Washington loosely refers to Syrian President Assad as a "dictator" or "brutal dictator," but obviously if Assad is a dictator he is not very effective in that role. Normally, dictators don't permit an opposition to rise, much less arm itself. It would be more accurate to say that the ruling party is authoritarian, but the ruling party has introduced elements of democracy with the new constitution.
As Iraq has proved, Arab governments have to be authoritarian if their Sunni and Shia populations are not to be constantly engaged in civil war. Both Bush and Obama claim that Washington brought "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. However, the ongoing violence in Iraq is as intense or more intense than under the American occupation. Here are the reports for the last three days:
July 23: "A wave of bomb attacks and shootings in Baghdad and north of the capital has killed at least 107 people. At least 216 were wounded."
July 24: "A second day of intensified attacks left at least 145 Iraqis killed and 379 more wounded."
July 25: "Attacks continue across Iraq: 17 killed, 60 wounded."
This is what Washington did for Iraq. Far from bringing "freedom and democracy," Washington brought endless mayhem and death. And this is precisely what Washington is in the process of bringing to Syria.
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