"The Assad regime, frankly, is the root of all evil here." - U.S. Department of State's Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner.
This is a very ignorant, dangerous, and counter-productive statement from a high-level U.S. government official. And it has been largely ignored in the mainatream media.
If this type of dualistic and moralistic thinking is what inspires the U.S government's policy towards Syria then there really is no end in sight.
The decision to get rid of the Assad regime at all costs, even if it means supporting much worse actors like ISIS in the process, will be regretted.
The previous Bush administration was quick to throw the word "evil" around when justifying its Middle East policies, and to disastrous effect.
This statement is similar to what fundamentalist officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran say about Israel, that it is a "cancerous tumour" and other such baloney. Such thinking is what creates the conditions for perpetual war. There is always a different and more dangerous dragon around the corner to slay when your foreign policy is driven by ideology and a holier-than-thou mindset.
It is understandable to oppose the Assad regime for purely strategic, economic, and geopolitical reasons as in the cases of Turkey, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel, that's geopolitics, but when you start saying that Assad is the "root of all evil" in your official statements then you enter the territory of theology. And the last thing the world needs in the Middle East is a superpower that believes it is handing out God's judgment. One theocratic regime in the region is more than enough.
Why not tone down the rhetoric? Why are high-ranking U.S. officials openly calling Assad, and other heads of states evil just to persuade the world that their policies are right? How is Assad more evil than ISIS and its backers?
These fundamentalist terrorists are actively pursuing genocidal policies to gain territorial control and spread their barbaric ideology uncontested. Assad didn't spawn them, and anyone who says he did is either lying or has no idea about what has gone in Syria in the last four and a half years.