AN INDICATOR? “According to the AP, all the Baathists could muster up for their ‘Go Bashar!’ demonstration in Damascus today was three thousand people… not an especially impressive number for a fascist state.”

I actually almost feel sorry for Bashar. I don’t think he really wanted to play the role he’s in now. I hope that he manages a soft landing for the Ba’athist regime, transitioning to a free country without bloodshed, but I doubt his father’s cronies, who remain very much a force, will make that easy.

And speaking of unimpressive fascism, Hugo Chavez’s regime has been busted for photoshop-crowd-enhancement with Venezuelan newspapers picking up a story that started on Miguel Octavio’s blog. Heh.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren notes that the Syrian pullback winds up concentrating Syrian troops in the perenially suspicious Bekaa valley, rumored to be home to all sorts of interesting things they’d probably rather we didn’t see.

Meanwhile, John Hinderaker notes a contrast that has been pointed out here, as well.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This post on the big picture is kind of interesting, though I’m not a huge fan of Stratfor.