Of all the depredations to suppress the Arab spring, the worst by far appear to be taking place in Syria. We say "appear" because President Bashar Assad's regime continues to ban foreign journalists, so what we know arrives piecemeal from phone calls, Internet messages and accounts from refugees.
The latest reports of horror come from Bdama in the northeast not far from the border with Turkey. Syrian troops entered the town on Saturday, backed by six tanks and more armored vehicles, firing at and burning homes and closing down the one shop that supplied bread for neighboring villages. Yesterday, the military and security forces blocked roads leading to the border, a blockade that is creating a humanitarian crisis as refugees run out of food and water.
Human rights monitors estimate that some 1,400 people have been killed, and 11,000 are missing or detained, since the Syrian uprising began more than three months ago. Mr. Assad is scheduled to address Syrians today, his first such remarks in two months. If history is any guide, he'll blame foreigners (and especially Israel) for the revolt, while combining threats with some kind of proposal for political reform and dialogue in an attempt to stop the uprising.
We doubt Syrians will fall for it, but the West may be another story. It's hard to believe, but President Obama is still holding out rhetorical hope that Mr. Assad could be a force for reform. What he ought to do instead is drop the illusions, denounce the regime's continuing assaults, and work with Turkey to assist the suffering Syrian people.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Syria lnsurrection Seen by Obama as "Reform Possibility"
Obungler simply doesn't want another Libya, period.