Videos of what is happening in Syria are revealing yet again how low the human animal can sink. How was it possible to torture the 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib to death, and then mutilate his corpse? Or for five Syrian soldiers to kick a man senseless and then stand on his body and grin at the photographer, just as German soldiers were proud to do on the Eastern front? It is a fact of life that Bashar Assad is ordering helicopter gunships to fire on his people. Columns of tanks have forced whole populations to abandon provincial towns in order to seek safety in neighbouring Lebanon or Turkey. No Western journalist has entered the country, but still there are courageous Syrians filming the horror of it, persisting even though the Western media qualify these films with the weasel words, “We are unable to verify this.” The White House spokesman is another master of weasel words, saying, “there must be an immediate end to brutality and violence,” and warning Assad that he is leading his nation on “a dangerous path.” Must? Why then is the United States doing nothing about it? And the path is merely dangerous, is it? The American ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, is reported to be regularly applying to see Assad only to be refused. What insults would it take to withdraw him? Britain, France and Portugal are trying to get some motion through the Security Council. Portugal, that vast military power! Russia promises to save Assad by using its veto. Like Ambassador Ford, Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations can’t get through to Assad who apparently refuses his calls. The feeling of being sickened contends with the shame of all this.