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The tipping point?

It’s hard for me to imagine that Bashar al-Assad’s regime– even with the help of the Iranian thugocracy– can survive in the long term after the dissemination of this stomach-turning news and video:

Pro-democracy activists in Syria called for fresh protests on Saturday after the alleged torture and killing of a 13-year-old boy by security forces in the flashpoint region of Daraa.

The body of Hamza al-Khatib was returned to his family on Wednesday, following his disappearance after a demonstration on April 29, activists said on their Facebook site, Syrian Revolution 2011.

“We will go out from every home, from every district to express our anger” over the killing, they wrote on the page which carries a picture of the boy.

“A month had passed by with his family not knowing where he is, or if or when will he be released. He was released to his family as a dead body. Upon examining his body, the signs of torture are very clear,” they said.

“There were a few bullets in his body used as a way of torture rather than to kill him with. Clear signs of severe physical abuse appeared on the body such as marks done with hands, sticks, and shoes. Hamza’s penis was also cut off.”

Other activists said Hamza al-Khatib decided after police had killed his cousin to take part in the anti-regime protests sweeping the country since mid-March, with their epicentre in the Daraa region of southern Syria.

His father, Ali al-Khatib, has also been arrested, they said.

The Al Jazeera website links to an extremely graphic video of Hamza’s mutilated body.

Ah, but Assad still has his supporters– like Hugo Chavez (“The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela communicated by telephone with his brother, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad, in order to convey to him a personal greeting full of affection and hope at a moment when the imperialist forces are unleashing violence against the Syrian people.”) and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

In response, ungrateful Syrians is the city of Albu Kamal burned pictures of Nasrallah– whose name, let us recall, rings in joy throughout the world.