Is the Syrian president removed from reality?

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Scott Atran, psychologist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research, says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s behavior shows he is out of touch with reality:

The Syrian president, just like Hitler and Stalin were, is so out of touch with reality that what’s normal to them we consider evil. They don’t believe they are doing anything bad against their people – on the contrary. Stalin, for instance, had a deep held belief that it was necessary to sacrifice people in order to develop a perfect Bolshevik state. Uncle Joe was so convinced of that, he actually sacrificed members of his own family to reach his goal.

Do you agree with Scott Atran that Bashar al-Assad is out of touch with reality? Or is he insane? Or maybe you are of the opinion that he knows perfectly well what he is doing but power is so important to him he would do anything to keep it?

38 thoughts on “Is the Syrian president removed from reality?

  1. I think he is out of touch with reality. Like most leaders who have either been in power for many years or who have a dynastic form of leadership, such as North Korea, they will only really ever see or speak to their close circle. To be part of that circle you must agree to a large part with the leader. That means that the leader very rarely gets criticised, unless the criticiser is very brave, no one stands up to them and they get the sense that they are always right. Hitler, Stalin, Gadaffi (up to his last breath) always believed they were right and only allowed those near them that would agree with their ideas.

    I don't think he's crazy, just living in an alternate reality of his own making like Scott Atran said.

  2. He has his own world. He thinks that the real world and his are just the same that he could rule at his own command. He only thinks about his power not with those that he needs to serve.

  3. Considering the way he's been brought up and what people have been telling him since he was a child, he thinks he is acting perfectly normal.

    Sometimes a killer is the way the are, because of the way they were brought up. We label things as right or wrong because we were taught that by our parents and the school since we were young.
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  4. People in power in dictatorships live in their own reality. They don't allow the outside world into their universe so what seems insane to us is normal for them. But the internet and social networks like Twitter and Facebook are tearing down the walls and ordinary citizens are now seeing there can be a better life for them. So insane or not, these despots will eventually come tumbling down.
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  5. I also think that he has no connection with the reality. he just took for sure that he will be forever leader and that he will rule this people and no one can convince that this is not going to happen. Also I think one of the reason is the religion..
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  6. Hi Catarina,

    Apart from this video I saw a little of the interview he did with Barbara Walters. From that I am not sure he is insane but he is surely out of touch with reality. If you think of the upbringing he had and his father as an example to follow it is a little understandable the way he acts.
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  7. I think insanity is a kind excuse society gives a murderer and abuser because most of us cannot understand WHY. The reason we cannot understand why is because this behavior is not part of our paradigm – but let me say it is definitely part of his. This "power and control" paradigm is the cause of all interpersonal misery – from domestic violence to terrorism.
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  8. Catarina, I just think they are out of touch with the truth. I think people who have these tendencies are 'hard' to start with and the longer they do things that gives them control, it becomes a way of life and they don't see anything wrong with their cruel actions.

    Lets face it, to sacrifice ones own child is absolutely unthinkable. You'd have to be imbalanced to even consider such an action.

    it's a mental state, one which they can see no harm. To decent people of course, we see it but for them its a mindset … if they do see wrong with it at the start (which I don't think they do)… it then becomes a warped reality for them.

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  9. you know what is he doing with their people………………….?????
    he is acting like america in his own country……….but why you all are worried for his action………..where were you when amercia was playing this kind of game in iraq & afghanistan……..has the america succesed in his mission……….america & all his supporter will might kills double number but they will never get any success…………

    stop raising these kind of question …………..i know why you are asking………

  10. When someone is on power for so long he/she starts believing that he is the only one who cares about his country and people and start seeing everywhere enemies (even to his/her own people) I believe that this is the case for these leaders.

    That's why there should be limits on the time that someone is on power, no matter how good intentions someone might have if he/she is in power for a few decades he/she will start believing that he/she is the ONE and no one else can take his/her place in leadership…
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  11. I might have a different interpretation…

    The right question to ask should be:
    Do the Western countries want to enlarge their influence to protect Israel and some of the worse other Arab regimes?

    Personally, I don't approve the Syrian regime and most other Arab regimes, besides, some of these regimes are much worse than the Syrian, Egyption, Libyan and Tunisian regimes…

    One senior employee, (the head of Lebanon reporters 0f Aljazeera TV station, Mr. Ben Jiddow), of Aljazeera TV station was fired in the early day of Syrian unrest just because he showed about 250 to 300 armed people entering Syria from Lebanon…

    How can the uprising has so many heavy weaponry and in different cities to face the Syrian Army without weapon smuggling from the Western Embassies in Damascuss and neighboring countries?

    1. Not sure what that has to do with if Bashar al-Assad is removed from reality, Hayel?

      Western powers, in particular the United States, definitely want to protect Israel. So the important question is will removing al-Assad be good for Israel? Depends on what comes after him, doesn't it. Let's compare with Egypt. The big loser of Mubarak being removed is Israel. Iran has considerable influence in Syria. What if another "Hezbollah" type organisation takes over in Syria. Will Israel gain from that? Presumably they would prefer to keep al-Assad in power to having Iran next door. Teheran is already in Lebanon and Palestine. 🙂

  12. Hi Catarina,
    to be honest I agree with Lilach, they're just Insane!.
    Obama’s statement of August 18 seemed quite definitive: “The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” he said. “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
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  13. Thanks Catarina. I'm not sure if I would say they were out of touch with reality. I just think they're plain evil and completely insane!
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    1. Lilach, they are/were not mentally ill. Calling people carrying out actions we disapprove of evil and insane makes it easy for us. That way we dont' need to deal with the issues at hand.

    1. Yes Sherryl it's a good video isn't it. He is definitely completely disassociated from reality just like Hitler and Stalin. But, from what I understand from someone who is a relative of his, he is not insane at all. Neither was Hitler or Stalin. But being that removed from reality is, in a way, bordering on insanity.

  14. Not really ,the Syrian president is not removed from reality; he is simply miss Led to believe so by some external influences , Just like the case with “The puppet” Saddam when he was told by Some one Walk into Kuwait , everything will be fine . Saddam Voluntarily committed Seaside by listening to other people.

    The issue in Syria is revolving around Hebron’s East frontier; meaning the State of Israel is happy with Bashar al-Assad and supports all the friendly efforts that are exerted by the Hebrons Friend Bashar. off course the second Major player is the Spencer of the State of Israel who are keeping Quit and looking towards the other side of Reality , Like they did in “Sherbinitca” massacre of Bosnia and Ethnic Cleansing issue among others the Conflict in Syria is between IRAN backed Shieat Fraction the Majority and the Sonnies backed by no one “they are Just getting Killed. The fear is that is IF the Islamic Brotherhood over ran Bashar al-Assad , then Hebron State would be Just sandwiched

    1. Becca, just checked and the video works. Sorry, that it doesn't seem to work on your computer. Maybe too many internet users using same broadband supplier as you were on the line at the same time?

  15. Sometimes it beats my imagination why certain people go ahead with some acts that they perform. When the people say enough is enough, there is no need to try to use ungodly means to achieve their personal goals.

    Stalin case is so terrible and it is my sincere hope that things in syria will be under control soon.



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