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On Sunday, Syrian army troops led by tanks launched an assault on the city of Hama from four directions, firing cannon and machine guns indiscriminately at the unarmed residents manning street barricades. Video clips posted on YouTube showed the tanks blasting at the minarets of mosques, while snipers picked off people on the streets.

Assad clearly is calculating that those who suppose that dictators can no longer get away with massacres are wrong. On June 17, administration officials talked about sanctions against Syria’s oil and gas sector and the referral of Mr. Assad and his collaborators to the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. Nothing has happened since then. Is it any wonder that Mr. Assad thinks he can slaughter the people of Hama with impunity?

(Editorial – Washington Post)