Beautiful piece on Syria by Rana Kabbani in the Guardian. What an amazing transformation Syria is undergoing, and more and more people say, Assad is finished. It is only a matter of how long and how much cruelty he subjects his society to. Makes Mubarak's "no-mas" look altruistic. Kabbani (thx to Elly Kilroy):
Though all the undemocratic regimes of the Arab world are unremittingly cruel, Assad's must stand out as the most inventively macabre. Its brutish, uncouth, illiterate and famously greedy Shabbiha death squads are being bussed around the country, with orders to rape, loot, burn, and kill. It is they who pull out the fingernails of young boys, they who torture them to death, castrate their bodies, only to force their grief-crazed parents to recant their accusations on the state's propaganda television.
It was them who killed Ibrahim Qattush – the amateur musician who became an overnight sensation and the revolution's youthful voice, when he composed some of its rousing chants and ditties. Qattush's throat was cut out, as it was where the regime visualised his songs came from. Such literalism in its crimes is very much part of the way this crudest of power structures seeks to present itself.
In the past five months of Syria's agony some international pundits have made it their business to cheer for Bashar, swallowing his black propaganda line that "aprés moi, le deluge" of the Salafi bogeymen. But facts on the ground are more eloquent: every single minority and ethnicity across Syria has risen in revolt, repelled by the war crimes it has been witness to...
What will the Assads and their extended family be remembered for? Their prisons, mass graves, scorched earth policy; their denaturing of Syrian society into a place of suspicion and fear; and their ugly creation of a North Korea without the bomb? Their illegal enrichment, corruption, arrogance and vindictiveness?
Syrians deserve better and will win their freedom the difficult way, as other peoples have.