Syrian woes are a world affair
The vote on a new constitution for Syria could hardly have been worse timed. It took place in the middle of a civil war which has taken the lives of an estimated 8,000 people. Yesterday 41 were reported killed, of whom 39 were protesters against the regime of Bashar Assad.
President Assad's family has held power in Damascus for almost half a century. The new constitution introduced by his regime -- and endorsed, if one can believe the official figures, by a huge majority -- proposed to end the monopoly, hold democratic multi-party elections, and limit presidents to two seven-year terms.
Not very long ago, such proposals might have averted insurgency and repression. Now they have come too late for the 8,000 victims of the violence. And, sadly, there appears little prospect of domestic or international agreement on the means of ending it and finding a peaceful agreement.