Under his rule scores of suicide bombers were given the red carpet treatment en route to joining Al Qaeda in Iraq. Assad has facilitated Iran’s grand designs to transform Lebanon into a puppet Hezbollah state from which Iran could trigger yet another and far more bloody conflict against Israel. Terrorists regularly use Damascus as rest and refuel stop. The regime’s prisons overflow with citizens who dare contest his regime. Syria’s economy remains mired in quick sand.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Syria’s secret police have killed over 50 democracy protestors this weekend alone. That brings the unofficial total killed by Al Assad’s secret police since protests began to over 300. The violence has now escalated to a point where the regime faces its greatest internal threat while the regime prepares for even bloodier actions against its opponents.
Taking a cue from his Tehran masters, Assad is following Iran’s script… dismissing democracy protesters with barely disguised contempt while using every ounce of police brutality to suppress the dissent.
Clumsily, Assad appeared last week before his rubber-stamp parliament in a much anticipated address only to denounce alleged foreign agents beholden to Israel for orchestrating the unrest.
Rather than offer a tangible olive branch to redress grievances, he offered little in the way of meaningful reforms. Assad’s prior pledge to end the despised state of emergency that has served as the regime’s carte blanche to repress since 1963 has remained an empty promise.
Syria matters because it is Iran’s strategic partner in its efforts to tilt the balance of power in the Middle East to a new Shiite crescent of terror linking Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon through Syria to Iran.
Syria has benefited greatly as Iran’s pawn — reaping enormous amounts of Iranian economic largess for its services as doorman to Hezbollah’s growing domination of Lebanon — a domination that serves Syria’s barely disguised claims to Lebanon, as well.