Syria, a long-time supporter of genocide, terrorism, torture and war, is now in the throes of honest-to-goodness revolution.
As bad as Gaddafi and some of the other tyrants in the Middle East are (or, past tense, were), the Assad family - especially Hafez al-Assad) - puts most of them to shame when it comes to out-and-out evil.
The dictators have really stood out from the motley crowd through their involvement in multinational terror activities, through the slaughter of countless numbers of their own people, or by trying to introduce nuclear weapons into the region.
But like most edifices built on rotten timbers, so to is the Assad dynasty/regime beginning to crumble. The current offense to humanity, President Bashar al-Assad, is now watching his inheritance shrink by the day.
"Boiling Syria" reads the photo cutline...
So it was no surprise today when the news came that al-Assad's troops were continuing their efforts to quell the uprising. The regional upheaval, which began in Tunisia and Egypt weeks ago, has spread to even the most oppressive countries in the region. But like most revolts against despots, the ultimate sacrifices are made for liberty and change.
As reported at The Belmont Club today, "Syria has opened fire on protesters as unrest spreads to Damascus and Aleppo. 'Hundreds took to the streets in the cities of Homs, Hama, Tel and Latakia and in towns surrounding Deraa, with smaller protests in the major cities of Damascus and Aleppo, which are more firmly under the watch of security forces. Troops reportedly opened fire in some cases.' In an ominous development, the BBC says Farsi-speaking armed units (read: Iranian Revolutionary Guard units) are being used to break up the protests by sniping at the demonstrators from rooftops."
Most experts feel that despite al-Assad's weakening grip on his countrymen, it is unlikely the people of Syria will gain a true measure of freedom. Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, cannot afford to have this important part of their monster be cut away. If the Iranians are joining Syrian security forces to put down riots, Hezbollah and its tentacles won't be far away.
Syrian riot police corner protesters...
We can hope that Syria will follow other nations in the region and actively pursue another path, but given Iran's proximity, influence and do-or-die desire to keep al-Assad & Co. in its fold, that is unlikely to happen.