"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bringing Down Syria's Murderous Tyrant

From the NYTimes:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Thousands of Syrians took to the streets in virtually every region of the country on Friday in what appeared to be a sign of new momentum and a potentially dangerous turn in the nine-week uprising. Activists said security forces killed at least 26 people and wounded hundreds.

The resilience of the protests seemed to surprise even the activists themselves. The message delivered at many of the demonstrations, from Damascus, the capital, to the distant east to towns that had been the target of ferocious repression, was that the killing of hundreds and detention of thousands would not stifle opposition to four decades of authoritarian rule.

“No dialogue with tanks and soldiers,” went one slogan.

There were ominous signs, too, of communal strife and outbreaks of violence that are testing a government that has built its legitimacy on the promise of stability. The unrest has exacerbated sectarian tensions in a country with a Sunni Muslim majority and a mosaic of ethnic and religious minorities: Christians, Kurds and Alawites and other heterodox Muslim sects.

Some of the worst unrest has erupted along the Sunni-Alawite fault lines in the cities of Baniyas, Latakia and Homs, and there are reports, though unconfirmed, of assassinations of security personnel and sectarian bloodletting.. . .

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