Robert Fisk: Syria is slipping uncontrollably towards a bitter sectarian war
Published 27/10/2011 | 05:00
So there was the reporter from Syrian television asking what I thought of the situation in Syria, and there was I saying that you can no longer infantilise Arabs, that the uprisings/revolts/revolutions/unrest in the Arab world were all different; but that dictatorship didn't work, that if there were a serious new constitution, pluralist political parties and real and genuine free elections, Syria might just climb out of its tragedy but that the government was running out of time, fast.
We shall see if this gets on air on Saturday but outside on the street another pro-Assad demonstration was starting, 10,000 then 50,000 -- it might have reached 200,000 by midday -- and there was no Saddam-style trucking of the people to the Omayad Square, no mukhabarat intelligence presence and the only soldiers were standing with their families.
How does one report a pro-government demo during the Arab Awakening? There were veiled women, old men, thousands of children with 'Syria' written on their faces. Most held Syrian flags, some held the flags of Russia and China.