Syria’s crackdown

In so desperately and violently clinging to power, the behavior of the Alawite ruling minority conforms with perfect consistency to fears it has expressed for 75 years of what majority rule would mean for them.

By
August 8, 2011 23:08
3 minute read.
Syrian tank moves through city (illustrative)

Syrian tank in Hama 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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"Damascus is at one and the same time the fount of modern Arab nationalism and the exhibit of its frustrations,” Henry Kissinger once observed. “Syrian history alternates achievement with catastrophe.”

Since mid-March, that alternation has cycled ever more rapidly, with the achievement of growing antiregime protests, inspired by the defiant examples of Egypt and Tunisia, being met with an increasingly catastrophic and draconian crackdown that has left at least 2,000 civilians dead.

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