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A Landslide in Damascus!!

By Michael Freund
5/29/2007, 12:00 AM


what is surprising is that 2.38% of Syrian voters actually had the courage not to vote 'yes' in this farce masquerading as democracy
Well, the results are in, and they are quite surprising.

Syrian President Bashar Assad won a whopping 97.62 percent of the vote in a referendum aimed at "confirming" him for another 7 year term of office as Dictator of Damascus. This was actually an increase from the 97.29 percent that he received 7 years ago when he inherited the throne from his late father, Hafez Assad.

The outcome, of course, was hardly unexpected, as Assad was the only candidate allowed to run. But what is surprising is that 2.38% of Syrian voters actually had the courage not to vote 'yes' in this farce masquerading as democracy.

Speaking to reporters, Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdel Majeed said - apparently with a straight face - "This great consensus shows the political maturity of Syria and the brilliance of our democracy and multi-party system."

In fact, what it shows is that Syria remains a backwater of authoritarianism and repression, one that is not worthy of being courted or cultivated (Nancy Pelosi please take note).

Syria is a dangerous dictatorship that has a penchant for stirring up trouble throughout the region, whether it is interfering in Lebanon, allowing fighters to cross into Iraq to join the insurgency, or hosting terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Damascus.

And as the results of the referendum make clear, Syria's neighbors aren't the only ones who are chafing under Mr. Assad and his regime.