Why, Kerry even compared him to Hitler. Of course, if you have not compared someone to Dolf, you probably have not been in a senior policy position, but we digress.
The media speaks as one on the Syrian president's evil. It is all ad hominem. They do give us little of substance, and I'm waiting.
In Massachusetts back in the 80s, a man was convicted of horrible crimes against little children. The malefactions took place in a secret room on the property. The secret room was never found, but the hysteria led to conviction and the press was in no way glorious.
I am surprised that Assad doesn't have a secret room. Well, maybe his police do in that bad neighborhood.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that in this country, all news is propaganda.
The most blatantly stupid piece was Diane Sawyer and the women snipers of Syria.
So what's the point of all this?
Over at the indispensable Sic Semper Tyrannis website of Col. Lang, there is a post by AJ Schmeltzer that goes into some depth as to Assad and his situation. Yes he is the strongman of a country in MENA. Someone has to do the job or you get Libya Iraq as they are now.
Two sections of the post are instructive:
The American assistance that "Assad must go", as a precondition of entering any negotiations was, under that background, seen as sheer bad faith by the Russians. Assad could be utilized as a tool to rein in the Syrian Mukhabarat, and he was/is certainly more controllable/civilized then the people actually running the various Mukhabarats, removing him would achieve nothing, other then the Mukhabarat fighting completely gloves off for its own survival.