Damascus Is Teeming With Secret Police

Bashar Al Assad

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Here’s the latest from Syria. Last Friday, 44 people were shot dead.  Another 11 were shot dead on Saturday, in the city of Homs, which has been a hotbed of anti-Assad regime protests. 

The Economist has an excellent report from Homs, which gives you a tactile sense of what is happening there and, by extension, across the country.  It’s the uprising that refuses to die, that seemingly can’t be bullied into submission, that has at its core people who are willing to die rather than put up with another day of the regime.

Time magazine has an equally compelling report from Damascus.  Their (unnamed) correspondent reports that the number of street vendors in Damascus has seemingly quadrupled.  Everyone assumes that three-quarters of the “new” vendors are actually agents of Mr. Assad’s secret police, there to kill or arrest or blackjack anyone who might be thinking of demonstrating against the regime.

The East Germanization of Syria hasn’t yet worked.  The protests keep bubbling up, the demand for “regime change” will not die.  It matters a great deal how this situation gets resolved.  If Syria slides into chaos, many observers believe that all bets are off in the Middle East

We’ll keep you posted.