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Thread: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    Another week and more evidence of the truly brutal nature of the Assad dictatorship. Today, Reuters reported:

    At least 48 civilians were killed in pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria on Friday, including 13 in the town of Rastan north of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
    Syria demonstrator death toll rises to 48--group | Reuters

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    i don't believe it. i am assured by the very highest officials that Assad is a "reformer".

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Another week and more evidence of the truly brutal nature of the Assad dictatorship.
    The Syrian people are getting exactly what they deserve.

    Syrians flooded into Iraq before and after OIF to fight the coalition.

    Hopefully the few remaining decent people will leave Syria and the rest can fight each other into extinction.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    From today's edition of The Washington Post:

    In his almost 11 years in office, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has brought about some remarkable changes to a country formerly run by his notoriously ruthless father, fueling perceptions that he is at heart a reformer, albeit one who has been held back by hard-liners intent on preserving the status quo...

    Yet in all those years, the younger Assad has implemented not one measure that would relax the ruling Baath Party’s 48-year-long hold on power, lift the draconian laws that enable the security forces to operate with impunity or ease restrictions on free speech.
    Syrian President Assad blows his reformist credentials - The Washington Post

    There never were any reformist credentials to begin with. That notion was mere hope and illusion, nothing more. That such a myth persisted is remarkable given the evidence that ran against it. Indeed, the two quoted passages from the news article cited above are contradictory. The logical question to ask was if Mr. Assad is a reformist, why wasn't he taking substantive measures to ease his party's grip on power and to make the political system more inclusive and competitive? The reality is that he is not a reformist and never was. As noted early in this thread, Bashar Assad is a brutal tyrant. One should not be fooled by his Western post-graduate studies, any more than one should have been persuaded by Saif Gadhafi's Western graduate studies, that these individuals are moderate leaders. They are not. Assadi's idea of moderation is to offer moderate rhetoric, even as the underlying substance of his policies remains largely unchanged.

    Indeed, The Washington Post's article goes on to mention that Assad's youth, education, and British-born wife all fueled speculation that he was a moderate. In effect, certain attributes were used to transpose an image that lacked credibility. There was no credible evidence that supported the idea that Assad is a reformer. Not surprisingly, at least to those who cut through the myth that lacked foundation, he is cracking down severely on Syrians who seek a more inclusive, responsive, and democratic government. He is, as his past actions would predict, putting his regime's maintenance of power ahead of the aspirations of Syria's people and acting as ruthlessly as is necessary to succeed.

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa


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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    It is easy to revise one's view in hindsight of events. Prior to that, it appeared that Secretary Clinton shared the view held by various members of Congress that Assad was a reformer. Certainly, in a Face the Nation interview, she did not contest that view stating, "There is a different leader in Syria now, many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer."

    Clinton: No military action in Syria for now - Face The Nation - CBS News

    In addition, the recent Congressional assessments that Assad was a reformer, even as no concrete policy actions on his part supported such a view, raise issues about the judgment of those members of Congress. More than likely, they view things from an overly idealistic and excessively optimistic perspective that misses the fundamental realities of various dictatorships such as Mr. Assad's.

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    From today's edition of The New York Times concerning the Assad dictatorship's willingness to do what is necessary to retain power:

    Syria’s ruling elite, a tight-knit circle at the nexus of absolute power, loyalty to family and a visceral instinct for survival, will fight to the end in a struggle that could cast the Middle East into turmoil and even war, warned Syria’s most powerful businessman, a confidant and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad...

    “The decision of the government now is that they decided to fight,” Mr. Makhlouf said.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/wo...1makhlouf.html

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    the reformer in action

    today:

    Syrian forces spread through southern towns Thursday and tightened their grip on two other cities, broadening a crackdown ahead of what could prove a pivotal day for protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

    While Assad has promised reforms in the hope of dampening dissent, tanks advanced in the southern towns of Dael, Tafas, Jassem and al-Harra before Friday -- the Muslim day of prayer which has become the main day of protests across the Arab world.

    A Geneva-based jurists' group said troops have killed 700 people and rounded up thousands while indiscriminately shelling towns during the nearly two-month crackdown, the biggest challenge to Assad's 11-year authoritarian rule.
    Assad broadens Syria crackdown, tanks push south - Yahoo! News

    are you sure this white house knows what it's doing?

    days, not weeks, anyone?

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    i don't believe it. i am assured by the very highest officials that Assad is a "reformer".
    He is characterized by some as such, but he has hardliners within his command structure that constrain his ability to deal.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Syria unrest: Thousands march in Deraa

    ...and we care about Syria because of...?

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