This won't EVER happen to me, but some of you less competent dictators out there might be facing a no-win scenario sometime soon. Or maybe you're already there. Still not sure? Time to take stock: are you a) faced by universal condemnation? b) Have you sparked fears of a regional and possibly world-wide conflict? c) Is your reputation potentially bloodier than that of your bloody-handed father?
Well if you answered 'yes' to these questions, Bashar Assad, then you have only a few tricks left to play. It's endgame time, and I hope that for your sake you've been reading chapter 13 of my book. Good. Have you gotten to the part where I described the slash and burn strategy where you are responsible for the utter destruction of your country? I can see you nodding, but no, don't press that button yet. There's one ray of hope, one lifeline for your legacy.
And I saw that recently you've grasped that lifeline with both hands. Your brazen interview pulled off a fine balancing act, part statesman-like facade and part thuggish bluster. You came off a little off-kilter, and that's good. You managed to threaten a descent into further, wider war using vague generalities, and diplomatic doublespeak. Event better: here are your own words ...
"Nobody expected the 11th of September"
"When you have a doctor who cuts the leg to prevent the patient from the gangrene if you have to, we don’t call him butcher, we call him a doctor. When you have terrorism you have a war, when you have a war you always have innocent lives that could be the victim of any war."
"We prepare ourselves for every possibility."
Impressive. Stoking the fears of a reluctant superpower while scaring the bejesus out of your sponsors, who really only want things to quiet down so they can continue to do business with you. And throw in the impression that you are unhinged while lofting a canister of sarin gas just for the hell of it. Why, after that performance no one will want to mess with the latest 'mad dog' in the Middle East.
Now if you could only ratchet back the violence a bit, you might just escape being rememebered as a brutal mass murderer of his own people. Oh, too late.
Rich Tater has spoken.