Kucinich: Tyranny Propagandist

Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank's work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.


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Offering singular praise for the reform efforts being enacted by Syria’s embattled leader, President Bashar Assad, noted anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich urged the United States and the rest of the international community to lift economic sanctions against the Syrian regime.

Rep. Kucinich’s comments were made to reporters during a visit to the Syrian capital of Damascus. There, Kucinich chastised the media for overly “dramatizing” the chaotic events transpiring in the country. According to Kucinich, Assad was “highly loved and appreciated by the Syrians,” adding that those opposing him were still free to speak their minds.

It should be noted that when his remarks appeared in the Syrian paper Al-Watan, Kucinich was quick to state he had been misquoted, saying the report contained “a number of mistranslations and mischaracterized statements. It is unfortunate that translation errors can create such problems.”

Of course, there was confusion as to why Kucinich happened to find himself in Damascus in the first place. While Kucinich said he was on a “fact-finding mission” on behalf of his constituents, Al-Watan pointed out his visit was organized by the Syrian embassy “as part of a campaign intended to relieve external pressure on the regime, and allow it to present its situation.”

In any case, whether he was misquoted or not, Kucinich has demonstrated a soft spot for the Syrian despot. In a recent interview with an American newspaper, Kucinich said he thought Assad “will move in a direction of democratic reforms. He has already made that commitment from what I can see.”

To speed that reformist commitment, Kucinich has now urged the United States and the rest of the international community to lift the economic sanctions they have imposed against the Syrian regime. Those US sanctions – which have frozen assets of selected Syrian officials – were first slapped on Syria in May 2011 by the Obama administration.

The European Union soon followed with its own sanctions, which included a travel ban and the freezing of assets for 30 additional Syrian officials. Ironically, Kucinich’s plea came on the same day the US announced a new set of US sanctions that would be placed on additional Syrian individuals and entities.

While many have viewed the sanctions as nothing more than symbolic gestures, the Syrian economy has nevertheless been undergoing some very difficult times. In May, a report by the Institute of International Finance forecast a shrink of 3 percent to Syria’s $52 billion economy this year.

Additionally, Syria’s $18 billion in reserves have been falling at a rate of $70-80 million a week. Underlying the financial insecurity, the current spate of political unrest has hindered foreign investment, leading to high unemployment and inflation.

Despite Kucinich’s belief in Assad’s Jeffersonian impulse, it’s a view not shared by many Syrians these days. To illustrate that point, in Assad’s last public speech on June 20, he trotted out his latest reform plank, which included a move towards multi-party democracy, a crackdown on government corruption, and a reduction of the political role of his Baath party.

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  • yahoo

    He is right.

    The zionism must have an END

    • jacob

      BUT NOT PRECISELY BY THIS KIIND OF SCUM…!!!

  • Lfox328

    In all fairness, the Cleveland area has MANY citizens of Syrian descent – many of them in his district. So, the trip may have been appropriate.
    Were his words twisted? Possibly. He is known for his use of circuitous language when talking about global issues. He attempts to "find common ground", which means that he is trying to use words that might be interpreted by the hearer as agreeing with him.
    Which doesn't mean that he isn't wrong to have done so. He ain't a diplomat, and shouldn't try to act as one. Congressional Reps have no business meddling in diplomacy.

  • Morty62

    I like Dennis and I won't believe his attempt there was anything less than well-intentioned. Syria and Libya are problematic. Should we have gone into Libya at all? Gaddafi was cooperating with us and had been for some time. Assad also cooperated with the Bush administration by providing intelligence and by accepting "renditions." You can't have it both ways. Do we kick out Gaddafi and Assad? Who knows what kind of regime will take their place? If Egypt is any indication it would not be Jeffersonian in nature.

  • Anamah

    My dear Jacob, I think Zionism is love and care… both things Yahoo probably do not understand… Many people can not really how is made honor, loyalty, decency maybe to see and comprehend Rep. Kusinich need to be inside this brutal and corrupt regime believing nobody were going to know what is he doing there… Shame on him…

  • Ghostwriter

    When they heard that Rep. Kusinich called Assad a reformer,I can bet many Syrians were rolling their eyes in disbelief.

  • coyote3

    Something is definately wrong with the order of things. When I find myself agreeing with Kucinich on Libya and Syria, something is definately wrong.

  • http://www.CompellingConversations.com Eric Roth

    Disappointing on multiple levels. Kucinich, an articulate critic of Obama's undeclared and illegal war in Libya, has made a profound, rather stupid mistake of visiting and supporting a brutal, corrupt, and terrible dictator. He should have stayed home. His pacifist instincts, as has so often happened in history, have led him into an unholy alliance with an odious, evil regime.
    This is a predictable, sad, and tragic story of innocent abroad helping a terribly tyrant.