Syria, they are killing people.

They are killing people in Syria. It is meaningless. The President, Assad, son of Assad is setting the forces of repression upon the demonstrators. He is desperate, obviously to hold onto power. It has always been known that Syria is the most effectively repressive of all the Arab states, with several different secret police organisations mopping up dissent.

But it was up until now believed that Assad was more enlightened & intelligent than his father.

Those who achieve power do so because that is what they want even if they find, once they have it, that it is more onerous than they had thought it would be. Presumably Assad had it thrust upon him. So why is he is so desperate to hold onto power? He must have a lot to hide in terms of wealth secreted away & in terms of the atrocities & torture committed upon the people in many prisons.

Now he is setting guns upon the people.

The demonstrators do seem determined to oust him. They are facing the guns with no weapons, with nothing but their bare hands.

Assad has blood on his hands. There is no surely logic for this crackdown.  I know little about him. It was said that there was hope that he would be better & more enlightened than his father because he is better educated. Presumably though he was groomed for the job. But, really, does he love power so much that he is prepared to kill hundreds of people, just so that he can remain president? It is reported that thus far 200 people have been killed. For all we know it may be thousands. It is not known, really, what it is that the demonstrators want.  Assad is claiming that they are religious extremists. They may be. But it may be that Islam is beginning to decline, probably a slow decline, but maybe it is a decline which is going to be more precipitous. Maybe what they want is a Western style liberal democracy with all the freedoms that that implies.

It is a thorny problem this business of how much help we should give to dissenters who in general seem to hold similar ideals & similar ideas as us. Apart from anything else, it was the West which delineated the borders of the Middle East, after the 2 World Wars.

It is not for us in the West to dictate to the Arab Countries & Iran what type of society they should have. But that doesn’t stop us hoping that other countries follow the path of secular liberal democracies now prevalent in about half the World.

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