Over the last six months, the Syrian people suffered at the hands of one of the most vile and barbaric regimes ever to rule a modern country. Today, president Obama finally asked Assad to step down by saying: “We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Over the last six months, policy makers have been preparing the Assad regime for this eventuality by slowly pressuring him into a corner. Not too different from a sickle attempting to break a hole in the hull of the ship by striking down intermittently. The only problem, of course, is that Assad has had time to prepare as well for the president’s call and so did his supporters. When you expect a knock on your door by assailants, you will open it with a gun in your hand.

A torpedo seeking the hull of the ship, however, would have had a totally different outcome. Besides the element of surprise (Qaddafi never expected the world to turn on him so quickly using military intervention), the US also missed the element of panic so important in winning battles. A Torpedo makes you jump the ship faster than a sickle causing a hole slowly to open.

In the next few weeks, we will know whether this approach has jolted the regime enough to relieve Assad of his duties by tipping the balance or will it just be another call for the records. Now that the full weight of US economic sanctions will be applied and the full power of the US intelligence and diplomatic assets bear down on a weak Syria whose leaders are as tired as the Syrian people, we will know soon how much Assad is capable of holding his breath.

During this interval, the world must quantify a military option to persuade the regime’s violent men to flee the country. Short of that, the Assads will accelerate killing more Syrians in the coming weeks in the hope they can defuse the pressure Syrians are evoking. With their back to the wall, the Assads will become more savagely barbaric than the world can imagine.

In the meantime, the timing of the terror attack against Israel coincides with the president’s call for Assad to step down. Coincidence? You be the judge. Keep in mind, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have kept total silence against the slaughter of the Syrian people, which makes it easy to connect the dots. These terrorists are Brothers to some of those the US State Department is empowering today in the Syrian opposition. Go figure their condemnation. Luckily, NEA still retains people with common sense.

It is expected that Russia and possibly China may react unfavorably to the US humanitarian call. That should not deter the Syrian people from seeking Assad’s ouster. In fact, I believe it will embolden them. The New Syria must assure the international community it seeks to have good relations with every country because it is in our self-interest as re-building a nation starts in a post-Assad era.

Meanwhile, expect Syrian demonstrations to reach feverish levels of participation tomorrow Friday August 19 and Assad tanks and IRGC snipers to exercise little restraint.

I predicted in an interview in June that Assad won’t last to the end of September and I am still good for my prognosis.

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