“Until two weeks ago we didn’t have any contacts with a bank in either country,” says a financier. Early in the uprising, the IMF predicted that Syria’s economy would shrink by 2% this year. But local analysts think sanctions may push that figure into double digits. Inflation is steadily rising. Insurance companies are loth to cover business. Ordinary Syrians will suffer first as the cost of food soars and queues for fuel for heating and cars snake round buildings. But dissidents welcome the sanctions. The hardship they inflict is a lot less severe than the regime’s bullets and batons—and may in the long run be more powerful.
Jack Goldstone concurs. Bülent Kene? zooms in on the specifics of the Turkish measures. The opposition is keeping up the pressure through calls for a general strike. As the United Nations declares the death toll to have exceeded 4,000, Martin Gurri argues that the dissemination of videos and images of the uprising are the key tool of the opposition:
[T]he choices of Syria’s rulers are circumscribed by the knowledge that their victims will accuse them from beyond the grave. It is one thing to commit mass murder behind a drawn curtain, as done without negative consequences by Bashar Assad’s father in the city of Hama. It is quite another to do so in front of an audience – to become the guilty party in a crime witnessed by the world. From a strictly geopolitical perspective, it invites foreign intervention on humanitarian grounds, on the Libyan model. This is the regime’s predicament: the more it kills to survive, the greater the host of gruesome images which will perturb the conscience of the Arab and global publics.
In line with these sentiments, the Dish will continue to air videos like this one, wherein several wounded men are beaten by pro-regime thugs:
What appears to be a significant funeral crowd gathered in Hama yesterday:
Finally, this video shows an impromptu mobile funeral home today in Bab Sba'a (a Homs neighborhood) bravely carrying the body of one of Assad's victims off the street amidst the sound of gunshots: