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      Assad is ’World’s Most Dangerous Man’ says Joel Brinkley

      Assad is the world’s “most dangerous man,” says Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley. It’s "absurd” that Clinton calls him a reformer.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 4/24/2011, 3:27 PM

      Syrian President Bashar Assad is the world’s “most dangerous man,” according to Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Joel Brinkley, who added that the Obama government has “delusional views” of the dictator.

      Writing for Tribune Media Services, Brinkley said Assad overshadows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for being dangerous because the “duplicitous dictator…has duped presidents and prime ministers into believing he is their indispensable friend - even as he facilitates the killing of American troops, collects weapons of mass destruction and serves as the supply master for terrorist groups.”

      After the Muslim uprisings spread to Syria last month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled Assad a "reformer,” a remark that Brinkley branded as “absurd.”

      “Even now, as his own people have at last taken to the streets to challenge his rule, prompting him to shoot and kill scores of them, Washington's criticism remains equivocal,” Brinkley wrote. “A few days ago, President Obama remarked, ‘I strongly condemn the abhorrent violence committed" by the Syrian government but then added, ‘I also condemn any use of violence by protesters.’ So both sides are equal offenders?”

      The love affair between Syria and the United States, which sees Assad as the key to a regional peace and the eventual possessor of the strategic Golan Heights in Israel, goes back for decades.

      Then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once remarked, "There can be no war without Egypt and no peace without Syria,” Brinkley recalled, and added, “Last month, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she told Assad, ‘The road to Damascus is the road to peace.’”

      Brinkley said the Obama administration's views of Assad are “delusional” when considering that “since the Iraq war's beginning, [Assad] has been the best friend of Islamic extremists transiting into Iraq. They've crossed the Syrian border by the busload, in full view of U.S. spy satellites.

      “He sells missiles to Hizbullah, the terrorist group in southern Lebanon that is the avowed enemy of Israel and the United States.

      “Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, actually lives in Damascus and does his murderous business openly from a storefront.

      American intelligence shows that Syria has a vast store of chemical weapons. Assad pursued a secret nuclear-weapons development program until Israel bombed it in 2007. More recent intelligence suggests that he is back at it, though this time the program is better hidden.”

      Brinkley added his name to countless analysts who have questioned why President Obama backed the ouster of American ally Hosni Mubarak while trying to work with Assad, “who has openly worked against Washington.”

      The journalist pointed out that the day after President Obama sent a new ambassador to Damascus, Assad hosted a state visit by Ahmadinejad. “The timing was no accident,” Brinkley concluded.