Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – a weed of a man backed by the apparatus of an entrenched fascist state – is an ophthalmic surgeon who is said to have chosen this branch of medicine as the cutting up of eyeballs is relatively bloodless. However, recent events show that the young Ba’athist who inherited his kingdom from daddy Hafez is not so squeamish when it comes to delegating mass bloodletting to the state’s security forces.
Today’s tank-assisted assault on civilians in Deraa shows that the situation in Syria is getting totally out of hand. So how should the civilised world deal with murderous regimes in multiple Arab countries? Being ignorant of matters military, I shall have to defer to the experts, as long as they are not of the academic Arabist type with a penchant for shiny boots and civilian servility. But it doesn’t take a defence pundit to understand that no-fly zones and airstrikes in support of revolutionary forces are out of the question on so many simultaneous fronts.
That said, something must be done before al-Assad Jr emulates his father’s 1982 adventure in Hama. There is nothing banal about Ba’athist evil.