Beyond that, I don't know much. Information is hard to come by and there is so much disinformation mixed in that it's hard to know what to think.
I know that when we were there last summer, things seemed better than they'd ever been.
I know that the exception to the above statement was that internet-based social media were being restricted more than they'd ever been.
I know that you could say a lot of things to characterize the late Hafez al-Assad as a wicked, evil, repressive dictator, and you'd be right.
I also know it's more complicated than that. For starters, you can't say the same about his son Bashar, no matter how badly certain elements of the press are itching to. His advisors, maybe, or the system he inherited, perhaps, but the London-educated opthamologist with a British wife and three kids? I can't believe it. I can't.
Maybe the cult of personality - all those Photoshopped, sparkly heart-encrusted images of Bashar and family riding bikes in the Alps - got to me after all.
In the meantime, it seems like everyone is keeping their fingers crossed and muttering not another Hama under their breath.
It's hard to know what else to do.