Transcript: Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Part IX

Part IX: Partial transcript of Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The interview was broadcasted on Sept. 9, 2013.

Charlie Rose: But now they say – their words – a butcher. Comparisons to the worst dictators that ever walked on the face of the Earth, comparing you to them. Using weapons that go beyond warfare. Everything they could say bad about a dictator, they’re now saying about you.

President al-Assad: First of all, when you have a doctor who cut the leg to prevent the patient from the gangrene if you have to, we don’t call butcher; you call him a doctor, and thank you for saving the lives. 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, so, we don’t have to discuss what the image in the west before discussing the image in Syria. That’s the question.

Charlie Rose: It’s not just the West. I mean it’s the East, and the Middle East, and, I mean, you know, the eyes of the world have been on Syria. We have seen atrocities on both sides, but on your side as well. They have seen brutality by a dictator that they say put you in a category with the worst.

President al-Assad: So we have to allow the terrorists to come and kill the Syrians and destroy the country much, much more. This is where you can be a good President? That’s what you imply.

Charlie Rose: But you can’t allow the idea that there’s opposition to your government from within Syria. That is not possible for you to imagine.

President al-Assad: To have opposition? We have it, and you can go and meet with them. We have some of them within the government, we have some of them outside the government. They are opposition. We have it.

Charlie Rose: But those are the people who have been fighting against you.

President al-Assad: Opposition is different from terrorism. Opposition is a political movement. Opposition doesn’t mean to take arms and kill people and destroy everything. Do you call the people in Los Angeles in the nineties – do you call them rebels or opposition? What did the British call the rebels less than two years ago in London? Did they call them opposition or rebels? Why should we call them opposition? They are rebels. They are not rebels even, they are beheading. This opposition, opposing country or government, by beheading? By barbecuing heads? By eating the hearts of your victim? Is that opposition? What do you call the people who attacked the two towers on the 11th of September? Opposition? Even if they’re not Americans, I know this, but some of them I think have nationality – I think one of them has American nationality. Do you call him opposition or terrorist? Why should you use a term in the United States and England and maybe other countries and use another term in Syria? This is a double standard that we don’t accept.

Charlie Rose: I once asked you what you fear the most and you said the end of Syria as a secular state. Is that end already here?

President al-Assad: According to what we’ve been seeing recently in the area where the terrorists control, where they ban people from going to schools, ban young men from shaving their beards, and women have to be covered from head to toe, and let’s say in brief they live the Taliban style in Afghanistan, completely the same style. With the time, yes we can be worried, because the secular state should reflect secular society, and this secular society, with the time, if you don’t get rid of those terrorists and these extremists and the Wahabi style, of course it will influence at least the new and the coming generations. So, we don’t say that we don’t have it, we’re still secular in Syria, but with the time, this secularism will be eroded.

Charlie Rose: Mr. President, thank you for allowing us to have this conversation about Syria and the war that is within as well as the future of the country. Thank you.

President al-Assad: Thank you for coming to Syria.


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3 Comments on “Transcript: Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Part IX

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Charlie Rose's interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - Part II | What The Folly?!

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