The next Arab domino to fall could be Syria, whose party has been in power since 1963

To think that the pro-democracy demonstrations are anti-American is running against common sense.  While Mubarak has been a fast ally of US and Israel policy, he has been there forever in an undemocratic system that is anything but free. 

Even the best president, George Washington, gave up power in 8 years voluntarily.  Now, protest could focus on regional despots like Bashar Assad whose party has been in power for almost 50 years.  It is time they fell to the same anger against undemocratic regimes.  Via AFP
The wave of pro-democracy protests engulfing the Arab world could spread to Syria, where the Baath party has been in power for almost half a century, according to analysts.

"No Arab country is immune. These unprecedented opposition movements have demands. They feel aggrieved by absolute power and lack of democracy," said Riad Qahwaji of the Institute for the Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

"This popular force is gaining ground by using new media like the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, inspiring neighbouring countries," he told AFP.

Syrian activists this week turned to Facebook, which is officially banned but can be accessed easily through proxies, to call for "a day of anger" on Friday after the Muslim weekly prayers.

One Facebook group has called for a peaceful "2011 Syrian revolution" to end Syria's "monocracy, corruption and tyranny," gathering more than 8,000 supporters on the social networking site.

Burhan Ghalioun, director of the Centre for Contemporary Oriental Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, said the Tunisia and Egypt revolts heralded a "violent upheaval that will shake up everything, and Syria is not immune to it."

"The Arab world will (soon) be emptied of its dictators," he said.

The Baath party has been in power in Syria since it passed a 1963 emergency law banning all opposition groups. President Bashar al-Assad came to power in 2000 after the death of his father Hafez.


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