Monday, February 6, 2012

Pulling the Right Levers

Honestly, why is there so much political ineptitude in the world? Note to anti-Assad Syrians living abroad (none of whom are reading this, I imagine): do not take a couple dozen of your fellow citizens, break into the Syrian embassy and set fire to it, or even demonstrate peacefully outside it. This will have absolutely no effect on the situation in Syria.

Here's something that might: Gather a few thousand people and demonstrate outside the Russian and Chinese embassies.  Carry signs. Chant slogans ("Hey, hey, Hu Jintao, how many kids are you killing now?"). Burn a few flags. Invite journalists, especially Arabic-language TV stations.

Think about whom you're trying to influence and what your levers are. It's not rocket science.

Postcript February 10: Well, Syrians in Syria get it, so perhaps those abroad will catch on. From today's New York Times:

Activists said seven people were also killed in the city when troops fired on anti-government demonstrators drawn to the streets to protest Russia’s support of President Bashar al-Assad. Protesters said the theme of Friday’s demonstrations, which they hoped to stage nationwide, was “Russia is killing our children.”

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