Assad on the way out
All pointers indicate that Bashar Assad has a few weeks, if not days, left. He has made all the wrong choices for the wrong reasons and must now pay the consequences.
The rats are attempting to both flee the sinking ship and take over the helm at the same time. As reported here previously, there is a palpable sense inside knowledgeable Syrian circles that elements of the Assad clan and intelligence apparatus have already initiated plans to replace Assad II--now essentially caricatured as a fledgling amateur with little to no credibility.
He thought he was tough, but he let events dictate his policies, never anticipating the next move, never taking the initiative.
The Bush administration's top envoy in Iraq warned Monday that U.S. "patience is running out" with Syrian interference across the border, and refused to rule out either a military strike or punishment through the United Nations.
Syria has become a hub for terrorists, as young, would-be terrorists travel unmolested through the Damascus airport on one-way tickets, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said. The United States also accuses Syria of turning a blind eye to terror training camps on its soil.
"Our patience is running out, the patience of Iraqis are running out. The time for decision ... has arrived for Damascus," Khalilzad told reporters at the State Department.
"The Syrians have to stop sending destruction to Iraq," Iraq Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi said in Baghdad. "We know the terrorists have no other gateway into Iraq but Syria."
Assad is down and this is the time to kick him, hard, by any means at the disposal of the international community, be it diplomacy, sanctions, military strikes in pursuit of terrorists. The advantages of a regime change in Syria are enormous: setting the country on the path to democracy, stop terrorists infiltrations into Iraq, isolate further Iran and encourage the democratic forces in that country, free Lebanon from interference, get Hezbollah to think hard about disarmament.