Several Benghazis are unfolding in Syria at this stage in Hama, Deir Ezzor, Idlib, Deraa and several Damascene suburbs. World leaders had ample warning, yet all seem to be caught unawares somehow, and the best they could do is feel “appalled.”
The current crackdown throughout Syria is not a simple act of desperation, but a calculated move on part of the Assads that reflects an internal consensus within the upper ranks of key divisions in the army and all security chiefs, and that takes advantage of following factors:
1) the failure of the U.S. and France to obtain a UNSC resolution,
2) the existing consensus in NATO not to interfere in Syria, with or without such a resolution,
3) the inability of the U.S. and France to publicly call on Assad to leave,
4) Turkish PM Erdogan’s post-election silence and his current preoccupation of Turkey with its own internal problems with the army, and
5) attempting to avoid through maximized use of violence the scenario everyone expected to unfold in Ramadan and which will have included mass protests in Damascus and most likely Aleppo as well.
Moreover, the current development was not exactly unexpected, Syrian dissidents have warned repeatedly since the beginning of the Revolution that, unless the international community took a strong stand on the tragic developments in the country, the specter of multiple massacres unfolding simultaneously in different part of Syria could easily become a reality overnight. Yet, no one seems to have developed any contingency plans for dealing with the situation. Now we can all watch multiple foretold massacres unfold, feeling like President Obama, appalled.
This is the kind of reaction that is bound to leave many protesters feeling betrayed, and many will not believe the long-simmering rumor that a deal has been made to keep Assad in power.
Still, the impotence and incompetence of world leaders aside, protesters are unlikely to cower down in the corner or go back home. Death is better than humiliation. Ramadan will not be stopped.