Friday, November 25, 2011

After Assad

From James H. Anderson, at World Affairs, "After the Fall: What’s Next for Assad":

In a spectacular case of bad timing and even worse judgment, Vogue magazine published a glam profile of President Bashar al-Assad’s wife last March, just around the time her husband’s regime started brutalizing unarmed regime protestors. Deeming Asma al-Assad “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” the puff piece glossed over the dictatorial essence of the Assad dynasty and missed altogether the fact that it was about to experience the heavy weather of the Arab Spring.

Assad has cast himself as the only thing standing between order and a sectarian bloodbath, denouncing the unarmed protestors as “saboteurs” and “terrorists” while unleashing snipers, tanks, artillery, and even naval gunfire against unarmed civilians, killing, according to the UN’s very conservative estimates, more than three thousand and imprisoning ten thousand more since March 2011.

The apple does not fall far from the dictatorial tree. In February 1982, Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad, killed an estimated twenty thousand civilians in putting down a rebellion in Hama (now, understandably, a hot spot in today’s insurgency). The massacre gave rise to the phrase “Hama Rules,” which became shorthand for extreme brutality. But Assad the younger faces a much broader and more determined opposition than his father ever did, and the trajectory of his slow-motion downfall is becoming increasingly clear. So much so that the question in Syria today is not only how to get rid of the tyrant, but what the nation will look like when he’s gone.
Also, at Telegraph UK, "The UN intensifies pressure on Syria as Turkey compares Bashar al-Assad to Hitler."


Bartender Cabbie said...

And our own "OWS" protesters have the audacity to compare their plight to this. OWS folk are just a bit silly.