The majority of Americans still do not grasp the anger felt in many parts of the world by the arrogance of the Bush administration which pursued its version of spreading democracy regardless of the cost. President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview with the British Guardian, expressed his joy that Bush no longer occupies the presidency and that America can begin playing a role in fostering Middle Eastern peace. He believes Obama wants to bring Syria in from the cold and make it an important player in furthering peace in the region. Assad expressed his pleasure that Senator John Kerry and other American politicians are coming to Damascus to discuss issues of peace.
Assad was upset that a planned visit to Syria by General Petreaus was blocked by Bush.”We would like to have dialogue with the US administration. We would like to see him(Petraeus) here in Syria.” However, the Syrian leader was less than optimistic that any meaningful peace could arise from the incoming Israeli government. He also urged the EU and the United States to immediately engage in dialogue with the Iranian government.