DAMASCUS—Noting that without the brutal subjugation of its masses a totalitarian state is effectively meaningless, Syrian officials announced this week that the country is experiencing a severe shortage of civilians to tyrannize. "After a year of continuously putting down popular uprisings with increasingly extreme violence, the regime is now running very low on people to crush beneath its iron fist," said Prime Minister Adel Safar, later adding that the government would need to seriously reevaluate its approach to indiscriminate slaughter, with an eye toward rebuilding a healthy population of oppressible citizens. "Effective immediately, we will focus more on murdering the sick and the old, while placing reasonable limits on the execution of pregnant women in the streets." The Syrian government is also reportedly looking into the possibility of importing roughly 50,000 people from Iran, which has long enjoyed a surplus of citizens to brutalize.