The Syrian regime this week made a critical decision from which there is no turning back: It used its army ó even including tanks ó to kill peaceful civilian protesters. Bashar al Assad, the man whom Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry saw as a reformer, has made his choice: better to kill hundreds of unarmed Syrian civilians than to risk the fall of the regime.
The next great test of the regime comes Friday, usually the day of greatest protests in the Middle East after Friday prayers. Assad has a great new enemy in his effort to stay in power: al Jazeera. For reasons known only the Amir of Qatar, who owns the station, two weeks ago al Jazeera turned against Assad and is doing what it did in Egypt: broadcasting whatever it can get its hands on about regime brutality and protester courage.