It's nearly time to call it a day with the Arab League experiment in Syria. While the Arab League finds the situation on the ground "reassuring" the Syrians who are being killed by the government have to be wondering what is so reassuring. The tone may change now that Assad has removed most of the tanks but if the Arab League sticks around for a few weeks, chances are good that they will see something less reassuring.
"Some places looked a bit of a mess but there was nothing frightening," Sudanese General Mustafa Dabi, chief of the monitoring contingent, told Reuters by telephone from Damascus. "The situation seemed reassuring so far," he said on Wednesday after his team's foray into the city of one million people, the epicenter of anti-Assad upheaval inspired by the fall of several other Arab autocrats in uprisings this year. "Yesterday was quiet and there were no clashes. We did not see tanks but we did see some armored vehicles. But remember this was only the first day and it will need investigation. We have 20 people who will be there for a long time."