April 16, 2011

The Tyrant Tapestry Continues to Unravel

But who or what who will replace the despot? It does no good to exchange one bloody-minded master for another one even more evil. Decisions, decisions. Mubarak, Gadafo or Assad on one hand or some mad mullahs and Sharia law on the other. In Egypt Mubarak is gone, in Libya Gaddafi is hanging on, Bahrain is in a bind, Tunisa is in turmoil, Jordan is jumpy and Yemen is becoming unhinged. And now the situation in Syria is getting more serious.
Damascus was alive with rumors Thursday, April 14 that President Bashar Assad and his family were preparing to flee to Saudi Arabia. They were, sparked by the discovery that several high-ranking Syrian officials and army officers were evacuating their families from the capital to Persian Gulf emirates.

US intelligence officials also disclosed that Iran was secretly helping Assad crack down on his own people, providing gear to suppress crowds and assistance in blocking and monitoring protesters' Internet and cell phones.

Those officials did not refer to the Iran-backed Hizballah's active aid in the government crackdown. However, as the anti-government demonstrations pervade dozens of Syrian towns, even the second largest Aleppo, Assad is relying for survival less on the army and police and increasingly on the 10,000-strong armed Shabbiha gangs drawn from the Assad tribe of the minority Alawite community and trained in urban combat by Hizballah and Iran. In normal times, the Shabbiha are regularly employed by the Iran-Hizballah arms and drug smuggling rings.
Tens of thousands of people hit the street yesterday as another round of protests rocked Damascus.

Reporting from Beirut— Antigovernment demonstrations sweeping Syria appeared to have crossed a threshold in size and scope, with protesters battling police near the heart of the capital and the protest movement uniting people from different regions, classes and religious backgrounds against the regime. Tens of thousands of people turned out across the country Friday, dismissing minor concessions offered a day earlier by President Bashar Assad. The demonstrators called for freedom, the release of political prisoners and, in some instances, the downfall of the government, echoing demands for change across the Arab world.

[...]But it was the spread of large-scale protests into new corners of Damascus, the capital, and Assad's seat of power, that underscored the growing depth of the protest movement.


Doom said...

This is the one case where it almost really doesn't matter. The only possible downside is if the muslim brotherhood takes enough of the Arab nations to form a bloc, a Neo-Ottoman Empire, of which Syria would become a part. The severity of which could be anywhere from moderate to extreme as a whole. But Syria would only play a small role as an added member. On the good side, it would royally p.o. Iran.

I honestly think that the danger of islam comes from whatever dictator who comes to power under sharia law or otherwise not being able to accrue wealth fast enough (to increase his portfolio and to have enough crumbs to spread around to maintain his hold). As with most false religions and good business, look at the money trail.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

WE SHOULD, but won't, say away unless Israel is threatened. Then .....

sig94 said...

Doom - Syria still needs to be spanked, nay, beaten like a rented mule, for its role in the 1986 bombing of the USMC barracks in Lebanon. Why Reagan never took them to task for this is unfathomable.

Iran would try to bring the Shias together; this could be very, very interesting as another Sunnia-Shia war would provide much entertainment. Of course gasoline would be $20/gal, but a continuous dinner and a movie in the mideast could move us faster towards removing the restraints that hinder the development of our own oil and gas reserves. Let the drilling begin!

sig94 said...

Odie - oil makes strange bedfellows. As for Obongo, I doubt very much that Israel is counting on American support if attacked.

BTW, how was Washington?

McGonagall said...

Syria is 75% Sunni and is controlled by the secular (Stalinist) Baathist party. The notion that the Iranian Shia theocracy would make common cause with with that regime is laughable.

I seem to remember that the US used some middle eastern country to interrogate (torture) certain innocent persons of interest who had been subjected to "extraordinary rendition":

sig94 said...

McG - that was a jump to generalizations, like the one I made with the list of mideast countries in the post. Please try to keep up. Iran is a playah in the Shia world. Now exactly how much of all this unrest is due to her machinations? Now that is hard to say. Will Iran take advantage of political unrest in other countries to further her interests? Well d0h. We do the same. Iran will try to influence Syria and Jordan simply because of their proximity to the hated Joos. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so to speak. And that, McG, is cause of much evil in that troubled part of the world.

I believe God causes confusion and strife among the arabs just to protect Israel.

sig94 said...

McG - Yes, I heard that too. Perhaps particularly incalcitrant terrorists were turned over to the Egyptians for some rather inventive interrogation. Innocent? Hard to arrive at that determination from where we sit on our arses. Depends on the sources that we find reliable - and that we will most likely never agree on.

sig94 said...

McG - Apparently the US government also feels that Iran is up to mischief.