Editorial: Syria can't avoid the future
The bad news on Syria just doesn't stop.
Russia, backed by China, shamefully vetoed an Arab League peace proposal at the UN over the weekend. That emboldened Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad to step up his bloody assault on pro-democracy dissidents. The State Department yesterday closed the U.S. embassy.
It's naive to expect Assad to show more sense and bow out gracefully in a process the Arab League proposal would have initiated. But even more shortsighted -- and self-defeating -- is Russia's veto, along with China's anxious support of it.
Dictators who live in glass houses can't throw stones. So leaders in both countries are understandably nervous about UN resolutions that seek to undermine despotic regimes. But these same leaders must recognize that the future looks bleak for tyrants, not just in the Arab world but everywhere. Moscow has already had its own protesters in the streets lately.
Leaving aside the morality of backing a murderous dictator, it would be smarter for Russia and China -- and better for their citizens -- if these nations got on the right side of history. Assad must go, and his end may well be bloody. Dictators elsewhere should worry more about following in his footsteps, and less about keeping him upright.