Talk:Hafez al-Assad

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Bias Bias Bias[edit]

I said this last year and I'll say it again. This article is hugely bias spinning almost every sentence in favour of Assad, or trying to find neutrality where none should be. Shorten the paragraphs about Assad providing stability and growth in Syria and lengthen the ones where he killed 40,000 of his own people. Someone has changed the number to 10 - 25000 with no references. Everyone knows that 40000 people were killed in Hama alone in one incident! I shouldn't need a reference to show this. Last year I wrote all of this and I find it weak that no wikipedia mods have found the time to control this petty edit war on what at the end of the day is an important article for people to read. Especially with the current war on the people by Hafez's son. Someone please contact a mod Colt .55 (talk) 09:51, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree with you, Wüstenfuchs, the user who wrote the majority of the article, is pro-Assad ... Why?? I wouldn't know, but he probably believes that Assad is a socialist, which is, well, wrong. --TIAYN (talk) 11:35, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Yet again, 40.000 is the absolute extreme upper estimate, and therefore not neutral. There was a Muslim Brotherhood insurgency, if no one remembers, and they killed many opponents (and innocents) as well. Doesn't matter if the writer was pro-Nazi, as long as the article was well sourced. If well sourced material has been removed, a deep-revert may be needed. FunkMonk (talk) 19:42, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
The problems with Wüstenfuchs' edit was that he more often then not interpreted the information, he wrote the article with the an agenda... So much, which have been removed, of the information was sourced, without that particular information being in the source..... But you're correct, but we probably would write something that between 10-40,000 people died.. --TIAYN (talk) 19:54, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it doesn't seem as bad as I thought, after you pointed out there had been a split of information. So well enough. But again, it should not be understated that the Hama attack was the culmination of an almost civil war like period, and that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists were assassinating plenty of people before that. Some people, like Colt here above, like to underplay this, and make it seem as if Assad just murdered random, innocent people. Not the case. FunkMonk (talk) 20:07, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
We all know that is true, the question people raise is why he bombarded the city for 27-days (it seems a little to much...) ... But I don't care, really, if Assad hadn't appointed his own son and created a family dictatorship and kept Syria running as a Ba'ath Party dictatorship I'd probably would have had "some" respect for him, I mean, he stood up for Israel and helped solve the Lebanon crisis... But this discussion isn't that interesting anyway, and it doesn't solve the problem, this article needs work, and the article on Bashar al-Assad needs even more work.. --TIAYN (talk) 20:20, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not "pro-dictatorship", but the Assads have probably done more for the Arab-Socialist cause in the Middle East than any other leader there since Nasser. The whole inheritance thing is fucked up, though. But then again, that's the norm in Arab sates, so I don't see why the Assads should be singled out. Especially when most of their critics are allied with other comparable regimes. FunkMonk (talk) 20:49, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
The norm thing is a bad excuse, just look at Egypt (all the leaders died before planned, and the last one lost power in a revolution but there was never family succession), Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Iran etc etc .. There are a bunch of monarchies if thats you're point, but Syria was a republic ... No excuse, no norm, the Ba'ath Party became what it wanted to eliminate, it became a feudalist movement with a feudalist system... It could have gone an entirely different way, the "norm" thing just doesn't add up... All communist regimes have been domed to failure they used to say in the 1990s, since it had been the norm, but look at China, Vietnam and Laos... And of course there is the fact that he was a one-man leader, it can work for a short time, but it always leads to a roadblock, that even happens to the "good" dictators, look at Nasser, there is a reason why he suffered an early heart attack... Sorry, I just love discussing things, its a reason why I'm active in politics :) --TIAYN (talk) 21:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Succession by son was planned in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. But we all know why it didn't happen. Algeria will probably end that way as well down the line (they're still in the junta-stage). So yes, even in the non-royal dictatorships, it would be the norm. Iran is an exception, due their theocracy, but I wouldn't say that's an improvement. And Lebanon is pretty much ruled by "royal families" as well. What's left? Any doubt one of Saddam's sons would had taken over? That said, I bet Bassel might had been a better leader now than Bashar. The reason why the West, Islamists and the gulf states went all in during the "uprising" is because they saw him as weak and fragile. FunkMonk (talk) 21:32, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
It was planned in Egypt true, in Tunisia it wasn't at the planning stage yet... Libya and Iraq yes, but it wasn't the original plan in Iraq until Saddam went, well, crazy... Secondly, Communist Albania, Communist Romania and COmmunist Bulgaria all planned family succession, it still not an excuse that it was normal... The Soviets didn't do it, but the others still planned to do it... The reason it happened in all those countries (Libya, Syria, Iraq and the communist states) was that those countries were not Ba'athist, Arab nationalist, communist or socialist but one-man dictatorships.... This uprising is just the continuation of the Islamic riots (and the one uprising) which have been a feature of the Ba'ath regime since the 1964 Hama riots.. This is no conspiracy, the Ba'ath was never popular when they came to power, Hafez made it a bit more likeable but then came the uprising, and then came the succession, and then came the very same conservative, dead-end feudalist anti-development ideology from his son, Bashar.. You wonder how these regimes can call themselves socialist when socialism is, in its very essence, about economic development, economic equality and about giving all people equal economic rights ... In Syria socialism has become to mean a super-capitalist class which exploits its own people.. It could have been different, that's saddening --TIAYN (talk) 21:45, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, I didn't say it was "normal", but it was the de facto norm among Arab states until very recently. And I think we can be pretty sure it would also had happened in those countries where it wasn't "planned" yet. But yes, these guys were by no means true Socialists, but that's what we had, and it sure was better than unorganised Islamists with ridiculous agendas. Yay, we get power in Libya, legalise polygamy as the first thing?! And they didn't even have the excuse the Syrian opposition is waving around now, that they only became Islamists because the West didn't help them earlier. And no, the uprising was of course not a "conspiracy", but you can be damn sure that the Islamists and their Gulf backers were biding their time and waiting for the opportunity. The poor (secular) suckers who actually began the uprisings didn't know what they were to unleash. And for the record, I supported them in the beginning. But Libya taught me a lesson, and should be a lesson for the world. FunkMonk (talk) 21:57, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I get you're point, I really do, but Assad regime in Syria is dead... The country hasn't evolved in decades, is still pursues the same policy (with some modifications) which were developed in the 1970s and the 1980s... The only difference to Assadist and the Islamist is that the Islamist are real religious revolutionary zealots who believe in what they are saying, Assadist Syria has evolved into a system which safeguards the elite, and represses the people without giving them anything in return (the changes which were introduced were either introduced by the National Command-Regional Command in 1963-1966 or by Salah Jadid or Hafez al-Assad)... And its not like Assadist Syria is perfect either, a father can marry away his daughter without her consent.. Assad is a dead end, no change is happening, at least when the Islamist are coming, change will come... And of course, there is the point, do you really think that Israel will accept the growth and establishment of an Islamic state in its own backyard? The whole region is going to blow up, and who is to blame?? Sadly, the blame lays chiefly with the secular Arab nationalist movement, the movement degenerated into Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad and others.... The Arabs got one Nasser, and a whole lot of bad guys.. Its not surprising, and its sadly not illegitimate that many Arabs want an Islamic form of rule, close to everything that was connected to secularism failed spectacularly...
I don't really care what comes, how can you decide, how is a corrupt, dead-end, elitist, nepotistic family rule run on sectarian lines better then radical Islamic zealots?? There is no difference, none of them are bringing forth the right solutions.. Syria is not China and Cuba (who are both dictatorship, but they work strangely enough in their own strange way), Syria is just, well, its stagnating, and its been stagnating for some years now.... --TIAYN (talk) 22:17, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
At this point, it is not about morals for the most part. It depends on whether one wants a brutal and secular dictator, or a brutal and Islamist dictator. See Egypt, for example. There is a lot of whining about Hama, even from western politicians, but remember the West didn't care about it when it happened, just like they are letting Sisi (very much a dictator) massacre hundreds of MBers in Egypt right now, without any consequences whatsoever. Similar with Saddam and him "murdering his own people". When he did it, the West supported him. Syria is not perfect, no, and no one claimed it is even close. But if many Syrians prefer Assad over Islamists, that is quite a legitimate sentiment. And that's the only realistic choice now. I don't care about Assad, but whether you like it or now, right now he is a symbol and rallying point against Western meddling and dominance in the region, even more so than al-Qaeda (who are falling in line, because they can't function without Gulf money). On the archaic Syrian laws you mentioned, keep in mind that such have been put in place to appease the Islamists. Give them one finger, and they want your whole arm. As for Israeli acceptance, there is nothing Israel can do without protection and money from the US, so it doesn't really matter what they accept. FunkMonk (talk) 01:59, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, Israel don't care what the United States, it has its own modus vivendi.. Secondly, you don't know if the Islamic dictatorship will be brutal, and that should be enough.. While I know that most Westerners consider all form of political Islam as fundamentalist, but we have political Christianity in Europe (in many countries, including mine, Norway) ... While I doubt the moderates will win, I doubt that the next government will be stable.. From what I read, the rebels are split between many, many different factions... If the Islamist do take over, there government will be weak, have no government control in Alawite, or minority dominated areas and so on and so on. If the Islamist do take power, they won't hold on it for long, because I doubt that the Islamists are as well organized as the Bolsheviks, and that conflict was a very close one. --TIAYN (talk) 18:03, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether the government itself is brutal or not, if most of the country is ruled by random militias, see Libya as an obvious example. Egypt is going the same way, and see Algeria in the 90s. As for Israel, I think you're overestimating that country. The current IDF is not made of the same material as those who fought in 1948. Without the US, Israel will crumble. FunkMonk (talk) 04:35, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Egypt is not going the same way, its reverting back to the military dictatorship it was until Mubarak's downfall, and yes, Algeria had troubles, but, as you may now, Algeria is steadily improving everyday (but terrorism is still a problem)... Libya, that's a point, but Libya has a bigger landmass, with people, and tribles being scattred around the country, Syria is more unified, and always has been... But I get you're point ,but in Syria, unlike Libya, no groups have called for secession.. They are fighting a war for control of the country, not for the country's dissolution... That's different. --TIAYN (talk) 20:28, 8 September 2013 (UTC)


Some important details seem to have been left out. For example, it should be mentioned that Assad needed Musa Sadr to accept Alawites as Shia Muslims, to give his presidency legitimacy. Furthermore, there is little mention of his almost good relations with several American Presidents, and very little on relations with the Soviets and other Arab leaders. "Foreign policy" is not only war, as implied by this article. We have a lot of interesting media on Commons that is not used either. FunkMonk (talk) 19:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

No information has been removed, see Presidency of Hafez al-Assad... The article is currently to large. Some information had to be moved... But the article isn't finished, and you're correct, section on Assad's foreign policy towards Israel, Russia and the United States are missing... --TIAYN (talk) 19:51, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Alright, hadn't noticed the split. FunkMonk (talk) 19:53, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Hafez al-Assad/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 18:43, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Hey TIAYN, I'll be glad to take this one. Comments to follow in the next 1-5 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this important figure. -- Khazar2 (talk) 18:43, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

That's never happened before (the GA review starting the same day I nominated it) .. Anyhow, thanks. --TIAYN (talk) 19:35, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

A few quick comments on the early sections. This looks terrific so far, and seems ripe for promotion. Let me know your thoughts; I hope to have the rest of my review posted by the end of the afternoon, but have some laundry to move around for now... -- Khazar2 (talk) 18:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Done (replaced al Alawi with Alawite in all instances, with the exception when Alawi is used in quotes) "one of 80 Alawi notables " -- Are Alawite and Alwai interchangeable terms? If so, you might just stick with "Alawite" throughout for clarity; if not, you might add a link or a footnote indicating the distinction.
  • Done "He spent ten months in the Soviet Union, during which he fathered a daughter" -- was his wife stationed there with him, or is this with another woman?
  • Done "Zaki al-Arsuzi, who indirectly (through Wahib al-Ghanim) inspired him to join the Ba'ath Party" -- wasn't Assad long a member of the party at this point? Or had Arsuzi inspired him in the past to join? -- Khazar2 (talk) 18:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Done "but Mustafa al-Haji may have telephoned the Ministry of Defense" -- is it possible to give a word or two of context on who this is?
  • Done "in a comradely gesture" -- is this quotation Seale's words or Jundi's?
  • Done "Asad said: "I've heard something disagreeeable about this officer.... " -- this needs a closing quotation mark. I assume it's at the end of the block quote? -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:04, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Done "and Shakir al-Fahham" -- is it possible to add a word or two of context about why this name is specifically mentioned?
  • Done "Islamic uprising" -- this pipes to "Islamist uprising" (rather than "Islamic")-- should we also say Islamist here? -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:43, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Done"He also controlled the military through Alawites" -- is the "he" here Assad, I'm assuming, and not any of the men just mentioned? -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:50, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Done I'm a bit confused by the terms in the discussion of Alawite vs. Sunni power, particularly "Assad's elite was non-sectarian ... However, none of these people held power." If they don't hold power, what makes them elite? -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:50, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, not going to make it through the whole article this afternoon after all; will finish tonight or tomorrow. Looks great so far, though. Well-sourced, and a very informative read. Thanks again for your work on it. -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Done " with Attari's enforced exile" - should this be "Attar" rather than Attari?
  • Done "and the responded with state terrorism later that year" -- missing word
  • Done "he made "abominably lavish" " -- this judgement probably needs attribution in-text to Batatu ("what historian J Batatu called...")
  • Done "Rifaat al-Assad's rashly replaced his successor with his son-in-law." -- missing word?
  • Done "Basil al-Assad" - spelled "Bassel al-Assad" at his article--but this doesn't necessarily need to be consistent if you're confident this is a legitimate alternative
  • Done "Basher al-Assad" -- the article uses both "Basher" and "Bashar"; should be made consistent. His article's at "Bashar", FWIW.
  • Done "This was partly due to Assad's miscalculations, and partly to factors he could not control or change" -- since this is verging into analysis, probably better to attribute this to Reich in-text -- Khazar2 (talk) 00:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay, that's all for my first pass. Take a look at the above, let me know your thoughts. Tomorrow I'll do source and image checks, but this looks close to ready to pass; the above shouldn't take long to fix. -- Khazar2 (talk) 00:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Source notes[edit]

  • done Fn #1 is a link to a Wikipedia article--can a reliable source be found for the number instead? Either way, I think the footnote to the WP article should be removed.
  • done Devlin 1975 doesn't appear to have a citation to point to.
  • done Rabinovich 1972 and Rabinovich 1985 don't appear to have citations to point to.
  • done Hinnebusch 2002 and Hinnebusch 1990 don't appear to have citations to point to.
  • done Is Batatu 1987 the same as Batutu 1999?
  • done Seale & Hinnebusch 2002 doesn't appear to have a citation to point to.
  • done The Seale footnote to the sentence "By 13 October the war was lost, but (in contrast to the Six-Day War) the Syrians were not crushed; this earned Assad respect in Syria and abroad" has no year or page number
  • done A lot of sources in the bibliography have no incoming citations. My preference would be to remove these, since most don't even have Assad as their main focus, but it's up to you: Barkey et al., Carter et al., Chailand et al., Harris, Kibaroğlu et al., Korany et al., Keddie, Metz, Milton-Edwards, Otman, Pelletiere, Phillips, Pollack, Post et al., Radu, Schenker, Schlumburger, Shore, Tanter, Wright. Not a GA issue either way, I wouldn't think. -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:27, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
    • I can't say I've done those mistakes before. --TIAYN (talk) 20:15, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • No worries; I have a script that points out ref harv errors, or I might not have caught them myself. Thanks for getting them. -- Khazar2 (talk) 22:07, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Just a few more I missed on my first pass:

  • (Removed and replaced with another ref) Jammal 2007" doesn't seem to have citation
  • Done Seale 2002" and "Seale 1999" seem to have either wrong author or year
  • Done Batatu 1994" -- 1999?
  • Done Dawisha 2005" doesn't seem to have citation
  • Done Seale 1990, p. 2005." -- is this a typo for "205"? There's also a "Seale 1999, p. 2005." -- Khazar2 (talk) 00:12, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • There's three more Jammal 2007 refs to get. -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Spotchecks on the whole show no evidence of copyright issues, but part of the lead matches Britannica verbatim; it was cut-pasted by user who wasn't the nominator (link below, template won't let me put it here). Prose is high-quality throughout.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. On a few significant points, the lead doesn't yet jibe with the article--detailed below.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. Needs full citations for three Jammal refs
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. Foreign policy after the Lebanon conflict seems to be omitted; the 1990s peace talks in particular are a main aspect that should be included.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). The article at times pushes the upper limits of being too detailed, but still seems within the criteria.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. This is close in many respects, but seems to be missing two decades and some major events in the foreign policy section; detail below.
  • 1a/1b/3a: There seem to be some issues with the article's discussion of Assad's foreign policy. The lead discusses his FP throughout his life, while the body only discusses his two wars, and almost nothing after the 1970s; this seems incomplete (and also a MOS:LEAD problem). Further complicating it is that a good deal of text in the lead (like the sentence "Assad sought to establish peaceful relations with Israel in the mid-1990s, but his repeated call for the return of the Golan Heights stalled the talks") seems to be verbatim from Britannica. (Though it's not impossible they took it from us; I'm having trouble verifying the origin of this text on their site, and it looks like they do allow some kind of user editing to that page.)
Anyway, just doing a quick web search, Britannica, this obit or this one indicate some things that ought to be included: the diplomatic fallout of the El Al airliner plot, peace negotiations with Israel, reaction to the Soviet collapse, joining the anti-Saddam coalition in the Gulf War, supporting Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, etc. The "women's rights" angle mentioned in the lead also doesn't seem followed up on in the article.
One last, side suggestion I'd make is that the article reads a little long, and adding content will exacerbate this problem. Assad admittedly is a huge figure with a lot of life to cover, but at points I think some of the detail about who's in and who's out in various power struggles (e.g., "Others removed from their positions were Ahmad al-Mir (a founder and former member of the Military Committee, and former commander of the Golan Front) and Izzat Jadid (a close supporter of Jadid and commander of the 70th Armoured Brigade).") could be condensed or cut. For the GA criteria, though, this level of detail is probably allowed.
Because the lead/comprehensiveness issues are going to take some significant rewriting to cover (and since this has only been nominated/open for a few days anyway), it seems best that the expansion take place outside of the GA review process, and be renominated when more complete. I'm therefore not listing the article for now, but I hope this'll be renominated soon. What you've already accomplished here is terrific--I'll look forward to seeing you take it the rest of the way! -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:00, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Just as a followup on the copyvio, it was added a year ago by a user who wasn't the nominator [1]. Web Archive shows EB's version precedes ours.[2] I've warned the user and will now tag the article. -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:14, 23 October 2013 (UTC)


In here [3], it says that Assad was kept in Egypt after the union of 1958, and that after the break up of 1961, Assad was imprisoned with other Baathists...

the article make it sound as if Assad was in Syria at that time, I dont know a lot about this part of History, so Im not assuming whose right, can somebody give an explanation ? and if Assad was indeed in Egypt then the article should be modified.--Attar-Aram syria (talk) 19:26, 28 January 2015 (UTC)


This article features an abundance of information on Hafez al-Assad's military career, his political career, his domestic and foreign policies, and his succession. But it doesn't seem to have any information about people's assessment of his leadership or his legacy. Shouldn't it have coverage of that like most biographical articles of major historical figures? Charles Essie (talk) 20:58, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Please do not use background colours[edit]

Please do not use background colours, they create many problems. Σοφία Κουτσουβέλη (talk) 21:36, 3 February 2017 (UTC)