A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 24, 2011 Assad Kills Over 100, Killing at Joeseph's Tomb
Events in Syria continue to get ever more serious for the Assad Regime. Over the weekend, over 100 Syrian protestors were killed by Syrian security forces. This is, I believe, the point of no return for the Syrian government. I have always written that a dictator can maintain power as long as he is willing to kill his own people. So far Assad has shown he is willing to do that without hesitation. Will it be enough? Certainly the circle of violence is getting larger. Every time Assad kills more Syrians an ever larger number of the their friends and family become outraged. Whatever minor legitimacy his government had among the people is gone. His only legitimacy from now on is what he can secure from the barrel of a gun. The question at this point is does he have enough guns? Up until now Assad has relied largely on the security forces, since he is afraid to rely on the general army. If the security forces are enough to cower the country and end the demonstrations, then Assad will survive. If security forces are not sufficient to stop the demonstrations, Assad's regime will not survive.
An interesting aside, in one group of demonstrations I saw yesterday the demonstrators were chanting "down with Hezbolllah, down with Iran. We want Syria". Keep in mind that most of the demonstrators are Sunni, while Hezbollah and Iran are Shite.
Today, one Israeli was killed and three wounded when they attempted to make an unauthorized visit to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Having guarded the tomb a young recruit, in 1975, I can report that even back then, young Palestinians threw stones as we guarded that site, (which was rather dilapidated, even back then). Today's killing is a terrible tragedy. However, why anyone would want to go pray at that site is beyond me.
A facinating interview with Tel Aviv University Philosophy Professor Asher Kasher: The Moralist