Whenever there is a display of support for the lousy Syrian regime, New York Times reporter feel obligated to explain it away or to minimize it. Nada Bakri does that today: "With most foreign journalists barred from Syria and the government keeping tight control on information, it is hard to assess how great a role coercion plays in such displays. Certainly, significant elements of the Syrian elite remain entwined with and supportive of the Assad government." First, it was a massive demonstrations. Secondly, the elite does not go down to the street to waive flag. They are busy embezzling and profiting. Thirdly, there is--whether this bothers NYT or not--a level of support among sectors of the Syrian population. Fourtlhy, this is a regime in deep trouble and their power of coercion is largely damaged, and they can hardly coerce tens of thousands to go down to demonstrate if they don't want to. Come on. This is downright silly.