Today In Syria: Massacre For The Monitors

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 21 2011 @ 6:22pm

Assad is greeting the Arab League monitors with mass bloodshed. Estimates of the murdered in the past two days alone are reaching 250, an astonishing number given that the most recent UN figure had the death toll of the entire conflict at 5,000. Amira Al Husseini documents the Syrian Twittersphere's collective scream. Jerrorld M. Post and Ruthie Pertsis try to comprehend how Assad could countenance this sort of murder:

Like Saif [Qaddafi], and for all his veneer of Westernization, Bashar never learned from a powerful father how to respond to protest without resorting to violence, and totalistic violence at that. After all, the Hama massacre kept Hafez al-Assad in power for nearly two more decades. It seems likely that Bashar, like Saif, will persist with the present destructive course charted by his father until the end, for in the end "blood will out."

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alasdair Smith look to more mundane political explanations. Dennis Ross thinks, regardless, Assad is screwed, but Michael Rubin worries that the Arab League's chief monitor has connections to the genocide in Darfur. Maysaloon, in addition to explaining some opposition chants, brings us back to the sheer depravity:

[T]he Syrian regime is going to execute soldiers that had defected from Assad's armies. Dubbed "traitors", this news comes shortly after the regime signed an agreement with the Arab League agreeing to let in a number of observers and after 100 to 110 people were reported killed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which, as we all know, is being bashed by so-called "leftist" sceptics who find the deaths of twenty, let alone one hundred, Syrians per day less outrageous than the "standards" of impartiality and fairness that they expect; fair play and all that. It begs the question why they think they are anti-imperialists in the first place when their outrage is only provoked by some injustices and not others.

This man's skull was caved in:

And yet these protestors at a Damascene funeral take over the streets under Assad's nose:

These protestors in Idlib chant, sing, and hold signs in English:

That's same city where these young men were murdered yesterday: