Sigmund Freud based his psychological theory on the Oedipus complex. This complex, deriving from the Greek mythology, was coined by Freud in 1897 as the son’s concomitant sense of rivalry with his father.
In the fifth century BC Greek mythology, Oedipus unwittingly kills his father, Laius, and marries his mother, Jocasta. This deadly rivalry between the son and the father has been the symbol of crossing the lines in seizing the role or the status of someone else.
In this context, it is natural to say that Bashar Al Assad killed his father who was a very competent murderer himself. I mean what the late father committed of crimes in Hama and other cities were surpassed. This “record beating” in the race to kill has grown bigger and clearer when taking in consideration time changes and its repercussions. At the times of Hafez Al Assad, mainly in the 70s and the 80s, perpetrating a crime was relatively easy: there were no social media tools, no television channels and no human rights movements and active or fluent public opinion movements to expose a criminal. Moreover, at the times of Hafez Al Assad, the Cold War climate protected tyrants and their atrocities and made their fall very complex under the pretext of “national sovereignty.”
As for today, despite all the changes that have occurred in the world, changes that should serve the interest of people and consecrate freedom, here is al-Assad the son committing hysterical violence without any fear or hesitation.
We commonly say “that son is a chip off the old block,” but in the case of Al Assad family, we can also say “that old block is the father of that chip.” This means that the late father became identified by his son which reflects the inner urge of Bashar who wouldn’t have become president in 2000 if he wasn’t the son of his father, no more, no less. So the son chose to differentiate himself from his father and impose his independent personality.
Perhaps that is why Bashar is trumping his father not only in the killing but also in the murderous talk. In fact, conferring weight and decisiveness to words and terms is a continuation of the trump that reflects the power of its beholder. Using big talk is a precondition of being a “big” person. Since the first Arab Summit that he attended after arriving to power, he started teaching presidents and kings the modern history of the region and revealing the series of “conspiracies” against it. And here he is again in his last interview with Al Duniya Channel saying that his country is “undergoing a regional and global battle” and that “it is a battle of will and determination.” Indeed, if the son has a will and determination of steel and fights regional and global battles, he becomes the parent of his father instead of staying in his father’s shadow without any privilege that surpasses natural sonship.
In the same context, the son might deny reality as well. Bashar, trying to trump his father, is not concerned by the reality to which his farther used to comply. Bashar is flying in the skies, above the reality and only the imagination of high “great people” can reach him.
However, the act of killing the father is not limited to the biological father. All Arab tyrants have a godfather who gained his status after using chemical weapons against Kurds in Haljaba. This godfather did what no one else dared to do in our region: he used chemical weapons. This godfather is Saddam Hussein.
Perhaps Bashar has thought of killing Saddam as well, just like he killed Hafez, so we should all turn our eyes to the chemical armory and may the whole world fear the worst.