This is the paper that I have prepared during my second stint as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution (October 2005-March 2006). It, too, was too whimsical for publication as a Brookings policy paper. So, here it is. Continue reading “Secularists & Islamists – The Promise & the Dread”
Indeed, demanding anything like “simultaneous goodwill gestures between the Syrian government and its Lebanese opponents,” and advising that “[i]f the Americans wanted peace in the Middle East, they should make a deal with Bashar,” seem based on the erroneous assumption that Bashar and his henchmen are indeed capable of behaving like true statesmen and not like the sectarian thugs that they are. People who insist on looking at the Assads of Syria as statesmen are in an unfortunate state of denial. Bashar has been out of his depth from the moment he stepped into office, Maher is an unreliable hothead, and Assef is a man obsessed with his sectarian identity and with the necessity of keeping Alawites in control of Syria at all costs. Continue reading “Of Lions and Termites!”
More on this in Tony’s post.
What would happen, I wonder, should we find out that one or more of them is indeed dead? What sort of pressures could be brought against the Syrian regime to account for that?