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I'm sure everyone has heard this by now:

President Bashar Assad, responding to weeks of intense pressure, announced Saturday that Syria would move its troops to the Lebanese-Syrian border in a two-step pullback that he said should satisfy international demands for a complete pullout.

And the US is saying this isn't enough, mostly because its not enough. But that's not my point right now. My point is that I kind of feel sorry for Bashar. I mean, obviously he's not a complete innocent in this mess but he's only not Saddam Hussein, if you know what I mean. He wasn't supposed to be a dictator. He was actually in England studying to be an eye doctor when his older brother, the heir apparent, was killed unexpectedly in a car crash. Bashar was called home and sent to military school for a crash course in how to be a despot.

He apparently learned a little to well. His father's cronies are still hanging around the palace, pulling strings and applying pressure. Bashar is way out of his league. He should withdraw all troops and intelligence operatives out of Lebanon immediately and look conciliatory towards the West. He might still be able to salvage his humanity and his country.

Take a stand Bashar, at one point in your life you wanted to help people by being a doctor. You are now in a position to take a stand and change things. You might find you can gain enough support in the outside world to overcome internal opposition. However, if everything goes awry back home in Damascus, I think Bashar should be exiled and granted asylum rather than tried or worse. We've given shelter to worse people, and who knows maybe he can get back on the road to the exciting world of opthamology.

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