results of a recent YouGov Siraj poll…ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country whose government has called for Assad to go.
Steele reminds us that Assad has had substantial popular support from the beginning of the war, but that this truth, being politically inconvenient, is brushed aside, indeed, suppressed, in favor of falsehoods from US, British and French officials about Assad lacking legitimacy.
Solving the civil war by plebiscite is unthinkable because the wrong person would win. That's why we prefer to back the jihadist group Ahrar al Sham, which intends to install a Sunni theocracy. At the recent "peace" conference, Ahrar al Sham representatives made it clear that they despise the very word democracy.

Let's take matters further. If Assad has a 47% approval rating in Syria, how does his popularity compare to Barack Obama's?

According to the most recent Gallup poll, Obama's favorability rating is exactly the same as Assad's: 47%. (That is to say, 47% of Obama's fellow Americans view him favorably.) Obama's approval has often been lower, although it has rarely gone much lower.

Gallup's poll offers the highest number I could find. According to a Huffington Post poll, his favoribility is a smidgen over 45 percent. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll has him at 41 percent. An NBC/WSJ poll has him at 43 percent.

If we average out these findings, we may fairly say that Barack Obama's number is worse than Bashar Assad's.

Amusingly, on August 18, 2011 -- the very day when this administration declared that Assad had to go -- Barack Obama's approval rating was a mere 40 percent, with 52 percent registering disapproval. On the day when Obama declared that Assad had lost all legitimacy with his people, Obama enjoyed substantially less legitimacy with his own people.

And what of Hillary Clinton's approval ratings? Here's a Gallup poll from last September...
Currently, 41% of U.S. adults say they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic front-runner, while 51% hold an unfavorable view.
At the time, it was thought that her numbers were impacted by the (largely bogus) "emailgate" scandal. However, a HuffPo poll puts her current favorable rating at 41% -- an unchanged result.

It's a fact: Assad is better-liked in Syria than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in the United States. Assad is also more popular in Syria than Donald Trump is in America. In reality, no Republican or Democratic presidential candidate is liked by more than 47% of Americans.

By what right does this country demand the ouster of Bashar Assad?


James said...

Do you honestly believe that our government gives a damn about polls and popularity? Have you not noticed that our voting machines work about as well as the "door close" buttons on an elevator, as in, not at all? Voting is a placebo provided to the rubes to keep them from realizing that we have nothing, that we mean nothing, and that our only purpose as far as the ruling elite are concerned is that we continue to pump real dollars into the markets through our 401k contributions so that value can be skimmed by well-connected hedge fund predators and that we continue to pay taxes so the same well-connected insiders can continue feeding at the trough of government largess while we suckers pick up the tab.

2000 was a coup d'etat. In 2002 Paul Wellstone was assassinated and just enough districts were manipulated to maintain a GOP advantage in the march to war. In 2004, any state visited by Nathan Sproul and Associates was being primed for vote rigging as newly registered voters were systematically registered to the wrong party as a preemptive smokescreen for the theft of voter intent. Furthermore Ohio ran all of its votes through GOPTech in Knoxville, TN, which was the same company that ran the private email servers the Bush administration relied upon to run its criminal enterprise. Pat Tillman was slaughtered in Afghanistan to prevent him from returning home to campaign both against the war and in favor of whom he believed to be a legitimate opposition candidate (Kerry), who we now know was just an establishment sandbagger called upon to ensure that the war party maintained its iron grip on power. 2004 was also the year "voters" were introduced to their next emperor when Obama was called upon to provide the keynote address at the DNC. Hope and change, y'all!

Amazingly, despite the overwhelming opposition to the war in Iraq and the multiple failures and corruption endemic to the Bush years, the nation was somehow still mired in gridlock by the fact that just one - ONE - senate seat more was needed to provide the now necessary supermajority required to pass any legislation. Again, the war party won.

We looked forward, not back. There was no point in looking into those crimes and lies that got us into Iraq, nor would it make sense to have an actual investigation into 9/11. Nor did Americans want single payer health care. Nor did it make sense to close Guantanamo. Nor should any of the banksters have lost their equity positions (not to mention their personal asset, freedom, or even lives) due to the multi-trillion dollar grift they'd pulled over on the world. No, our obviously-still-in-tact-and-functioning-perfectly democratic institutions made sure that we got just enough relief to prevent a full-blown revolution, but not enough to even begin to move the needle on making things right or changing the course of history.

Democracy is a scam and it doesn't work, especially when all of the candidates are whores and the information voters would need to make rational and educated decisions about who best represents their needs and interests is molested by a corrupt fourth estate.

Nobody cares how popular Assad is just as no one cares how unpopular our leaders are in this country. Until someone gives them a reason to care, they won't care.

Joseph Cannon said...

"Do you honestly believe that our government gives a damn about polls and popularity?"

Yes, that is why (as Chomsky often points out) we are such a heavily polled society.

Beyond that, the American people must be made to understand that Assad is not a detested dictator, even though he is routinely depicted as such by our media.

"Democracy is a scam and it doesn't work"

Vade retro, Satanas. What alternative is there?

The solution to compromised democracy is better democracy, not an end to democracy. Democracy is fundamental.

S Brennan said...

I have to say, annoyingly, I knew this, indeed it was also true for Qaddafi, whose most egregious evils were done to placate the ever voracious tastes of the American/Anglo empire.

People forget, the USA, even with Al Qaeda's well supplied foreign mercenaries could not effect regime change, the people were dead set against this "revolution". We inserted our special forces, but still no progress. Nope, it took 8 months, flying 500 bombing sorties a day to effect that "people's revolution".

But we got'er dun...all to the polite applause of Obama's supporters...of course, Al Qaeda's well supplied foreign mercenaries are racist through & through, they had to be rewarded for their efforts. And so, they murdered every black person in the country they could round up.

Blacks have been living in Libya since Roman times, many of the blacks murdered trace their roots to Arab slave times and some were welcomed by Qaddafi to fulfill the need for workers on his many infrastructure projects. Qaddafi was/is the only Arab leader that felt that blacks were not sub-human and should be treated with respect, this attitude infuriated the Gulf States leadership.

So there you have it, the first African blooded President of the United States engaged in a genocide of Black peoples living free in a tolerant Arab state...and the black people I grew up with, all "liberal", can't stop cheering Obama's great deeds. It's depressing.

When you see a photo of Obama posed as Mussolini, there is more than a grain of truth in it, indeed what happened in Ethiopia pales next to the brutality meted out by Obama.

James said...

I agree wholeheartedly that democracy is fundamental, but at what point do people realize that we no longer have anything remotely resembling democracy? At what point do we organize and take it back? That's what I want to know.

S Brennan said...

There were 25,000 bombing sorties over 8 months, so, that's about one hundred a day, NOT 500. My bad,apologies all for getting that wrong. Still, if you can imagine [put the state you live in >_____<<<here], however big your state, experiencing 100 bombings a day would be an apocalypse.

Alessandro Machi said...

Joseph Cannon Concluded...By what right does this country demand the ouster of Bashar Assad?

Um, because he's more popular than Obama and Hillary are in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

It's been estimated that when "consent" rather than "support" is withdrawn by 15% or more of the population a government cannot govern. Obama may have less support in his country than Assad in his, but Obama having been elected in a free election has almost 100% consent, however reluctant. Assad may have lost the consent of as many as 50% of his country's population and certainly far more than 15%.
Rais, Perth.

Joseph Cannon said...

Rais -- if I have your name right -- the point you raise is fascinating, and there may be much in it. But when we try to measure an intangible like consent, we're dealing with things that can't be measured, and any "guesstimates" we offer are inevitably tainted by bias and personal interest.

And your proposed 15% rule is one of those rules which may not, in fact, be rules. We're not dealing with something hard and physical and definable here. It's just an idea, and ideas can be wrong.

I am sure that more than 15 percent would withdraw consent from the notion of allowing Obama (or Bush before him) to continue to govern if they felt that they could do so meaningfully and effectively, and if they could quell fears that the decision might end up doing more harm than good. So how do we define "consent"? Can some consent be so very reluctant that it is no longer really consent?

And can we really say that governments have operated with an 85 percent (or more) consent rating throughout history? How can you know? How can you be sure?