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Some Worthwhile Reading on Syria

I’ve got a good interview in the pipeline which will go live tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some links to a few worthwhile bits of analysis on Syria. Advice for the UN from a retired diplomat in Damascus, and for President al-Assad from David Lesch:¬†Joshua Landis publishes two very interesting essays today; I recommend … Continue reading

How Sectarian is Syria?

A few days ago, I blogged about the debate that has begun to emerge among Mideast analysts with respect to the situation in Syria. One of the major sticking points in that debate is the question of what role Syrian “sectarianism” is playing in the anti-Assad protests and the regime’s counter-propaganda. A couple pieces of … Continue reading

The General Begs to Differ

In a week from today, Lebanon will have been without a functioning government for three months. That’s not quite as long as the four and a half month stint that the country endured in 2009 following the legislative elections, but it’s still an embarrassingly long delay. Perhaps the most embarrassing thing about it is the … Continue reading

The Syrian Culture Wars

A relative of mine was in Damascus last week on business, and he told me about a conversation he’d had with a government official. The official dismissed the protests as being organized by “terrorists” and “hoodlums” who had no interest in real reform in Syria. When I mentioned this conversation to a Syrian friend of … Continue reading

Return of the Militias?

The latest Wikileaks dump by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar extends the series of intriguing and record-changing insights into the tumultuous 2006-08 period, which witnessed the July War between Hizbullah and Israel, an 18 month-long downtown sit-in, and a takeover of Beirut by Hizbullah forces on May 7, 2008. Two cables are especially worth reading in … Continue reading

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