Ridding Syria of a Despot

(Washington Post) Elliott Abrams - The ingredients that brought down Ben Ali in Tunisia were replicated in Egypt and Libya: repression, vast corruption and family rule. All are starkly present in Syria. Every Arab "republic" has been a republic of fear, but only Saddam Hussein's Iraq surpassed the Assads' Syria in number of victims. The regime may cling to power for a while by shooting protesting citizens, but its ultimate demise is certain. The demise of this murderous clan is in America's interest. The Assad regime made Syria the pathway for jihadists from around the world to enter Iraq to fight and kill Americans. Long a haven for terrorists, Syria still allows the Hamas leadership, among other Palestinian terrorist groups, to live and work in Damascus. Moreover, a government dominated by Syria's Sunni majority - the Assad clan is from the tiny Alawite minority - would never have the close relations with Hizbullah and Iran that Assad maintains. Iran will lose its close Arab ally, and its land bridge to Hizbullah, when Assad falls. The writer, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.

2011-03-28 00:00:00

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