Moderate is a Relative Term in the Mideast, Just Ask Assad

Cast your minds back to the year 2000 when Bashar al-Assad became president of Syria. Headlines such as this from the AP:

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According to CNN, Assad Jr liked windsurfing and the web:

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The New York Times referred to the “shy young doctor,” a “soft-spoken, gangly bachelor and computer buff.”

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Today we know better.

So maybe the international media should give some thought to the widespread descriptions of Iranian president-elect Rowhani as a “moderate” or “reformer” such as this from PBS:

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Sadly, in the Middle East, being a moderate or a centrist is very much a relative term.


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