Heretical Questions!

American warships are said to be coming our way. What does that mean? Is it really going to happen? Can nothing be done to help prevent the situation from reaching this bloody climax?


The window of opportunity on a peaceful rational settlement is quickly closing. Can they see this here? Can they move that fast? Can they divorce themselves, for once, from wishful thinking? Is it still feasible?  Continue reading “Heretical Questions!”

Long road to reform in Damascus

Abigail Fielding-Smith

“The smell of freedom is in the air,” announced a Newsnight correspondent in a recent report from Lebanon. The overthrow of the Iraqi regime and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon have led to talk of a domino effect in the Middle East, and all eyes are now on the ancien regime in Damascus. Continue reading “Long road to reform in Damascus”

The Thin Heretical Line!

American policies are not set in stone. There have been thousands of documents like Clean Break that never amounted to anything but wishful thinking. They were either shelved in favor of other policy options or were simply overtaken by events. Those in the Middle East who fear the “ominous” content of Clean Break should realize that the implementation of it, no matter how influential its authors seem to be at this stage, could, nonetheless, be seriously undermined through the adoption of a more pragmatic and proactive attitude by the regimes and parties concerned.  Continue reading “The Thin Heretical Line!”

Another Evening to Forget!

It’s been a while since I had such an outing with Mom. Indeed, we used to attend many of these functions together – receptions prepared by embassies to commemorate their national days, parties arranged by some production company to celebrate the successful end of a series, and celebrations arranged by Syria’s public TV, Theater, Radio, or the Artists Guild itself (as indeed was the case this time around) meant to commemorate some event or other.  Continue reading “Another Evening to Forget!”