Robert Mackey writes:
While restrictions on independent reporting inside Syria make it difficult to say for certain what is going on in Hama, video posted online in recent weeks appears to show that Hama, Syria’s fourth-largest city, has emerged as a center of the current uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
A generation ago, in 1982, before YouTube and ubiquitous camera phones, Mr. Assad’s father, Hafez, also used military force to crush an uprising in Hama, away from the world’s eyes. Before journalists were eventually allowed into Hama that year, after the bombardment was complete, at least 10,000 people are thought to have been killed.
That history makes every video clip showing tens of thousands of protesters packed into Hama’s central Assi Square somewhat remarkable. Among those clips is this video, said to have been filmed in the square two weeks ago, as a singer named Ibrahim Kashoush led the crowd in a rendition of his protest anthem, “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar,” or, “It’s Time to Leave, Bashar.”