August 21, 2003


The Syrian Ba'athist regime is struggling to prevent a rising tide of agitation for across-the-board reform and democratisation from turning into a flood.

For one of the last fraying Arab versions of the theoretically socialist, one-party state, repression is proving less and less effective. . . .

Addomari was in the thick of it, but Farzat simply went too far. He continued to attack a perennial target of his, Saddam Hussein, even as Americans and British prepared to invade his country.

He portrayed Saddam and his portly generals stuffing the Iraqi people, as cannon fodder, into the barrel of a gun, and haranguing a crowd of hungry and ragged citizens: "They have come to plunder your palaces, your riches, your businesses and your oil."

The Ba'athists weren't happy.