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Editorial cartoon of the day

July 11, 2011

Like father, like son

The central Syria city of Hama was the epicenter of 1980s protests, when minority Alawite ruler Hafez al Assad mercilessly murdered at least 20,000 of the Syrian majority Sunnis there. Hama has now risen against Hafez’s son, Bashar, where protests grew to 300,000 led by a mostly secular Sunni crowd. Bashar had pulled forces out of Hama last month, only to remove the regional governor and return with force.

Of course, pacifying (or, more likely, forcefully ending) Hama will be different for Bashar than it was for Hafez. Word travels quickly now with social media, but Hafez was able to (however paradoxically) quietly massacre the mostly-Islamist led revolt in 1982 because it took days for word to circulate around the country. There are more eyes on Bashar, so it will be interesting to see how far the apple falls from the tree.

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