Last updated at 6:34 PM on 12th February 2012
A US-based spin doctor advised Syria’s beleaguered despot on how to manipulate the sympathies of the American public, it has emerged.
New York based PR Sheherazad Jaafari coached President Bashar Al-Assad for a US TV interview that aired in December, telling him, the ‘American psyche can be easily manipulated’, according to emails leaked by hackers.
Ja’afari, a press attaché at the Syrian UN Mission, sent the emails to Assad’s media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, about ten days before the TV interview with ABC News; Barbara Walters, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
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The deeply cynical email advises him to admit mistakes were made in Syria, and point out the heavy-handed treatment of Occupy demonstrators on American soil.
In the email Ja’afari appears to write: ‘It is hugely important and worth mentioning that ‘mistakes’ have been done in the beginning of the crises because we did not have a well-organised ‘police force.’ American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are ‘mistakes’ done and now we are ‘fixing it.’’
She continued: ‘It’s worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings.’
He would able to play on the fear of the US media about the violence of the US government crackdown, she advised:
‘They think that bloodshed is done by the government to attack the ‘innocent civilians”.
Prey on liberal guilt about the behaviour of Western troops engaged in conflicts in the Middle East, the emails went on.
She wrote: ‘Syria doesn’t have a policy to torture people, unlike the US. We can use Abu Ghraib in Iraq as an example.’
Ja’afari, who is also the daughter of Syrian Ambassador to the UN, added: ‘It is worth mentioning that when Obama asked H.E. to step down he himself have had a 70% decrease of his popularity in the States.’
The canny spin doctor also offered a slant on the media itself. She wrote: ‘It would be worth mentioning how your personality has been attacked and praised in the last decade according to the media. At one point H.E. was viewed as a hero and in other times H.E. was the ‘bad guy’. Americans love these kinds of things get convinced by it.’
The emails were made public by a group of hackers aligning themselves with Anonymous which , attacked the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs on Sunday night, Syrian time, Haaretz reported.
The hackers also circulated a list of 78 government email addresses and passwords and the URL of the server they shared.
Incredibly, 33 of the 78 email addresses used the passwords ‘12345’or ‘123456.’
In the interview with Walters Assad categorically denied that his government had killed civilians. ‘We don’t kill our people, no government in the world kills its people, unless it’s led by a crazy person’ he said.
More than 5,400 people were killed in Syria between March and December last year, according to UN figures.Since then hundreds more have been killed.
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