Asad in Search of Legitimacy: Message and Rhetoric in the Syrian Press Under Hafiz and Bashar
The Syrian regime, ruled by the Ba'th socialist party and headed by presidents from the 'Alawi minority, faces problems of legitimacy vis-Ã -vis its people, which it tackles through powerful security organizations and the state media. The government media machine exists to express the regime's viewpoint in both local and external spheres, and to promote acceptance of the legitimacy of Asad's presidency and government. The media also attempts to mobilize the masses to act in the service of the state by disseminating information which reflects Asad's position on current issues. The organs of the regime - army, party, security services, national and local authorities - are proclaimed as acting by order of the president. While personal commitment to the legitimacy of Hafiz al-Asad is the principal "article of faith", this message is supported by complementary messages - Asad being true to the Moslem faith; Asad as historic leader; Asad as the focus of identity of all Syrian citizens; the "crimes" of the Moslem Brotherhood, etc. - and vociferous political discourse.
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