Dalton Assad? Bashir McGuinty?
The Syrian leader, Bashar Assad, is not a well known personality on the international stage despite being in his position since 2000. My first cartoon of him back in 2000 was based on an article I had read which claimed he liked to surf the web, enjoyed amateur photography, studied ophthalmology, and had a passion for the music of Phil Collins. Hardly the stuff to help groom a future dictator
Bashar's an accidental President of Syria owing to the fact that his late father, strongman Hafez Assad, originally intended the job go to his older brother, who died in a car accident. One can't help but be reminded of the North Korean dynasty of dictators where an awkward son inherited a kingdom from a ruthless and powerful dad.
Nobody seems to know how influencial Bashar is in ruling Syria despite having the title, President. He's definitely not as powerful as his late father, and there are assumptions that some of the advisors and associates of daddy Assad are actually pulling the levers in today's Syria. That's got to irk poor Bashar a bit. So who knows whether or not he's personally behind funding of Hezbollah in Lebanon or any past bombings in Israel. Still, it's always fun to draw Bashar.
And whenever I draw Bashar Assad I can't help thinking of my own leader: