... turns out to be just another neo-con wet dream. From WaPo via Josh:
Horror at the bloodshed accompanying the U.S. effort to bring democracy to Iraq has accomplished what human rights activists, analysts and others say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been unable to do by himself: silence public demands for democratic reforms here.
The idea of the government as a bulwark of stability and security has long been the watchword of Syrian bureaucrats and village elders. But since Iraq's descent into sectarian and ethnic war -- and after Israel's war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, on the other side of Syria -- even Syrian activists concede that the country's feeble rights movement is moribund.
Advocates of democracy are equated now with supporters of America, even "traitors," said Maan Abdul Salam, 36, a Damascus publisher who has coordinated conferences on women's rights and similar topics.