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March 25, 2011

Hey, Who Is Up For Political Unrest In....Syria?

Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen (thanks for the reminder in the comments), Libya and now Syria.

At least 15 people were killed as thousands took to the streets in or made their way to the restive Syrian city of Daraa, where deadly clashes erupted over the last week between protesters and security forces.

Sources told CNN the slain people were trying to march to Daraa, where an eyewitness, Abdullah, also reported many casualties in the city.

"Thousands gathered and moved to the governor's building in Daraa and there, they burned a large picture of Bashar al-Assad, and then they toppled statue of Hafez al-Assad in the center of the square," he said, referring to the current president and his late father, the former president.

"After that, armed men came out from the roof of the officers' club in front of the governor's officer and started firing at the crowd," said Abdullah, who asked that his full name not be reported due to security concerns.

It's not just Daraa.

In Hama, hundreds of people were said to have gathered on the city streets to chant "freedom".

In 1982, the Syrian army put down an uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama. Rights groups believe that tens of thousands of civilians were killed when large parts of the city were destroyed in the military assault.

In Tall, witnesses quoted by the Reuters news agency said about 1,000 people had rallied to show their support for the Deraa protesters, and were chanting slogans denouncing members of the ruling Assad family.

If things get much more intense, I think we'll see just how much the son is really like the father. And then what will the UN, NATO and Obama do? Not much is my guess.

This is one of the problems with the Libyan adventure. In the long run, Libya's not that big of a deal. Yeah, getting Kadaffi would be good on principle (Berlin, Lockerbie) but it's not a game changer in the region. It's also what passes for low hanging fruit in the region.

France and the UK have puffed themselves up into what they conceive of as relevance but going after this 3rd string guy. They'll eventually win (probably), with the US doing the heavy lifting and spend the next decade patting themselves on the back. Meanwhile, Syria and the real root of the problem Iran, will be ignored because it's too hard and too dangerous..."Sure the Iranians have nukes but boy, didn't we kick Gadaffi in the nuts back in they day!"

Oh and not to be left out of all of this...Jordan!

Police forces interferred with water cannons on Friday to stop the clashes between government supporters and pro-reform demonstrators in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Government loyalists hurled large stones at demonstrators, injuring more than 100 protesters, Al Arabiya correspondent in Amman said.

About 200 people attacked the sit-in, in which around 2,000 youths from different movements, including the powerful Islamist opposition, took part to call for reforms to the current regime and more efforts to fight corruption.

It's simply amazing what's going on in the Mideast right now.

All I keep thinking about is Teh Fred in The Hunt for Red October, "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

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posted by DrewM. at 12:24 PM

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