A Field Guide to Assad’s Threatened ‘Shock and Awe’

Ambassadors Perspectives

Marc C. Ginsberg (Ambassador to Morocco, 1994-1998)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Ginsberg’s September 10, 2013 special to The Huffington Post.


During his interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose this morning, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad ominously warned of unspecified retaliation in the event the U.S. strikes at his military assets. Bluff and bluster, or the equivalent of an Assad version of “shock and awe (shucks)”?

Memo to the nation: It’s bluff and bluster (at least from Assad’s military).

Just to set the stage here. For the western mind it must be extraordinarily difficult to imagine how Assad can deny and deny again that his forces never used chemical weapons in the conflict in the face of such compelling evidence to the contrary. But there he was, in a crucial “big lie” moment, mild-mannered, and ever so meekly presenting his counter-arguments in anticipation of President Obama’s speech tomorrow evening, all the while…

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