As the Syrian regime continues its brutal repression of the popular uprising, Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Congressman has travelled to Syria, met with Assad and expressed some degree of sympathy for the his regime. In a radio interview, Kucinich insisted that he went to Syria to convince Assad to do more reforms. Here is his CNN interview about his meeting with Assad.
Kucinich who maintained extensive relations and friendship with the Iranian regime's officials in the US, had already defended Assad and put some blame on the Syrian people for the bloodshed in this country. In May, he had declared:
“There’s very serious questions raised about the conduct of the Syrian police, but we also know the Syrian police were fired upon and that many police were murdered.” In other words, the Syrian regime might be doing bad things, but so is the opposition. "Once a cycle of violence begins, it's inevitable that there's going to be innocent people drawn into it. And this is happening against a background of geopolitics and other nations' quests for dominance in the region which will enter into how they respond to what happens. I've read where President Assad has made certain commitments, and I would imagine that when things finally settle down, that President Assad will move in a direction of democratic reforms," Kucinich said. "He has already made that commitment from what I can see."
Kucinich's recent meeting with Assad and his friendly declarations have sparked a debate on why some politicians use the "peace" and "reform" discourse as a tool to mask their penchant for dictators. The opposition to US foreign policy in the Middle East does not give anyone any excuse to cherish the regional dictators.
In a 2007 article, I had harsh words for Kucinich's friendship with the regime's advocates in Washington.