Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14-Jun-11: Arab spring, Syrian fall?

Fouad Ajami in the WSJ delivers a sharply poisonous attack on the thuggish family that has kept its terrorist foot on the neck of Syria for several decades:
"Until the Arab Spring, nothing had stirred in Syria in nearly three decades. President Hafez al-Assad and his murderous younger brother Rifaat had made an example of Hama in 1982 when they stamped out a popular uprising by leveling much of the city and slaughtering thousands. Now, the circle is closed. President Bashar al-Assad and his younger brother Maher, commander of the Republican Guard, are determined to subdue this new rebellion as their father did in Hama—one murder at a time. In today's world it's harder to turn off the lights and keep tales of repression behind closed doors, but the Assads know no other way. Massacre is a family tradition."
The title of his article says what people need to hear: "Syria: Where Massacre Is a Family Tradition: The mask of the Assad regime finally falls, and the world is forced to confront its illusions about Iran's ally and Hezbollah's patron"

It's certainly worth reading the full text.

Zvi Barel writing in Haaretz yesterday takes a very Middle Eastern view of the barbarism taking place in Syria. His view is that the Syrian despot is going to succeed. Assad’s Syria, he notes, “has the full backing - and the threat of their veto of any anti-Syrian resolution - of China and Russia. Their support enables Assad to continue to characterize his violent suppression of demonstrations and shooting of protesters as an "internal Syrian matter" or the work of "armed gangs," and to claim that any international intervention is a plot to destroy the regime.”

He's evidently right. Syria is not the current destination of any ‘peace activists’ or ‘freedom flotillas’. Even if it were, the Assad family know how to stay cool and focused. Haaretz puts it well:
“Assad is operating on the assumptions that time is not working against him, that his army will succeed in suppressing the demonstrations even if they continue for longer than anticipated and that even if Turkey or other states sever ties with Syria it will still be able to count on cooperation from Iraq, Iran and Russia. Another assumption, presumably correct, is that Syria will not be subject to a Libya-style international military onslaught. Assad's Syria has endured periods of severe diplomatic isolation in the past. With the UN draft resolutions intended, for now, only to censure the acts of suppression, without imposing additional sanctions, Assad can ignore the threat.”
Syria, for years, even decades, has carried out massacre after massacre of its citizens while shouting to a gullible press gallery that it's Israel that is leading the region to war. Israel is brutal, Israel is threatening, Israel is destabilizing, Israel is igniting. And so on and on.

Try this. Google the string Assad + “Israel trying”. You will get thousands of hits, virtually all of them news reports from respectable sources giving uncritical airtime to the warnings of the man now revealed to be a world-class regional thug with more Syrian blood on his hands than any of his worst enemies do

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