Nick Taranto — Harvard/Dartmouth alum, former Goldman banker, Marine infantry officer, and current CEO of cooking startup Plated.com — writes in The Huffington Post today that he met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this one time, back in 2008, on a trip with his Harvard friends. Holy fucking shit! Assad was awesome. DUDE.
We started off friendly, asking about development goals, banking reforms, gross domestic product, international trade, and his family. Bashar talked about democracy, raising three children, missing London. We then started playing rough.
“How can you in good conscience preside over a brutal intelligence apparatus?”
“What was your involvement in the murder of Raafik Hariri in Beirut?”
“Why do you support Hezbollah?”
"What is your relationship with Iran?"
We were not friendly. We were downright confrontational. And he responded to every question with measured, well-reasoned, very convincing answers. He was straight up amazing.
There was no way of knowing that he would launch SCUD missiles, and chemical weapons, at his own people. There was no way of knowing that he would torture hundreds of thousands more, many of them children.
And so ends this particular specimen of HuffPo clickbait.
We were duped by a monster.