Catch Syria’s serious serial killer
In the past few days there has been some incredible violence in Syria by a man named Assad. He claims to be “president” of “All the people” – except the ones he’s shooting I guess. He’s the dictator that has gone bad. Gone to seed, spoilt and rotten. Time to take him out. He’s shooting his own people who ask only to read the newspaper of their choice. He’s calling in the army to make sure “his” people, as he so condescendingly calls them, don’t access the Internet. Even worse, in this shadow of a real man’s mind, is if “his” people would be nice to Israel and let some of the bounty of Tel Aviv spill over into Damascus.
No, he’s calling in the live ammo. To teach the citizens a lesson about whom is boss. Now, if there had been free and fair elections of a sort in that nation since it was set up by the British and the French then Mr. Assad would have been retired now. In fact, he probably wouldn’t have been president-for-life-or-until-the-demonstrators-storm-the-palace at all if his father hadn’t held the same title. The father was so ruthless that he actually died in office, naturally, with nary a scratch. So ruthless that it’s said he reduced a city of 250,000 people, Hama, to almost rubble while besieging the ancient town with modern weapons. It seems most inside the walls were killed, as if this were the Middles Ages and the Saracens or the Norse came to call. It seemed to have worked, however, sadly, for the man did die in office, and bequeathed the crown to his son. Which is a rare thing for ruthless dictators indeed. Unless, of course, blessed by God like a king is. Too bad for this Assad, he wasn’t trained in ruthlessness. But he’s learning, obviously. Still, it was his older brother who was groomed to be the killer-in-chief. But there was an unfortunate accident of some kind. Not quite resolved, but said to perhaps not be the boo boo it was made to look like. Hard to tell with such regimes, what really goes on.
Ah, but dying in office, that’s the biggest hurdle dictators face, because they don’t have the blessings of a good book like kings do. Elizabeth of England has the Good Book on her side, for sure, and William is going to have to wait his turn. But dictators with no book? Why, it’s unthinkable! So they often make their own! Mao’s little red one (they’re always little; it’s the nature of their mind) and Khaddafi’s little green one (I kid you not – he’s got his own scripture, the man does!) I don’t know the color of Kim’s in North Korea, or the Slorc’s – weirdly that’s the State Law & Order Revolutionary Committee that oppresses the fine Burmese people who just want to travel in peace from Rangoon to Mandalay and instead are put upon by this weird bunch with an English acronym for a name. I’m sure they do have their little books too. It’s a veritable rainbow library of little books to guide the peoples of the world.
Some of course use bigger books to order man’s life to the nitty gritty – some the Koran, which is prescriptive in abundance, down to the clothes it’s said. And of course, some use the Bible, though mostly only against gay folks, while being hypocritically unaware of the other parts which pertain to them.
But I don’t know if Assad has a little book. I’m sure he expresses his wisdom to try man’s souls in his own way, like, oh, building size photographs of him in all the best downtown squares. He’s quite the fellow, almost like a fashion model in the way he struts his stuff on the billboards of his nation. Though it must be a disconnect to the demonstrators being shot at by their brethren citizens and slipping on the stones among the puddles of blood and then look up to see the alleged benevolent dictator’s smirking visage and a slogan like, oh, I don’t know – “Glory to the People’s President” or something. Often they have mocking slogans like “Power to the People.” For every time the people of Syria did try to exercise a little power they were summarily shot at by either the dentist’s dad, or the dentist.
But the sad thing is – all the world does is “Boohoo, stop it Mr. Dictator.” And that’s it. Oh, it’s put in fancy terms, and probably on letterhead fancier than that. Often it’s said like “We deplore the shooting of the people in the central square.” Or “With regret we watch the slaughter,” no, not the real word, we must be diplomatic. Why the Pope in Rome just yesterday called for “diplomacy” in Libya. Did he call for Khaddafi to get the hell out? Nope. Did he call for anyone to kill the killer-in-chief? Nope. Did he call for the valiant armed forces for some sense of normalcy and decency in this world, aka, the US Military, to bomb the living daylights out of Khaddifi’s house, office and retinue of sycophants to put the Libyan people out of their misery? Nope. He called for “diplomacy.” Yah, “Please Mr. Dictator, don’t kill your own people.” But what is there to discuss with the killers-in-chief? What, rubber bullets instead of lead? This book over that? A little smaller photographs on the sides of buildings? A few less statues staring at the populace? What is there to diplomat about?
On the other hand, we don’t need to be involved in protracted “wars” – for we’re not at war with these countries. We’re definitely not at war with the people living there. Indeed, we seek, I think, to protect them from their killer-in-chief. So why not have the plan to take out the bad guys? Look, he’s got to meet with some mucky mucks from time to time. We should know whom and where by now, right? Surely 42 years is enough time to thoroughly map the Libyan nation’s every building and hiding spot. And even if it’s in a cave we should know where that is too. The man has got to drive there, no? Don’t we have a satellite staring down into Syria so that we know where things are? The country is tiny, one could almost walk across it in a day or two. What do they need a military for anyway? To mess with Israel and Lebanon? That’s about it.
But weirdly, because we are the world’s policeman, and I often think we should be – and oft times I think oh, let the rest deal with it, countries like Russia and China help stir the pot, and keep it on the boil. Some stern talking to those two might be of use, but we’ve been spineless so far. But still, someone has got to take out the dictators gone bad. And yet it seems we have no plan. No missile with Assad’s name on it. I don’t know, maybe he’s always hanging out in some incredibly old building, like the main mosque there in Damascus. It was built in the 700s. Not the 1700s – no, the 700s. 1300 years ago. But because Assad is a dictator we can’t go there and see it. We can’t go to the souk and wonder at it all. And the poor Syrians can’t earn a buck in tourism from us because their “leader” keeps the place hermetically sealed and the public treasury supporting armed thugs in Lebanon and at the gates of Israel. So what if people live like robots and drudge their way from cradle to grave, Assad is happy. He’s got a swimming pool and a billion bucks in Swiss banks.
Which is another thing weird about dictators. They wind up with these huge bank accounts – Imelda Marcos was said to have no less than $700,000,000 of her nation’s tax receipts in her shoe account alone. Baby Doc Duvalier socked enough away to buy a new villa in the South of France and live happily ever after, until the power mad rush in him brought him home, and perhaps a beheading. Oh well. And Mubarak, said to have a few billion here and there, and Khaddafi like a fool transferred some $5 billion, it’s said, to English banks and now it’s blocked. Why just blocked when it should be seized and divvied up and given back to the people he stole it from I don’t know. It was clearly ill gotten gains. No way it’s really his salary or something. I mean, shouldn’t even dictators earn a salary, and not treat the nation’s wealth as their piggy bank. But what’s the point of putting it in the bank like that if you don’t ever leave power and rent a yacht and sail around enjoying life? Don’t these dictators ever get tired of dictating? Apparently not. Ceaucescu in Romania was said to be giving dictates right up to the moment he was shot on Christmas day. I guess his last few orders: “Don’t shoot!” was not heeded. Oh well.
Yet, no plan, we have no plan. No earthly clue as to what to do about this. Which boggles my mind. I’m no military man, but surely there’s a book on how to get rid of dictators isn’t there? Chapter one, find out where the dictator hangs out. Chapter two, how to aim a cruise missile at the dictator’s hangouts. Chapter three, pulling the trigger. Why, it could be our own little book.
It doesn’t make a difference which new guy comes along to dictate. That’s their business. But if he turns out to be a killer-in-chief like the last guy, well, then, get out the little book of dictator killing. And I would think, at this late date in history, that on, four or five in a row being shot down for overzealous dictating, then the next guy might say to himself, “hmm, I could put a nice swimming pool where the American bombs took out the last guy, and sit out in the sun, and let my people do whatever the hell they want.” I don’t know, could be a concept.
Still, we have no plan. Weird. So we got wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and no conclusion in sight – when a conclusion is what is needed. Not hard – get out, because the locals can handle their own lives. But make sure the dictator who gets in doesn’t spend all the nation’s wealth on weapons so he can shoot his own people. Booby trap the palace or something.
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