Jewish World Review Dec. 14, 2011 / 18 Kislev, 5772
The last days of a despot, Or: A nervous man sings a nervous song
By Paul Greenberg
It won't work. Talking to
His country is in spreading flames, bodies litter the streets of rebellious cities like Homs, the resistance is no longer waving banners but guns, a rival army of defectors is already in the field, and the revolution is following the same general arc as every other in the Arab Spring. It may have turned to winter elsewhere, but it's still fresh in
Syrians call their dictator The Giraffe when they think his secret police aren't listening, and it is hard to look at his picture, with that long neck of his, and not imagine a rope coiled around it. He must feel it tightening every day. No wonder he sounds nervous. His days as a dictator, or just his days, are numbered. He sounded not only strange but estranged from reality.
Maybe it was the 70th anniversary of
We made our reservations, and we're movin' in . . .
He don't know where, he don't know when,
But we made our reservations, and we're movin' in
Where, when and exactly how the
The endgame has begun in
The longer his regime struggles, the longer the innocent will be massacred. The death toll just topped 5,000. Even
The specter of civil war and sectarian chaos, as in
It's the Yugoslavia Syndrome. When the iron dictatorship that held all the restive sects and peoples together falls apart, civil war ensues. While the world stands back and goes tut-tut. Till it can no longer just look on and finally, finally imposes some kind of peace, or at least a diminished war. Chaos impends, if it hasn't already begun. Homs, the epicenter of the revolt, has been leveled before -- by Assad the Elder -- and now Assad the Younger may try a repeat. Before he himself is leveled.
What can be done? The free world has just done it -- in
But the longer such a step is put off, the more innocents will be mowed down. For now the American secretary of state offers only pap. ("We certainly believe that if Syrians unite, they together can succeed in moving their country to that better future...." --
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