Damascus Watch

"Corruption is rampant," writes liberal Syrian blogger Ammar Abdulhamid, "prices of basic goods are soaring, unemployment is widespread, the educational systems are imploding, and we are hated by just about everybody, in the region and abroad. Still, 'would you join an anti-government demonstration?' I asked [a series of cab drivers]. But 'this is not Lebanon,' I was reminded, the assholes over here are willing to destroy every house in every city rather than give up power."

The most likely Syrian scenarios, thinks Abdulhamid, include: "A purge by the Presidential Family to help them stay in power"; "Assassinating the President as the most logical fall-guy"; and "The emergence of a fifth column which will most assuredly seek US support to overthrow the current leaders . . ."

Adbulhamid posted Friday that "The City's air is rife with all sorts of untoward rumors, everything is now possible: there is talk of arrests, purges, coup d'etats, assassinations, sanctions, invasions, anything and everything, except, of course, freedom. Everything is possible except freedom. Freedom is never mentioned. Freedom never comes to mind. Freedom remains a distant dream."

Link via Across the Bay, which as always offers much useful commentary of its own.

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    ... and the farmer (Bush) hauled another load away.
    You could tell by the smell it wasn't hay (freedom).

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    The blogger brings up a very good point, Syria would not be able to storm into Beirut a la Prague Spring, but it can still do what it likes within its own borders in matters of protesters.

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    Looks as if President Bush's democratization plan is working.


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