There used to be a rule of thumb that any successful family business would fail by the third generation as the hardworking founder was replaced by his privileged, pampered and sheltered offspring. In machine politics, those family businesses seem to be failing even sooner now.
Bashar al-Assad is proving as much in Syria, where his ferocious and misguided crackdown on decent working people is fueling a popular backlash that now has its own military wing. The nonviolent movement has morphed into open rebellion in reaction to the brutality of Assad and his well-paid lackeys in the police and military.
More than 10,000 soldiers have defected rather than kill their own people since the original nonviolent protests began in March. They’ve brought their logistics, administrative, combat, and command and control skills to the revolution. The rebel’s new military wing is called the “Syrian Free Army.”
The rebels say they now have more than 25,000 fighters, according to Bloomberg.
Col. Riad al-Asaad of the Syrian Free Army told Reuters that pro-democracy forces increasingly are taking the fight to Bashar Assad and his silver-spoon loyalists by targeting military convoys sent to reinforce his crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. He said the rebel military has improved its reconnaissance abilities and begun launching coordinated attacks.
They include a gun-battle that claimed eight silver-spoon loyalists at an intelligence centre in the northern province of Idlib, according to Reuters; an assault that destroyed part of an armored convoy in the southern province of Deraa; an attack on an intelligence center on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus; and the targeted killing of six pilots at a loyalist air force base.
“For months now regime forces have not entered a city, town or village without using heavy guns, armor and tanks against their inhabitants,” Col. Riad al-Asaad of the Syrian Free Army told Reuters. “We have a right to stop the troops going to violate the people.”
It’s a safe bet that Syrian pro-democracy forces, which now enjoy international support, will only grow stronger until they force Bashar al-Assad and his silver spoon-loyalists from power. Give him three months. Tops.
Syria’s population of 23 million is 75% Sunni Muslim, but has been ruled by the Assad family and their minority Alawite sect since daddy Hafez al-Assad rose to power in a 1970 coup. Alawites are a sect of the Shia Muslim community, which accounts for only 13% of the Syrian population.
Bashar took over the family business upon daddy Hafez Assad‘s death 2000. The 46-year-old silver spoon has never stood for public office in a contested election. He always runs without opposition.
Bottom line, the Assads aren’t worth much on the street anymore and are about to get served.
The Syrian rebels’ new military prowess prompted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to say that the Middle Eastern nation appeared to be on the cusp of civil war on Friday, Dec. 2.
“The Syrian authorities’ continual ruthless oppression, if not stopped now, can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war,” Pillay said.
We don’t know how the UN defines “civil war,” but it seems to us at The Cynical Times that the 4,000 Syrians murdered since March indicate the internal battle for power between decent working people and their hereditary dictator has been underway for some time. It’s at times like this that you have to wonder what planet the well-paid and incredibly slow-moving UN bureaucrats live on.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have been arrested since the drive for democracy began in mid-March, and more than 14,000 are still locked up.
The military phase now underway in Syria could more accurately be described as the “end phase” of the ruthless Assad plantation-state. Its pampered ruling class, whose members have had everything handed to them, will now pout as things don’t go their way and refuse to cut their losses. They will then very likely be killed by their own exploited countrymen as their house slaves desert them, in a process that’s fast becoming a modern form of natural selection.
Dictators like Assad, who are too stupid to smell the coffee and undertake the democractic reforms needed to allow their own countrymen and women to define themselves, are now on the run worldwide.
The trigger for the global pro-democracy movement was the pilfering of federal treasuries by predatory banking interests working in concert with ruling political machines. The resulting sovereign debt crisis quickly gave birth to a global economic slowdown, as hardworking men and women were handed the bills for a lavish global party they were not invited to attend.
The pro-democracy movement unleashed since the Arab Spring began in December of 2010 has already claimed totalitarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and led to street protests from London to Israel.
It also spawned the Occupy Wall Street movement in United States, where an oligarchy of wealthy Americans has been quietly undermining that powerful nation’s representative democracy since 1980. They have used favorable government regulations and tax loopholes to shift a larger share of the last superpower’s wealth to themselves, while carving loopholes in term limits and campaign donation regulations to transform its elected government into a club for millionaires, who now hold half of all U.S. Congressional seats.
Mayors in big cities across the United States have raided pro-democracy protest camps in recent weeks in a bid to undermine a grassroots movement that challenges the two major political machines that brought them to power. However, the mayors seem helpless to stop the spread of the collective realization that America is now ruled largely by thieves.
The global pro-democracy movement unseated the Greek government of George Papandreou on Nov. 11 after his countrymen and women reached a similar conclusion about their self-appointed political aristocracy. The former prime minister was the third-generation scion of a Greek political dynasty. Papandreou’s father and grandfather were prime ministers.
Yemen’s longtime ruler, Ali Abdullah Saleh, signed a deal to leave office this month after 33 years in power in the face of a popular uprising by pro-democracy protesters. Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February under similar circumstances following a 30-year run.
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi (above right) was wounded, captured and slain by pro-democracy military forces on Oct. 20 after a 42-reign. His death followed a brutal crackdown, much like the one now taking place in Syria, in which Gadhafi turned loose foreign mercenaries on his own countrymen and women. The eight-month conflict claimed more than 30,000 lives.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il (below right) is so terrified of the pro-democracy forces being unleashed worldwide that he has refused to allow North Korean doctors serving overseas to return home for fear of losing the family franchise. The little butterball, who also inherited power from daddy, has censored any mention of the global unrest unseating his fellow hereditary rulers from news reports in his family’s Juche-based plantation state.
Juche is a very strange religion created by Kim’s daddy that melded Communism with the idea that he was some kind of living god and therefore could not be questioned by decent working people.
We shit you not. North Korea actually has a Communist monarchy.
Meanwhile, resentment continues to percolate in Iran against that nation’s religious dictatorship. The Iranian capital of Tehran was rocked by street riots in 2009 after strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a presidential election plagued by irregularities. When decent working people there took to the streets in nonviolent protest they were attacked by ruthless religious police called Basij.
The protests quickly turned violent, resulting in numerous riot police being badly beaten by angry crowds (below left), but never escalated into outright civil war.
All of which brings to mind the saying “may you live in interesting times.” It’s unclear exactly where it originated, but some experts have described it as the first of three ancient Chinese curses.
The other two curses in the trio are “may you come to the attention of those in authority” and “may you find what you are looking for.” Apparently, the ancient Chinese had to deal with rapacious silver spoons, too.