March 20, 2004

Not so distant a prospect...

There's an interesting NYT article, Hussein's Fall Leads Syrians to Test Government Limits, on a number of ways in which the totalitarian rule of the Baath Party in Syria is loosening.

There's some unintentional humor, because the NYT obviously hates to admit that anything Bush does could actually be successful:

...When the Bush administration toppled the Baghdad government, it announced that it wanted to establish a democratic, free-market Iraq that would prove a contagious model for the region. The bloodshed there makes that a distant prospect, yet the very act of humiliating the worst Arab tyrant spawned a sort of "what if" process in Syria and across the region...
It's not a distant prospect, the model is already contagious; that's the gist of the article.

And it's when police states start to loosen control that they become most vulnerable. They think they can reform just a wee bit, and gain some of the advantages of freedom. But once they loosen up they are probably doomed...

...Syrians who oppose the government do so with some trepidation because it used ferocious violence in the past to silence any challenge. Yet the fall of Mr. Hussein changed something inside people.

"I think the image, the sense of terror, has evaporated," said Mr. Amiralay, the filmmaker....

That's the PLAN. The Bush plan. The neocon plan.

The fall of one tyrant leads to the fall of others. And our own shaky petty tyrannies, of newsroom and university and archdiocese—they hate George W Bush for very good reasons...(thanks to Cori)

Posted by John Weidner at March 20, 2004 7:13 AM
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