Syria could be the next domino to fall

Activists published photos purportedly showing a mass protest in the city of Hama. Image courtesy BBC

Tens of thousands of protestors reportedly took to the streets a big number and larger problem for a small nation like Syria. The number of protestors arrested or killed is hard to say, this is a tightly controlled, closed country. But it may not be for long:

(BBC) — The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said as many as 250,000 people had taken to the streets in the north-western province of Idlib. One report later said security forces had opened fire on a protest in the city of Idlib, killing several people. “This Friday is different from any other. It is a transformative step. People are eager to reach the monitors and tell them about their suffering,” Abu Hisham, an activist in Hama, told the Reuters news agency.

Analysts debate what might follow if the current regime falls. But one thing is clear: repression and violence has not fared nearly as well throughout the Arab Spring movement as it once did. After what happened in Libya you’d think a rational person would be looking for a way out. And Assad likely has a way out, like his cohorts, the man is almost certainly loaded to bear with wealth, some of it probably stashed in foreign banks. Enough to keep him, his family, and his friends in the lap of luxury for the rest of their days. What is it that keeps these numbskulls hanging on to power for dear life, damn the risk or consequences, when they could easily retire in peace and prosperity to the sound of applause from the entire world?

Comments

  1. operkins says

    Hmmmm….could power be an addiction to some people?

    While Syria may be the next domino to fall, one should reasonably be concerned with conditions in the resulting boneyard.

    The situation is unsettled. I hope for the best but fear a winter of repression of liberalism.

  2. grumpyoldfart says

    What is it that keeps these numbskulls hanging on to power for dear life

    I’ve always assumed they are control freaks who are in love with the idea of having the power to decide who lives and who dies – the money is just a side benefit.

  3. slc1 says

    The problem in Syria is that it has been ruled for more then 40 years by members of the Alawite minority (~10% of the population). This minority government has ruled with ruthless efficiency, vis the 20,000+ people killed by Bashar Assad’s father in the City of Hama in 1982 (dubbed Hama Rules by NY Times columnist Tom Friedman). Although it is true that Assad and his coterie of advisers could probably flee the country and take refuge somewhere else, the remaining some 2 million Alawites would be at considerable risk from the rest of the population, seeking revenge for the 40 years of oppression. Unless there is an outside force present, there will undoubtedly be a blood bath of monumental proportions. Thus, the ruling clique has every incentive to remain in power, regardless of the cost.

  4. sumdum says

    The leadership of Syria has been surprisingly tenacious. The other regimes couldn’t hold on against the protests, but Assad simply has them gunned down and stays put. Here’s hoping for a second arab spring, and let’s hope the military regime of Egypt gets a kick in the ass too.

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