VodkaPundit

More People Power

The writing is on the wall for Baby Assad:

Two years ago, Colin Powell took Jordan’s King Abdullah to one side and told him, modifying a Rumsfeldian paradigm, that America saw him as part of “the new Middle East”. The Sauds, Mubarak and Gaddafi are not entirely on board with this “new Middle East” thing, but since January 30 they’ve been doing their best to pretend they are – and the easiest way to do that is to stick some loser with the label of “old Middle East”. Syria’s prestige, such as it is, rests on its subordination of Lebanon. Abandoning that on a time frame demanded by Bush and the Beirut babes doesn’t exactly communicate strength. The Iranians are still officially Assad’s pals, but the word is that even they wouldn’t be averse to a palace coup.

The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman was arguing a couple of weeks back that Syria plays by “Hama rules” – a reference to the town whose inhabitants Pop Assad slaughtered en masse. I think he’s wrong. Those days are over. Even if you’ve got the stomach for it, with 150,000 US troops on your border going the exhibitionist corpse-piling route is a much bigger gamble than it was in the “stability” era. Syria, at the very minimum, is being neutralised and turned in on itself.

That’s from Mark Steyn’s latest, and I suggest you read the whole thing.

What Steyn doesn’t say – and perhaps doesn’t need to – is that if Assad is gone, then so is Syria as we’ve come to loathe her. The lesson learned in South Korea and the Philippines, at the Berlin Wall and in front of the Russian Parliament building is that once the fear is gone, so is the dictator. When the dictator goes, usually so does the dictatorship.

If Assad can’t hold on to Beirut, odds are he won’t be able to hold on to Damascus, either, even without 150,000 Coalition troops on his border.