Peachy Heresies!

Is the Syrian regime finally off the hook? Does the international community, headed by France and the US, seem to be backing down at this stage allowing Bashar & Co. to continue to rule Syria for a little while longer for fear of creating another failed state in the region at such inopportune times? If this is so, does this mean that Bashar’s strategy of wagging the Islamists worked, especially with the indirect aid of the Amman terrorist attacks? Moreover, is Syria planning to crackdown against PKK outposts in the northeastern parts of the country to curry favor with Turkey? 

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The Lion’s Coalition!

So the Syrian President is busy these days making all sorts of overture to the Muslim Brotherhood, a development that is currently being touted by some as a sign of openness on part of the ruling clique.


The President’s new strategy, it seems, aims at playing at the anti-American tendencies of both the Islamists and the nationalists in an attempt to build a broad coalition that can enable its regime to survive whatever sanctions and isolation that will be inevitably imposed on his regime, the recent decision to cooperate with the UN probe notwithstandingContinue reading “The Lion’s Coalition!”

A new Iraq is forming in Syria

Special to The Daily Star

Although Syria has for long been hailed as one of the Arab world’s most secular countries and the heart of Arab nationalism, its religious and ethnic diversity has always been more complex than this image suggests. The northeastern parts of Syria are inhabited mostly by Kurds and Assyrians, while the society’s allegedly secular character has reflected, in reality, an informal though complex arrangement between the various religious groups in the country. In recent decades, the arrangement has involved, in particular, the majority Sunni population and the Alawite minority.

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All About Viable Friends & Nonviable Regimes!

Back in Syria, my friend Joshua Landis and I inadvertently managed to develop a nice double act of sorts. He would defend the continued viability of the Syrian regime and the necessity for maintaining dialogue with it, and I would go on castigating the regime and attempting to convince people of its nonviability and the futility of all efforts at dialogue with it. 

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