Last Updated: Mon Mar 19, 2012 16:09 pm (KSA) 13:09 pm (GMT)

Assads’ Inbox: Speculations over Barbara Walters’ agenda

Subject: Notes on the interview
From: Hadeel []
Date 12/7/2011 9:01 PM

Dear Hadeel,
I was very happy with our conversation today and we have a lot of work to do.

I looked at the ABC news channel website to see how much they are promoting their interview with the President and I noticed the following:

1 – Barbara Walters did an interview with George Stefanopolis (the former advisor to ex-president Clinton and now a political commentator at abc) and asked him to analyze the interview and the discussions surrounding it. Walters stressed that the “president was in a state of denial” when he talks about Syria.

2- Walters stated that the situation in Damascus appears to be very normal but she stressed that the situation is not the case in “much of the country.”

3- She described the late president Hafez al-Assad as a “father dictator” and described the president as “dictator by accident.”

I think the interview should be recorded in full as it will appear on the abc channel, maybe before our envoys in Washington, then they should comment on how it has been covered and promoted; either through a comment on a television program, or a statement to the press, and it has to be different to what Gihad Meqdasy said today, that the nature of the work is brilliant. He was controlled by the confines of speaking as the official spokesman for the foreign ministry, and his comments were made on the basis of what had been said by the American foreign ministry. I also think that there has to be an emphasis on the media also; we have heard the story of today’s interview, which was commented on by an American foreign ministry official before it was published. The verbatim statement was (I copied it myself) a question and answer in English in a video on the abcnews website.

BW: Do you think that YOUR FORCES cracked down too hard?
President: They are not MY forces. They are military forces belong to the government. I don’t own them, I’m president, I don’t own the country.
BW: [interrupting] but you have to give the orders
President: No no no…
BW: not by your command?
President: No no no…no command…there was no command to kill or be brutal.

As I have said, the video is available on the website of the American news channel, for whoever wants to verify the report.


1. It was clear that Barbara Walters was looking to agitate the president.
2. Whoever sees the recording will notice that the emphasis is on images in the background of the interview, which the American news channel had chosen to give the impression that Walters is right.
3. The journalist’s tone emphasized on “your forces,” purposely laying blame on the president, who noticed this and answered with complete calm.
4. When she asked “not by your command?” she wanted to imply there is an existing state of chaos.

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