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Sham Votes

We should soon be getting the results of Syria’s referendum on Bashar al-Assad’s draft constitution. This is a big day. Yes, the Syrian Army spent the weekend shelling Homs and Idlib, and yes, the opposition(s) called for a boycott of the vote, but I feel the results will be revealing, one way or another. I’ll … Continue reading

Selling Foreign Intervention (in Syria & Lebanon)

The debate over Syria in the Arab media and social networks has essentially become a debate about foreign intervention, and the most commonly encountered argument on the pro-regime side goes something like this: “The Syrian opposition is a foreign-funded, foreign-armed conspiracy to topple the Assad regime and strike a blow against the Resistance Axis. The … Continue reading

Whodunit? Politician to be Named in Hariri Murder Indictment

The Daily Star reports that (according to the Lebanese daily al-Liwaa’), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s outgoing Prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, will be issuing a revised indictment in the Hariri case and it will include several new suspects, including a politician. I’ve lost track of the number of rumors about the STL that have been reported by Lebanese … Continue reading

A Terrible Loss

Anthony Shadid, a Middle East correspondent for The New York Times passed away today in Eastern Syria, having suffered a fatal asthma attack. Like millions of other readers, I’d been a longtime admirer of Anthony’s superb coverage of the Middle East as a reporter for the Times and the Washington Post. He was one of the … Continue reading

Sectarianism in the Eye of the Beholder: Shehadi Responds to Landis

And the hits keep coming. Nadim Shehadi articulates much better than I do the fundamental point of contention with Josh Landis regarding the question of Lebanese and Syrian sectarianism. I’m hoping MESA can be persuaded to host an installment of this very interesting exchange in Denver later this year. See below. * This is another attempt … Continue reading

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