Assad Keepin’ It Real

Love him or hate him, Syrian President Bashar Assad sure holds up his end in this tough, adversarial Der Spiegel interview:

SPIEGEL: No Western politician wants to sit at the same table with Hamas.

Assad: That’s not true at all. Many European officials have sought a dialogue with Hamas, especially recently.

SPIEGEL: With your mediation?

Assad: The Europeans have learned from experience. That’s why they are nowtalking to the Hamas leadership here in Damascus — not publicly, ofcourse. I don’t want to mention any names. But I do think it’s tellingthat they include people who are especially critical of Hamas in theirspeeches. We try to help where we can.

And, of course, where it’s in Syria’s interest. But if walls could speak. . . .

Meanwhile, if, as people say, the Obama administration heralds a return to foreign policy realism, it might find a kindred spirit in Damascus:

SPIEGEL: Much of the world considers Israel’s military action tobe disproportionate. But Hamas provoked it by shelling southern Israel.Each additional rocket results in more violent retribution andincreases human suffering.

Assad: That sounds logical. But politics is about realities, not logic. . . .

The only problem is that the Middle East might be the one place on earth where everyone has a right to their own reality, not just their own opinion.

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