I agree with RCS and others regarding motive. This is about those in power doing whatever it takes to hold on to power. These people would torture their own mothers to maintain their grip on power. But Syria is hardly the only country where brutal dictators commit outrageous atrocities with impunity.
Overall its hard to objectively say which middle east country has the worst human rights record. Certainly Syria is near the top, but Egypt and Saudi Arabia are pretty bad too.
Here are some examples:
Quote: Egyptian women protesters forced to take ?virginity tests? | Amnesty International (external - login to view)
23 March 2011
Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.
After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.
Quote: Saudi Arabia: New Video Confirms Torture in Prison | Human Rights Watch (external - login to view)
...“These shocking videos shed light on the torture and ill-treatment in Saudi prisons,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The Saudi government must take immediate steps to end these abuses and punish those responsible, whatever their rank.”Quote has been trimmed
Beatings and other forms of ill-treatment in Saudi prisons are far more common than the single incident captured in the video. In November, several prisoners at al-Ha’ir prison told Human Rights Watch that guards regularly beat them as punishment for perceived transgressions. One prisoner told Human Rights Watch: “I got into a fight. The guards came and beat us all. They made us lie down and beat us; they broke sticks on our backs.”
Guards often beat prisoners collectively, regardless of who was responsible for the perceived transgression, prisoners said. “Last month, a prisoner had an argument with a guard,” another prisoner told Human Rights Watch. “The guard brought everyone from the wing outside and beat them.”
Several other prisoners said guards had suspended them above the ground for prolonged periods. “If a prisoner complains about anything he is beaten,” said a third prisoner. “They also hang us by handcuffs with our feet suspended...
I personally wouldn't describe this as normal, but this NY Times Columnist would:
...There are some countries in the region that are not nice, but they are normal — Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. But there are other governments that are fundamentally depraved....
www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/opinion/03brooks.html (external - login to view)
Obviously we aren't getting a complete picture from our news. What we are told about the various dictators depends on whether they are pro or anti West. Pro-West dictators get a free pass to rape, torture and murder, while hostile dictators are described as "fundamentally depraved." If Syria signed a peace treaty with Israel, they would be elevated to the same level of normalcy as Egypt and Saudi Arabia and pictures of this boy's tortured and mangled body would not have been newsworthy.
Last edited by earth_as_one; Jun 3rd, 2011 at 12:10 AM..