Now Syria, Now What Do We Do Syria saw protesting for reform shortly after Tunisia fell and during the height of the Egyptian revolts. Images from Syria showed the protesters in the streets and a somewhat subdued government crackdown. It appeared that the supposed reform government of Bashar Assad may relent to public pressure. All this changed last week as tanks and military units moved into the streets and gunned down protesters demanding democracy. This is nothing new for this regime. I was told by a Saudi friend that Syria had brutally destroyed a town and everyone in it in retaliation for a revolt attempt. Now know as the Hama Massacre, 17,000 civilians were massacred and the town leveled. The leader of Syria at that time was Hafiz al-Assad, father of the current leader. Two weeks ago the reports were that eleven people had been killed in protests against the government. Then suddenly the death toll rose to over four hundred and the worst is yet to come. Now the United States is really caught in a quagmire. We demanded that Mubarak step down in Egypt and he eventually did but the Saudi’s protested the intervention of America in Egypt’s internal affairs. Now we are actively engaged in the revolt in Libya but what are we to do in Syria. With a soaring defense cost and having to intercede in more and more military operations will we go to the aid of the civilians that are demanding freedom. The Unites States is now discussing sanctions but has this really worked? Look at the failed sanctions we had on South Africa and Iran. Syria is not dependent on foreign aid so the Arab League has little affect. So the problem remains, what with America do. Will we take the lead and fight for the freedom of the oppressed or will we stand by and hope another country will show the intestinal fortitude to go to the aid of the Syrians? Only time will tell. As we observe in so many situations, the people of a country are judged by the actions of their rulers. A friend of mine bought a car in Holland and drove it to Saudi. He had to pass through Syria. The two day trek was an eye opener. Syria was a staunch ally of Communist Russia; however, the common man in the street spoke nothing but praise for the Americans. They despised the Communist and wished for the day that Americans would return. This is not an uncommon feeling through out the world despite rhetoric to the contrary.


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