As in Stalin’s mass starvation of the Ukrainians, Russia – working hard as it can to defend the Syrian regime in the Security Council – seems to have a soft spot for genocidal dictators. The latest from Homs is that the Bashar Body Count reached 400, on top of a national total the UN says is over 5000. Bashar’s almost up to Daddy Hafez’s numbers at the Hama massacre (ten thousand in a low estimate).
The Russians, however, are desperate to keep the demented ophthalmologist in power. Those Russians, who pretend to be sophisticated, operate on the simplest of equations. Bad news for Assad means bad news for Iran means bad news for Russia.
Of course, that wouldn’t be true, if the Russians decided it wasn’t. But the paranoid worldview of that declining power is so embedded in their national psyche, they cannot escape it.