Representative democracies and autocratic dictatorships respond to profound internal crises in very distinctive ways: the former attempts to reason with citizens, explaining the causes, consequences and alternatives; dictatorships attempt to terrorize, intimidate and distract the public by evoking bogus external threats, to perpetuate and justify rule by police state methods and avoid facing up to the self-inflicted crises.
|By: GREYDOG Wednesday August 14, 2013 7:12 pm|
|By: David Dayen Wednesday July 18, 2012 11:55 am|
A suicide bomb killed the Syrian defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law today, among other top officials, in the most direct and effective attack on the Syrian regime since the beginning of the uprising and civil war.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 27, 2012 8:30 am|
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has essentially declared a civil war in a meeting with his new cabinet, which was broadcast on state-run TV. He did this as fighting raged just outside of the capital of Damascus, and as gunmen stormed a pro-government TV channel, killing seven.
|By: David Dayen Thursday June 21, 2012 8:55 am|
Allowing Assad, who has murdered at least 10,000 of his own people in the past year or so, to receive clemency would be a gut-wrenching outcome. But if it ends the carnage, it could be seen as a positive step.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday May 29, 2012 1:20 pm|
The US has expelled Syria’s top diplomat in Washington, just one of many Western countries to throw out Syrian envoys after the Houla massacre. The name missing from that list is Russia, whose Foreign Minister yesterday said that the rebels share the blame with the government for the massacre. This Russian roadblock prevents serious action by the UN Security Council.
|By: David Dayen Sunday May 27, 2012 6:00 pm|
The United Nations has returned to the issue of Syria today, after a massacre in villages near the flashpoint city of Homs that killed at least 116 people, including 32 children.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday April 18, 2012 3:38 pm|
Syria has helpfully asked the UN for more monitors – but no more than 250 in a country of over 20 million – to observe the cease-fire taking place in the embattled country. They even offered their own air support, so no need for independent aircraft to aid mobility for the observers! I think today’s events will put a damper on the allegedly positive Syrian proposal, however.
|By: David Dayen Friday April 13, 2012 9:53 am|
Thursday was the first operative day of the cease-fire in Syria. On that day, more than a dozen people were reported killed in fighting, and Syrian forces had not pulled back their tanks from the major cities, as per the agreement. So it’s the kind of cease-fire where 12 people die.
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 12, 2012 9:07 am|
I think it would be a mistake to look at the tenuous success from the first day of a cease-fire in Syria and pronounce the cease-fire solved. In fact, the government isn’t honoring the cease-fire. It included a provision to have the regime pull back their security forces from the major cities. They have not done so. Tanks still set outside the major urban centers.
|By: David Dayen Saturday April 7, 2012 10:15 am|
Like many times in the past, the claims of the Syrian government that they ended the fighting in advance of a cease-fire have been proven wrong. The opposition Local Coordinating Committees report that civilians have been targeted in recent days, including ones displaced from their homes. Idlib province has been shelled, with small villages and [...]