Friday, April 22, 2011

Scenes from Syria

The BBC reports on the outburst of violence by Assad's brutal regime:

At least 72 protesters have been killed by security forces in Syria, rights groups say -- the highest reported death toll in five weeks of unrest there.

Demonstrators were shot, witnesses say, as thousands rallied across the country, a day after a decades-long state of emergency was lifted.

Many deaths reportedly occurred in a village near Deraa in the south, and in a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

US President Barack Obama called for a halt to the "outrageous" violence.

"This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now," the president said in a statement.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "extremely concerned" by reports of deaths and casualties across Syria and urged restraint on the country's authorities.

"Political reforms should be brought forward and implemented without delay," he said. "The Emergency Law should be lifted in practice, not just in word."

That would be a start, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon. Syria isn't Egypt, where the military wanted Mubarak out after his position become untenable, and which in any event is more westernized than Syria.

Just consider what's happened: Assad lifted the state of emergency, essentially encouraging more protests, and then responded by murdering demonstrators critical of his regime.

Obama and Hague and other world leaders can say all they want. What are they actually going to do about the situation in Syria? Likely, nothing. Nothing beyond saying the right things, which is something but certainly not nearly enough. (Although Aljazeera reports that U.S. has been supporting/funding the Syrian opposition.)

The demonstrators are largely on their own, I fear. And they likely won't get far.

Here's an Aljazeera report on the protests and crackdown:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home