Nancy Pelosi’s felonious trip to Syria had far greater ramifications than just undermining a wartime President. Many dissidents are cowering in fear as Assad now feels he can take the gloves off.
Many Syrian dissidents and pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi’s message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They say that Ms. Pelosi’s visit, no matter how well-intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them, critically damaging their efforts to create momentum for reform from within.He’s imprisoning Kurds, protestors, and pro-democracy activists while imposing restrictions on others. Joe Pace reports at SyriaComment.com that Assad may even have resumed assassinations.
“Pelosi’s visit made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria,” said a Damascus-based women’s-rights activist who, like five other activists interviewed for this article, asked that his name be withheld because he feared punishment. “This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes.”
On May 10, the prominent Kurdish Sheikh, Ma'shuq Khaznawi, received a call on his cell phone. The unknown caller told him to await a car in front of his office. According to two of the Sheikh's sons, as he left the office his last words to his colleague were "when are the security forces going to stop pestering me?" Minutes later he stepped into the car and disappeared. His body was found three weeks later on the other side of Syria.