Landis in the News 2011


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Syria revolt doomed to sustained violence12/27/11
Sydney Morning Herald – by Jonathan Craig

What’s more important is the context, which, as Syria expert Joshua Landis points out, ”is the growing frustration of the opposition”. Contrary to many external claims, this opposition has been losing momentum. The Assad regime still enjoys, in contrast to the opposition, big political, military, and social advantages.

Suicide Bombings Target Security Sites In Damascus, Dozens Dead12/23/11
Radio Free Europe

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the day’s attacks do “play into the hands” of the Assad government. “I think the Syrian government is probably guilty of trying to paint an Al-Qaeda picture of the opposition. It has been trying to accuse the opposition of being a bunch of Salafists and Al-Qaeda people from the beginning,” Landis said.

Analysis: was Syrian government behind attacks?12/23/11
The Telegraph
– by Christine Marlow and Richard Spencer

“In my view it’s surprising this hasn’t happened earlier,” said Joshua Landis, an American academic with close ties to the country who early in the uprising predicted it could descend into civil conflict.
“There are lots of cells and groups that are working fairly independently.
That some of them would carry out this sort of jihadist type campaign is not unexpected.”

New U.N. draft resolution on Syria: bombs hit capital12/23/11
Reuters
– by Erika Solomon

“It’s a new phase. We’re getting militarized here,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma who felt Friday’s bombs were a “small premonition” of what may come in a country that some analysts see slipping towards civil war.

Car bombs mark escalation of violence in Syria12/23/11
CNN
– by Moni Basu

“Obviously, it has the hallmark of a jihadist bombing,” Landis said. “And you can’t just recruit suicide bombers at the spur of the moment.”

Suicide Bombings Target Security Sites In Damascus, Dozens Dead12/23/11
Radio Free Europe

…Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the day’s attacks do “play into the hands” of the Assad government.

“I think the Syrian government is probably guilty of trying to paint an Al-Qaeda picture of the opposition. It has been trying to accuse the opposition of being a bunch of Salafists and Al-Qaeda people from the beginning,” Landis said…

BBC World News – interview with Joshua Landis – 12/22/11

CBS News Radio – interview with Joshua Landis – 12/22/11

50 minute Radio interview with Lanids12/22/11
Focus, Illinois Public Radio
– Host David Inge
Listen Here

Arab League Intervenes as Syrian Uprising on Verge of Civil War12/21/11
Between the Lines
– Interview by Scott Harris
Listen Here

…Between the Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who assesses the worsening violence in Syria and prospects for the Arab League intervention to prevent a civil war…

Assad: The Man Who Can Bring Down the Syrian Regime12/21/11
The Huffington Post
– James Denselow

Meanwhile back in Syria the death toll is spiking at new levels with this week seeing hundreds being killed each day with reports that the regime is using sustained airpower for the first time. Syria expert Joshua Landis observed that “law and order are slowly collapsing in Syria, along with reliable supplies of basic goods and services. The opposition is becoming more capable, more numerous, and better armed; more Syrians are despairing of the Assad regime.”

Syria, Egypt and Middle East unrest – Wednesday 21 December12/21/11
Middle East Live, Blogging the Uprisings in the Middle East & North Africa – the guardian
– Posted by
Matthew Weaver and Haroon Siddique

…10.48am: Syria watcher, Joshua Landis, accused by some of being too supportive of the Assad regime, claims the authority of the Syrian state is slowly crumbling.

In his latest blogpost he writes:

Law and order are slowly collapsing in Syria, along with reliable supplies of basic goods and services. The opposition is becoming more capable, more numerous, and better armed; more Syrians are despairing of the Assad regime and believe the president lives in a cocoon…

Arab League Intervenes as Syrian Uprising on Verge of Civil War12/21/11
Between the Lines
– Scott Harris audio interview of Joshua Landis

Between the Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who assesses the worsening violence in Syria and prospects for the Arab League intervention to prevent a civil war.

“È guerra civile Ci ritroveremo in un nuovo Iraq”12/14/11
LA STAMPA
– By Maurizio Molinari

Bashar Assad ha deciso di battersi fino alla fine, scorrerà molto sangue e dopo di lui avremo una Siria lacerata dalle lotte interne»: ad affermarlo è l’arabista Jo- shua Landis, direttore del Cen- tro di studi mediorientali al- l’Università dell’Oklahoma e autore della newsletter «Syria Comment», considerata una delle più accurate fonti su quanto avviene a Damasco.
Assad contesta le stime Onu sulle vittime, afferma che sono morti più militari che civili e nell’intervista alla Abc ha negato respon- sabilità nella repressione. A che cosa punta?

Syria unrest: a popular uprising or civil war?12/6/11
Los Angeles Times

…“What we’re seeing is growing sectarian killings in the region of Homs, and that is very troubling because it could be an indication of something more horrible to come,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “But to say it’s a civil war is a bit alarmist at this point.”

He termed it more of a “small-scale insurgency,” but one that could quickly grow…

Dead at 15 – the schoolboy whose murder shows how Syria’s cycle of violence is spinning out of control11/20/11
The Telegraph
– by Richard Spencer

“They are beginning to use tanks. They are ratcheting it up,” said Joshua Landis, a leading American analyst with extended family in the country. “The situation is getting desperate.”

Under pressure to act on Syria, Turkey rules out intervention11/20/11
Today’s Zaman
– by Ceren Kumova/Noah Blaser

“The entire world is looking at Turkey,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma told Sunday’s Zaman in an interview last week. “If the West and Turkey are serious about deposing Assad and bringing about a successful revolution, it is increasingly likely that somebody will go first militarily. The West wants Turkey to take on the role.” In the face of such expectations, Landis cautions against Turkish commitment, stating that even a limited commitment could draw Turkey into a war with Syria, an outcome which the expert says would be “foolish.”

Arab League sets Syria another deadline11/18/11
Sydney Morning Herald
– by Ruth Pollard

Syria commentators such as Joshua Landis, the director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said it was doubtful that sanctions alone would tip the Assad regime from power. ”What sanctions do very effectively is make people poor and hungry. Governments are good at passing along the pain,” he wrote on his Syria blog.

Assad Using Checkbook to Buy Loyalty Raises Risk Syria May Run Out of Cash11/16/11
Bloomberg
– by Massoud A. Derhally

That would amount to a vicious circle for Assad, said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
“The failure of the Assad regime to provide for its people was a major spark for this revolution to begin with,” he said. “Now it’s only going to become worse.”

The Arab League’s Syria Test11/15/11
Council on Foreign Relations
– by Jonathan Masters

Mideast expert Joshua Landis describes Syria as the “hub” of an unstable region (PBS), where the collapse of the Assad regime or the outbreak of civil war, “could ignite the flames of revolution, or undermine regimes in the Gulf which are extremely important.” He adds that it would be “very enticing” for the United States to support a regime change if there is a revolution.

Jordan’s King Calls on Syria’s Assad to Step Down11/14/12
PRI’s The World

The broadcast
The Regime- 11/8/11

Frontline – on PBS

 

‘Joshua Landis: “I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel.”‘

Part I

Watch The Regime on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

 

‘The director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Landis writes an influential blog called Syria Comment. He warns there is a very high potential that Syria’s uprising “will turn into a very dark and tough ethnic sectarian fight, the way it did in Lebanon and Iraq.” Without Western military intervention, Landis says, the conflict could “could go on for a long time and ruin the lives of lots of Syrians.” This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Oct. 14, 2011.”

 

Part II

Watch The Regime on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

 

“Most people thought this regime would have crumbled and fallen by now. Everybody was saying that Ramadan’s going to do it, six months, this sort of thing. Now we’re in the seventh month, and the regime is confident.” – Landis

 

 

الخبير في الشؤون السورية جوشوا لانديس لـ «عكاظ»:

نظام الأسد يعيش عزلة عربية ومطحنة غربية11-1-2011

مقابلة مع جوشوا لانديس بقلم عبدالله الغضوي

أكد البروفسور الأمريكي جوشوا لانديس المتخصص في الشؤون السورية مدير مركز السلام في جامعة أوكلاهوما، أن سورية مقبلة على المزيد من التصعيد على المستوى الداخلي والخارجي. معتبرا أن المجلس الوطني السوري الذي يمثل المتظاهرين في الداخل ممزق ويعاني من بعض المشاكل الداخلية المتمثلة في إنتاج قيادات سياسية للمستقبل. وقال في تصريح لـ «عكاظ» إن نظام الرئيس الأسد بات معزولا عربيا ودوليا، ولم تبق إلا بعض الدول، مثل إيران ولبنان وبعض الأطراف في الحكومة العراقية

…وأشار إلى أن بعض الضغوطات الدولية على نظام الأسد تهدف إلى النيل من التوسع الإيراني في المنطقة، لافتا إلى الدعم الذي تتلقاه القيادة السورية في مواجهة الاحتجاجات

Analysis – Syrian attack on rebel city mocks Arab peace plan11/8/11
Reuters

Without decisive outside moves or the growth of a more powerful insurgency at home, Assad could survive for years, said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.

Damascus’s upper class clings to its privileged illusions11/7/11
The National – by Jasmine Roman

“The monied classes have too much to lose from prolonged instability, and the opposition cannot offer them any convincing scenario for a peaceful transition to democracy or regime change,” wrote Joshua Landis, a professor of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who runs the Syria Comment blog. “They fear instability above regime repression.”

Ankara weighs options in Syria stalemate11/6/11
Today’s Zaman
– Noah Blaser

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, cautions that involvement could provoke Turkey into direct conflict with Syria, commenting that “Turkey doesn’t need such an adventure.”

 

Syria Forces Kill 16 in Clashes Day After Arab League Accord11/3/11
Bloomberg
– by Massoud A. Derhally and Mariam Fam

Syria’s opposition will see the plan as “tinkering around the edges,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Syria backs Arab League initiative11/2/11
UPI.com

Syria Is Likely to Accept Arab League Plan for Ending Months of Violence11/2/11
Bloomberg
– by Mariam Fam and Massoud A. Derhally

“Assad will entertain any kind of reform so long as it leaves his family in power in the presidency and doesn’t undermine his loyalist monopoly of the security institutions,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. “The Arab League is trying to lay down the law and tell Syria this is their last chance to avoid foreign military intervention, and if they don’t take the Arab way out, which is compromise and reform including free presidential elections and a multiparty system, they are going to get blown out.”

Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert teaching at the University of Oklahoma, told Bloomberg News that Assad will likely do anything to stay in power. “Assad will entertain any kind of reform so long as it leaves his family in power in the presidency and doesn’t undermine his loyalist monopoly of the security institutions,” he said.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2011/11/02/Syria-backs-Arab-League-initiative/UPI-35581320256170/#ixzz1ssWTOgBC

Thousands Protest in Support of Syrian Army Defectors10/14/2011
Voice of America
– Edward Yeranian

…Syria expert Joshua Landis, who teaches at the University of Oklahoma, says Syrians may soon face additional hardship from growing international sanctions.

“The economy is going to face, obviously, deep hardship as [economic] sanctions begin to bite in November on energy. But sanctions are not the salvation for the Syrian opposition. Economic sanctions are a form of collective punishment. They will definitely help de-legitimize the government, but they’re going to weaken the people as well, because it’s the most vulnerable who get hit hardest by sanctions,” he said.

Landis says he expects the Syrian army is not likely to break up, as the opposition hopes, because Syria’s ruling elite belong to the minority Alawite sect, whose members form the backbone of the officer corps…

Assad’s Alawites: The guardians of the throne10/10/11
Aljazeera -
Nir Rosen

…Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, revealed that Alawites do not receive education about their own religion. Syrian school books on religion contain no mention of the word “Alawite”.

“Islamic education in Syrian schools is traditional, rigid, and Sunni,” he wrote. “The Ministry of Education makes no attempt to inculcate notions of tolerance or respect for religious traditions other than Sunni Islam.” Christianity, noted Landis, was an exception to this…

Enter the shabiha: Syrian regime’s civilian guards10/6/11
Business Recorder
– by Agence France-Presse (AFP)

…”The regime was quite dexterous in the first months of this uprising,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the blog Syria Comment.

“The mindset in the regime has long been that you can only trust an Alawite … but these sorts of ‘reserve soldiers’ can come from anywhere,” Landis told AFP.

“The shabiha’s role is basically intimidation and restoring the fear that had held Syria together for the past 40 years, which seems to have broken with the Arab Spring.”…

Interview on NPR – “The Takeaway with John Hockenberry” – 10/5/11

Interview on BBC World News Radio – during 9/26-30/11

Interview on al-Jazeera English TV – during 9/26-30/11

Syrian Leader Digs In For A Long Battle9/29/11
NPR
Morning Edition – by Deborah Amos

“The minority populations, 25 percent of Syria, and certainly the Alawites, 12 percent, are going to cling to this regime, and they are going to fight to the bitter end. And so it will have aspects of ethnic and religious war, as well as democracy-lovers against the tyrants.”

- Josh Landis, scholar and Syria blogger

More violence feared under Assad in Syria9/28/11
United Press International

…”The minority populations, 25 percent of Syria, and certainly the Alawites, 12 percent, are going to cling to this regime, and they are going to fight to the bitter end,” said Josh Landis, an influential blogger on Syria who also teaches at the University of Oklahoma. “And so it will have aspects of ethnic and religious war, as well as democracy-lovers against the tyrants.”

In Syria, Landis said, “It’s not a simple matter of the good people against the bad dictator, which is the way we’ve tried to paint all of these stories.”…

Uphill Battle for Syria’s Dissident Army9/27/11
World Politics Review
– By Guy Taylor

…Reports this week honed in on a group of recently defected Syrian military soldiers and officers calling themselves the Free Syrian Army. While the group has created a presence online, according to Joshua Landis, the author of Syria Comment, a leading English-language blog on Syria, it now faces a true test in attempting to grow beyond that during the weeks ahead.

“The problem they face is that the Syrian army is very strong,” Landis, who also teaches Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, told Trend Lines on Tuesday. “Sure,” he said, “there have been a number of defections of Sunni recruits and a number of officers up to the rank of colonel, but they face an extraordinarily difficult job of fielding a credible army because they have had to flee the country.”…

Pro-Assad ‘Army’ Wages Cyberwar In Syria9/27/11
NPR
– by Deborah Amos
Listen Here – Landis Starts @ 2:30

…Josh Landis, an American academic who writes an influential blog on Syria, says that Iran has helped Syria “immensely” with these efforts.

He says that when the protests began, the government’s response was to try to close the country to outside information, to control the message inside Syria, banning almost all international media. The Iranians, says Landis, counseled Syria to mount a more sophisticated international response.

“You’ve got to train up a cadre of young, hep Syrians who can get on all these social media, and that’s what they’ve tried to do,” he says.

When asked whether an attack on, say, Winfrey’s site is effective or simply a nuisance, Landis characterizes it as “all 10 thumbs.”…

U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford: Syrian Protesters Struggling To Keep Opposition Peaceful9/21/11
The Huffington Post
– By Joshua Hersh

…”The Alawis and Baathists aren’t going to give up,” said Joshua Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma and an expert on the Syrian government. “It is hard to imagine how they will collapse, as some suggest. More and more people are coming to the conclusion that if the regime is to be brought down, it will be a violent end.”…

“Bloggingheads: Will Assad go Peacefully? (Or at all?)” – 9/8/2011
Foreign Policy
– Debate between Ausama Monajed & Joshua Landis

Syrian forces hit Hama after city’s legal chief resigns in protest9/2/11
The Irish Times
– Michael Jansen

…In his authoritative blog, Syria Comment, Joshua Landis admitted that it was “hard to know what is true” in these video clips…

Syrian forces raid houses of anti-regime activists9/1/2011
The Irish Times
– Michael Jansen

…According to Joshua Landis of the authoritative Syria Comment blog, opposition figures are also disputing whether the revolt should take up arms or accept help from foreign powers. Muslim Brothers want Islam to be seen as the mainspring of the revolt, while Kurds are demanding recognition of their national and cultural rights. Activists in Syria remain suspicious of western powers, but some exiles seek intervention…

Is Syria Next?8/30/2011
wbur’s here&NOW, National Public Radio
– Hosted by Robin Young
Listen Here

Syria crackdown: foreign nations put pressure on Assad
8/30/2011
France 24 TV
– presented by François Picard
Watch Here

Interview on Radio France Internationale during 6H30 GMT program
8/29/2011

Washington’s battle over Syria8/24/2011
CNN
– By Joshua Landis

Two distinct camps are forming to battle over Syria policy in Washington. The first is made up of the neoconservatives, who are busy fitting the Arab Spring into U.S. strategic interests as they see them. John Bolton, Michael Doran, and Elliott Abrams have been leading the charge in articulating this argument.

The second group are the “realists,” with a liberal coating. Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies has articulated a “don’t get involved” argument…

1978 Song Rights Changing, Startups For Social Good, And Is Syria Next?
08/23/2011
KUOW
– Hosted By Ross Reynolds
Listen Here

“World Service” on BBC – 8/19/2011
Interview of Joshua Landis

“The Takeaway” on National Public Radio – 8/19/2011
Interview of Joshua Landis

5 Key Things to Know About Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
8/18/2011
ABC News
– By Ben Forer

…Upon his return to Syria, he was put in charge of Lebanon policy, according to Joshua Landis, director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“The idea was that anybody who could learn to rule this unruly place of Lebanon … could deal with Syria,” said Landis…

Will U.S. sanctions really hurt al-Assad?8/18/2011
CNN
– By Jill Dougherty

…But sanctions can run into problems, said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“We’ve seen in places like Sudan where America has placed sanctions and China has come in and picked up the slack.”

“China is desperately in need of energy,” Landis told CNN, and it sees Western sanctions as an anti-China policy because the measures drive up oil prices.

Landis also questioned whether sanctions could end up hurting the Syrian people. He outlined a possible scenario in which subsidies are slashed to keep the Syrian poor fed. People will begin to starve, creating outflows of refugees, he said.

“The idea is that will undermine the regime and it will collapse,” he said, but if it doesn’t happen “we’ll be on the slippery slope toward military intervention.”…

Analysis – Iraq juggles interests over Syria crisis8/18/2011
Reuters
– By Patrick Markey

“…Although Iraq’s leadership is not united on its Syria policy or its pro-Iranian outlook, Prime Minister Maliki has fallen into line with Iran’s desire to help bolster the Assad regime,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Oklahoma University…

Clinton calls for wider boycott of Syria’s oil8/13/2011
The Independent
– By Khalid Ali

…Joshua Landis, who runs the Syria Comment news website, said the White House policy on Syria revolved around trying to “herd cats”, roping as many unwilling countries as possible into taking action. He said: “They don’t want to get in front on this. They are trying to get the Europeans and regional powers to make orchestrated statements to say: ‘It’s over.’”…

No Horse to Back in Syria8/11/2011
Epoch Times
– By Aron Lamm

…“The Syrian opposition is a black box,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma.

He says that no one really knows what the Syrian opposition looks like, due to the severe repression of the last 40 years. Landis identified the fragmented nature of the Syrian nation, which is made up of many different religions, denominations, and ethnicities, as a key factor as to why such a relatively small group as the al-Assad family, who belong to the minority Alawite sect, has been able to rule the country for decades…

Syria defies pressure from neighbour as death toll rises8/10/2011
The Independent
– By Khalid Ali

…Joshua Landis, who runs the Syria Comment news website, said that by targeting oil exports – which account for around 50 per cent of government revenues – Europe’s leaders could bring down the regime. One third of Syrian oil is heavy crude which can only be refined in Europe, he said. “They could take the decision not to accept Syrian crude in their refineries, as Russian and China don’t have the capacity for it.”

Mr Landis added that the Gulf countries could heap further pressure on Syria by targeting the regime’s business portfolios in the region. “If Dubai said ‘we’re going to take away your criminal enterprises’ then that would hammer the regime,” he explained…

As the World Protests, Syria’s Isolated Regime Sticks to Its Guns
8/10/2011
TIME
– Posted by Ishaan Tharoor

[Joshua Landis says,] …A growing chorus of policy experts in Washington are calling for the United States to get serious about Syria. They want Washington to take charge of regime change, hastening the downfall of the Assad government. This is bad advice. The U.S. should not try to hit the fast-forward button on the process of revolutionary change overtaking Syria. It will end in tears, and Syria will end up a mess…

Syrians must win the revolution on their own8/9/2011
Foreign Policy
– By Joshua Landis

A growing chorus of policy experts in Washington are calling for the United States to get serious about Syria. They want Washington to take charge of regime change, hastening the downfall of the Assad government. This is bad advice. The U.S. should not try to hit the fast-forward button on the process of revolutionary change overtaking Syria. It will end in tears, and Syria will end up a mess. The three greatest national leaders of the Middle East — Ataturk, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, and David Ben-Gurion — emerged as successful leaders because they won their struggle on the battlefield and did so alone, without the help of an imperial power. Building national unity is a long a painful process. It cannot be given as a gift. Syrians must win their own revolution…

Despite outcry over Syria crackdown, few call for Assad to go8/9/2011
Kansas City Star
– By Hannah Allam

…Joshua Landis, the director of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma, argued in a column Tuesday on the website of Foreign Policy magazine, that outsiders must remain patient while the fractured Syrian opposition works through its divisions, identifies leaders and becomes capable of challenging the Assad regime.

Rushing the process invites the same result as happened in Iraq — tens of thousands of dead and a country wracked by violent sectarian conflict for years.

“By helping to ‘fast forward’ the Syrian revolution,” Landis wrote, “the U.S. could be creating a Frankenstein. If the opposition doesn’t have time to produce a leadership that emerges organically out of struggle, Syria may never unite. The U.S. may cause more destruction and death, not less. To be truly successful, the opposition must come together under one set of leaders who win the confidence of the people by their intelligence, canniness, and most importantly, by their success.”

“Syria’s fortress city of Hama historic heart of revolution”
8/6/2011
National Post
– By Peter Goodspeed

…”The government felt it could not risk leaving the city
outside of government control,” said Joshua Landis, director of
the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of
Oklahoma.
“It could become the birthplace of a real ‘Free Syrian
Army’ – a sort of Benghazi [capital of Libya's rebel movement]
or it could become the incubator of an opposition Syrian
government.”…

Syrian opposition admits armed insurgents are operating on fringe of uprising against Assad regime8/6/11
The Telegraph
– Adrian Blomfield

According to Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria analyst whose wife’s cousin was among the dead, the soldiers were killed after a carefully planned ambush by unknown gunmen on two of their lorries. Video footage that has emerged appears to bear this out.

U.S. Moves Closer to Call for Regime Change8/4/2011
Inter Press Service
– By Jim Lobe

…”It sounds like Iraq redux,” said one Syria expert, Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, who noted the scheme’s similarities to the economic sanctions imposed against Iraq and failed schemes by Ahmad Chalabi and his neo-conservative backers here to spark mass defections in the Iraqi Army in the decade before the U.S. invasion.

“The trouble is, the West has convinced itself the regime is on its last legs, and we don’t really know that,” Landis told IPS. “The regime is tough; it hasn’t ruled Syria for 40 years just to be blown away by peaceful demonstrations. And, while there have been defections at lower levels, there’s nothing so far that presents a real threat. This is going to be a long and brutal struggle.”

“And for America to step in the middle of this and believe it can short-circuit the process and organise and take control of the Syrian opposition, and pick the winners is the height of presumption,” he said. “We’ve been there in Iraq and Afghanistan.”…

“Syrian In California Takes Heat For Ties To Regime” – 8/2/2011
National Public Radio
- “Morning Edition” – Interview of Landis by Amy Walters

Syrian Army Presses Assault on Hama as 140 Deaths Spark Wave of Protests8/1/11
Bloomberg
– By Massoud A. Derhally

…The government “has been very frightened by Ramadan’s onset,” Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, said in a telephone interview. “The unfolding crackdown is going to fuel people’s anger.”…

Clinton calls Assad to account after mob attacks embassies12 July 2011
The Independent
– By Khalid Ali

…Joshua Landis, an expert on the Baathist regime and editor of the Syria Comment news website, said the US and Syria were now locked in a “tit-for-tat situation”. He said: “The ambassadors clearly made a big statement with the trip to Hama which angered the Syrians. The Syrians are making a big statement back.”…

Сирийский гамбит Москвы28 июня 2011
VOANews.com
– Алекс Григорьев

…Джошуа Лэндис (Joshua Landis), директор Центра ближневосточных исследований в Университете Оклахомы (Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma), поясняет: «Сирийская оппозиция фрагментирована. Многие из ее зарубежных лидеров весьма критически отнеслись к собранию в “Семирамиде”. Это подчеркивает растущий раскол между теми оппозиционерами, которые находятся в Сирии и за ее пределами»…

Syrian Opposition Demands Harden23 Jun 11
Institute for War & Peace Reporting
– by Zoe Holman

“…There is not a person left in Washington who believes in the possibility of amnesty for Assad,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, “but the Obama administration is in a very difficult position.

“The price of regime-change in Syria will be huge. There are very real fears about the possibility of a civil war, and committing to a situation like Iraq or Libya where we’ve already expended trillions of dollars…”

Interview: Dr. Joshua Landis – Syria’s uprising and the future of the Syrian stateJune 22, 2011

Near East Quarterly

…There is clearly a lot of weekly planning but the larger strategy was to pray that the military would peel off from the government and turn on President Assad. That has not happened. Recently we saw an expression of that because all the activists were supposed to replace their Facebook profiles with a picture of Yusuf Asmeh who was a great hero of Syria’s resistance against France’s occupation of Syria in 1920. The opposition continues to try to convince the military to turn against the regime and to join the rebellion. So where do you go from here? That is the question…

Syrian president calls for national dialogue “in face of conspiracy” – June 20, 2011
RT

…If Europe introduces serious economic sanctions on Syria, the next step might be military intervention, believes Joshua Landis, a director with the Center for Middle East Studies…

Só ação militar estrangeira derruba Assad, diz analista20/06/2011
Folha
– by Marcelo Ninio

…Embora os protestos contra o regime sírio continuem crescendo a cada semana, a realidade é que o país está rachado ao meio, diz Joshua Landis, diretor do Centro de Oriente Médio da Universidade de Oklahoma (EUA).

Referência em estudos e coleta de dados sobre a Síria, Landis diz que o ditador Bashar Assad segue firme no poder graças à lealdade do Exército. Em entrevista à Folha, ele previu que só uma ação militar estrangeira poderá derrubar o regime sírio…

“Das Regime könnte viel länger durchhalten, als viele von uns glauben” – 19. Juni 2011
NZZ am Sonntag
– von Christoph Plate

…NZZ am Sonntag: Was geht in den Köpfen in Syriens Regime vor?
Joshua Landis: Die sind sehr ner- vös. Rami Mahluf, der Cousin des Prä- sidenten und reichste Mann des Lan- des, hat erklärt, auf seine riesigen Ge- winne aus der Telefonfirma Syria-Tel und anderen Firmen zu verzichten. Das ist ein Wendepunkt. Der mag teil- weise auf den Druck der Türkei zu- rückzuführen sein…

“Gezocht: deserteurs” – 18 Juni 2011
Buitenland
– Robbert de Witt

…Beide mogelijkheden duiden op een escalerende opstand, be- aamt de Amerikaanse Syrië-ken- ner Joshua Landis, verbonden aan de Universiteit van Okla- homa. ‘Het is weer een stap dich- ter bij een burgeroorlog.’…

Cracking the Syrian Regime (Joshua Landis & Ausama Monajed)

- June 18, 2011

Syrian tycoon’s fall from grace may herald new pledges of reform - June 17, 2011
CNN
- by Tim Lister

…But Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says there is little clarity about what Makhlouf is actually surrendering, and he suspects negotiations are continuing with the government.
So opaque is the ownership structure of Syriatel that it’s difficult to know how much Makhlouf’s gesture will be worth. The company is not even listed on the Damascus Stock Exchange. He also controls an array of other companies, some based in tax havens abroad.
Landis believes Turkey is likely pressurizing the Syrian regime to reform, and fast. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has built himself a role as regional leader and met a Syrian envoy earlier this week.
“Turkey can act as a shield for Syria against sanctions and other intervention,” Landis says, “but it’s demanding deep reform.”…

“Syrian military deploy for Friday protests” – 16 June 2011
Financial Times
– by Abigail Fielding-Smith

…”The north-east has always been a scary place for the regime,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “It was the last area of Syria to really come under central rule.”…

Syria’s Assad Family Instills Legacy Of FearJune 16, 2011
National Public Radio
– interview with Joshua Landis by Renee Montagne
Listen Here

Syrian president’s envoy in talks with Turkish PMJune 16, 2011
The Irish Times
– by Michael Jansen

…Anti-regime activists argue that 48 civilians and 60 police, including 20 deserters, died in fighting with troops. Neither claims have been verified by independent observers but Joshua Landis, writing on the authoritative Syria Comment blog, said the stories put forward by “both sides seem to have been filled with falsehoods and exaggeration.”

In spite of televised interviews with deserters, he observed there “is little evidence of wide-scale mutiny of Syrian soldiers” and “no solid evidence that they shot at each other”.

Prof Landis said the number of security personnel fatalities was lower than claimed by the authorities which, in his view, are seeking to justify the harsh crackdown in the northeastern Idlib province which is, for both Syrians and Turks, a highly sensitive area…

Joshua Landis discusses Syria with Al JazeeraJune 15, 2011
Al Jazeera

A new Hama on the Turkish borderJune 15, 2011
Asia Times
– by Victor Kotsev

…A prominent expert on Syria, Joshua Landis, in turn challenges the narrative of large-scale army defections.
“There is little evidence of wide-scale mutiny of Syrian soldiers. No solid evidence that they shot at each other, and some evidence that the young men of Jisr set a trap for Syrian soldiers with simple weapons and dynamite. Individual soldiers do seem to have deserted. Some turned up in Turkey. They seem to have been instructed to exaggerate the defections and to follow a common narrative of soldiers shooting each other in a large conflagration at Jisr. This story is hard to verify, making it seem dubious.”…

Deeply sectarian; Joshua Landis on the Syrian regime - Jun 14th 2011
The Economist

Syria, Libya and Middle East unrest14 June 2011
The Guardian

…Joshua Landis, director of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, agrees that reports of a widespread mutiny have been exaggerated. But Landis, who is more sympathetic to the regime than most Syria-watchers, doesn’t buy the government’s version of events either.

“The Syrian army has exaggerated the number of its dead in order to justify ever harsher repression of the inhabitants of Jisr and Idlib province. The government is thrashing about in a failed effort to stop the demonstrations from spreading.”…

Syrian Elite and Army Continue Support for AssadJune 14 2011
The Real News Network
– Video Interview with Joshua Landis conducted by Paul Jay

Syriens Cyber-Partisan13.06.2011
Der Taz
– Von Gabriela M. Keller

…”Es ist ein Kampf um die Köpfe und die Herzen der Menschen, und das Regime hat ihn mit fliegenden Fahnen verloren”, sagt Joshua Landis, Professor für Nahoststudien an der Universität Oklahoma und führender Syrienexperte. “Deswegen ist die Onlinebewegung von extremer Bedeutung für die Proteste.” Vor allem jetzt, da der Westen über neue Sanktionen verhandelt, entfalte der Einfluss der Cyberaktivisten sein volles Potenzial, meint Landis: “Diese Leute stellen die Informationen bereit und formen damit die Botschaft, die derzeit aus Syrien kommt.”…

Syria regime condemned by William Hague and Hillary ClintonJune 13, 2011

The Guardian – by Simon Tisdall

Joshua Landis, a leading Syria expert, said Damascus was pouring troops and armour into northern provinces such as Idlib, where Jisr al-Shughour is located, to ensure it retained territorial control. “Idlib province, which is only 45 minutes from [Syria's second city] Aleppo, is the eye of the hurricane,” Landis wrote on his Syria Comment blog.

Syria’s hostile border area Assad’s biggest threatJune 12, 2011
The San Francisco Chronicle
– by Zeina Karam, Associated Press

…”Damascus will do everything it can to preclude the formation of a Benghazi, which would allow foreign intelligence agencies and governments to begin arming and training a rebel army, as happened in Libya,” Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, wrote in his influential blog, Syria Comment. Benghazi is the de facto rebel capital in Libya…

Turkey condemns violence as Assad’s helicopters open fireJune 10, 2011
The Telegraph
– by Piotr Zalewski in Antakya and Richard Spencer

…Joshua Landis, a well-connected Syria analyst at the University of Oklahoma, said the new development had “ended” the Iran, Syria and Turkey relationship.
“Erdogan is letting Syria know it doesn’t have a lot of time,” Professor Landis said…

ANALYSIS-Civil war fears grow in SyriaJune 10, 2011
AlertNet
(Reuters) – Editing by Alastair Macdonald

…”The country is sliding towards civil war. It is a step towards civil war,” said Syria expert Joshua Landis, associate professor of Middle East studies at Oklahoma University…”It’s got a history of anti-government agitations,” Landis said. “The Islamic currents are very strong there.”…

Syria’s deadly campaign gains momentumJune 10, 2011
thestar.com
– by Olivia Ward

“It’s extremely difficult for western leaders to get their minds around regime change in Syria,” said Joshua Landis, a Middle East expert at University of Oklahoma. “It’s just too big an idea. They would have to make decisions, and none of them are good.”

Is Syria on verge of civil war?June 10, 2011
ynetnews.com
– by Reuters & AP

…”The country is sliding toward civil war.” said Syria expert Joshua Landis, associate professor of Middle East studies at Oklahoma University, while addressing recent developments and growing violence in Israel’s northern neighbor…

UN silent in protecting Syrians from governmentJune 9, 2011
National Post
– by Peter Goodspeed

…“Intervention will only raise the body count,” Mr. Landis warned. “There is no leadership to the opposition so, if things fall apart, there won’t be any order. If you intervene, you’ll most likely get chaos and civil war…

Hama massacre reignites SyriaJune 9, 2011
Asia Times
– by Victor Kotsev

…According to Joshua Landis:
The economic situation continues to deteriorate in Syria. Almost all hotels in Aleppo are closed, according to one informant. The government is not allowing the owners to officially close them before proving that they are in financial distress. But that is surely a technicality that can only delay the firing of hundreds of hotel employees. Owners can simply not afford to keep them on without paying guests … Public Sector banks are asking people to pay the principle payments of their loans. People are not paying at all. It would seem that people are testing the government systems…

Assad Brother Plays Big Role in Syria - June 8, 2011
Ya Libnan
– by Katherine Zoepf and Anthony Shadid

…According to several Syrians who know Maher al-Assad, he is highly intelligent, well organized, and cruel — and he has tried to make over Syria’s army and intelligence services in his own image. According to Joshua Landis, an historian of Syria who teaches at the University of Oklahoma, the Assad brothers were carefully groomed by their father for their respective roles: Bashar, the dignified leader, and Maher, the enforcer.

Hafez al-Assad had relied heavily on his own family to consolidate power, Mr. Landis said. “It takes a village to rule Syria — that was Hafez’s great discovery,” he said.

“It’s a family business, and there’s a division of labor,” Mr. Landis said. “And Maher is the kneecapper. That’s his role, and he’s played it well.”…

In Syria, death of tourism most visible sign of major economic damage
June 8, 2011
The Washington Post

…Joshua Landis, an associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma, said it is “hard to imagine that serious economic difficulties will not appear — cracks in the foundations of this very poor state.”…

Syrians Flee to Turkey, Telling of Gunmen Attacking ProtestersJune 8, 2011
The New York Times

Joshua Landis, a scholar of Syria and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the government’s version of events was possible. All Syrian men, he said, must perform military service, and even those who were no longer in the reserves might still have their old uniforms.

Turkey playing expanded role in MideastJune 6, 2011
The Edmond Sun
– by William F. O’Brien

…OU Professor Joshua Landis, who is an authority on the Middle East and attended a Turkish University for a time, believes that many in the Arab world are now looking to Turkey as a model of a moderate Islamist democracy that has improved the standard of living for its citizenry. Iran is also seeking to expand its role in the Middle East, and Landis believes that Turkey embodies an alternative to the radical Islamic fundamentalism that is offered by the ruling mullahs in Tehran…


Arab Spring Update
June 6, 2011
National Public Radio – KQED – Forum with Michael Kransy

Listen Here [8:29 - 51:59]

Unrest continues across the Middle East, with fears of a civil war escalating in Yemen and repercussions from the brutal killing of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib continuing to rock Syria. As the death toll continues to climb, what are the political and social consequences for Arab regimes, and how do these protests affect U.S.-Arab relations?

Rifts Appear as Syrian Opposition Struggles to Maintain Momentum
June 3, 2011
truthout
– by: Samer Araabi, Inter Press Service

…Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and the proprietor of the blog Syria Comment, claims that “the opposition is divided over the proper role foreign governments should play in bringing down the Syrian regime. Many Syrians abroad believe that only foreign action – primarily sanctions as presently articulated – will destroy the Syrian government” while others favour an internal domestic solution instead…

Survival trumps all for AssadJune 3, 2011
Asia Times
- by Victor Kotsev

…The protest movement arguably has some potential, but how much exactly is uncertain. According to early accounts from the conference, “logistics were very poor”, even though the delegates managed to unite behind the agenda of toppling Assad. “While one can accuse the attendees of being politically immature, it would be a huge mistake to underestimate them,” writes Syria expert Joshua Landis, citing a source…

New Syria protest center sees unrelenting attacks - June 2, 2011
chron: The Associated Press
– by Zeina Karam

…But the call issued by participants consisting mostly of Syrian exiles is unlikely to resonate soon beyond the conference. It also highlighted internal divisions that have long been exploited by the government: Several prominent figures stayed away following disputes about the agenda and timing.
“This is about trying to fix up the opposition for the outside world,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma…

Syrian UpdateJune 2, 2011
WNYC –
The Brian Lehrer Show

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies, Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, and author of the Syria Comment newsletter, discusses the latest news from Syria, a meeting in Turkey of the opposition groups, and the Syrian government’s response.

Background Briefing with Ian MastersJune 1, 2011
Pacifica Radio Los Angeles
– KPFK
Listen Here [18:29 - 38:19]

Opposition Tries To Define Syria’s Political Future - June 1, 2011
National Public Radio
– Morning Edition – by Deb Amos
Listen Here [3 min 58 sec]

Iran Sees Threat to Its Clout Amid Arab Spring5-31-2011
Christian Science Monitor - by Scott Peterson

…”Having weathered a social-networking revolution of its own, the Iranians have developed techniques and insights into combating Facebook-assisted uprisings,” says Joshua Landis, director of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the influential Syria Comment blog. “The clearest sign of Iranian assistance is Syria’s development of cadres of pro-regime youth who can spread regime friendly voices on the Internet, [on] websites, and blogs.” Some Iranian newspapers have raised questions about Tehran’s “failure” to take advantage of the Arab Spring. …

Syrian Leader Bids for Calm With Amnesty - May 31, 2011
New York Times - by Katherine Zoepf and Liam Stack

…. Joshua M. Landis, a professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the amnesty was a gesture of appeasement by a government unlikely to be capable of changing quickly enough to satisfy its citizens. “Almost everyone believes reform is impossible,” Dr. Landis said. “But what they can do is let people out of the prisons. It’s an immediate concession that has an immediate effect on the opposition, but it’s not a structural change at all.”…

Syrian President Issues Amnesty - 5/31/11
New York
– Daily Intel – by Julie Gerstein

…University of Oklahoma Middle Eastern studies professor Joshua M. Landis believes the amnesty is a desperate attempt to mollify an angry public in an untenable situation. “Almost everyone believes reform is impossible,” said Landis. “But what they can do is let people out of the prisons. It’s an immediate concession that has an immediate effect on the opposition, but it’s not a structural change at all.”…

Syria: Close to Civil War as Violent Protests ContinueMay 30, 2011
WNYC
- The Take-Away
Listen Here – [3:56]

Security forces in Syrian tanks opened fire on civilians and killed at least 9 people Sunday, fueling speculation that the country is engaging in even more brazen efforts to quell the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, analyzes the events in Syria. “This revolt has settled into a stalemate,” says Landis, while the government maintains the upperhand as it continues to shoot at protesters.

Avec la poursuite de la révolte, l’armée syrienne risque l’effondrement -30/05/2011
L’Orient-Le Jour, Par Rania Massoud |

« L’opposition a enfin compris qu’elle ne peut pas gagner son bras de fer avec le régime tant qu’elle n’a pas réussi à convaincre les militaires de changer de camp », souligne Joshua Landis, professeur à l’Université d’Oklahoma et spécialiste de la Syrie.
Mais plusieurs conditions doivent encore être réunies pour que les militaires acceptent de lâcher Bachar el-Assad. « Dans l’état actuel des choses, tout soldat qui fait défection en Syrie risque d’être condamné à mort, indique M. Landis. Il faut donc, premièrement, que l’opposition parvienne à prendre le contrôle d’une partie du territoire syrien, comme ce fut le cas pour les rebelles libyens à Benghazi. Dans ce cas-là, les soldats seraient encouragés à déserter pour rejoindre la zone “libérée”. » Selon lui, il faut appréhender le siège de Deraa à travers cette grille de lecture. Le régime était déterminé à empêcher Deraa de devenir la Benghazi syrienne et donc à empêcher les rebelles de s’emparer totalement de la ville d’où est née la contestation.
« Le deuxième facteur qui pourrait changer la donne en Syrie, poursuit M. Landis, est l’effondrement de l’économie nationale. Le gouvernement ne peut pas survivre éternellement dans une situation de révolte parce qu’il perd énormément d’argent, sans investissements étrangers et sans tourisme. Il arrivera un moment où le gouvernement ne pourra plus payer ses fonctionnaires, et c’est à ce moment-là qu’on pourrait s’attendre à un grand nombre de défections…… »

叙利亚 :僵局中的变量 – 2011年5月30号
三联生活周刊 – 记者◎俞力莎

美国俄克拉荷马大学 中东研究中心主任约书亚·兰蒂斯(Joshua
Landis)教授告诉本刊记者 :“叙反对派将 于5月30日至6月2日在土耳其举行会议, 法国学界的领军人物博汉·加里翁已经对 此大加批判,认为会议将被那些客居国外 的叙利亚反对派组织操控,而他们并没有 聆听国内的呼声。”

Daily News Brief29 May 2011
Syria Today

Hundreds of Syrians look set to lose their jobs as the EU decided to cut all bilateral aid to Syria, Josh Landis writes on his influential blog Syria Comment. “The object,” Landis wrote, “seems to be to bring Syrian economy to a standstill in the hope of bringing down the government.”…..

American sanctions against Syria 25.05.2011

Raikhlina Sasha
25.05.2011, 14:01
Interview with Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Reports mention financial sanctions, and, as far as I understand, these would come in the form of asset freezes and travel bans on the government figures, am I correct?
Source: Voice of Russia.

Why is Washington and Brussels are trying to increase pressure on Damascus, and against Russia?
AP – Alex Grigor’ev, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said that sanctions the EU and U.S. can not seriously weaken the regime. “In recent decades, Syria has turned towards the East. If you look at economic statistics, the past, Europe was a major trading partner of Damascus, and now it accounts for less than 50 per cent of turnover. Syria has established stronger trading ties with China, Russia, India and Turkey in an attempt to develop a real alternative,”- emphasizes Landis…..

Questions Over Syria: ‘Who’s Leading Revolution… Are We Going To Have Stability?’ – Tuesday, May 24, 2011
National Public Radio – “Here and Now” hosted by Robin Young

A leader of Syria’s online opposition says the government is going to have a hard time quelling the pro-democracy protests there, while onlookers question what’s next for the country.

London-based activist Ausama Monajed, is leading Syria’s online opposition and says that the Syrian government won’t be able to stop change simply by shutting down telephone lines or by closely monitoring Internet-based protest, as they have for years.

But Syria expert Josh Landis of the University of Oklahoma, describes deep divisions in Syria, where many residents are fearful of change. Landis said, “You know the anxiety for many Assyrians is…. who is leading this revolution, what do they want, who’s going to take over, are we going to have stability?” We look at what’s next for Syria with Landis and Monajed.

Getting Real About Funding Mideast Reform May 21, 2011
National Public Radio – All Things Considered -GUY RAZ, host:

Professor JOSHUA LANDIS (Director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma): This struck me how different this was from 2009. 2009, he came out and said: Democracy promotion Bush had stressed so much is not going to be the number-one item.

In this speech, he reversed that. He came out and said: Democracy is number one for America. We’re going to support the people against the tyrants. And he said this Arab Spring has changed everything.

RAZ: He said that, Joshua Landis, it is the policy of the United States to support reform in this region. Is – was that – I mean, that didn’t sound like it was a new policy.

Prof. LANDIS: Well, he’s always maintained it, but he hasn’t pushed it. He was trying to withdraw America from the Middle East and get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. And this, in many ways – I mean, this is the second thing that struck me, is that this is the beginning, in some ways, of a slippery slope. Clearly, the United States is thinking about a post-Assad Syria. They can deal with a post-Assad Syria.

RAZ: The president said that President Assad in Syria has a choice now. He can either lead a transition to reform and presumably democracy, or get out of the way.

Prof. LANDIS: Or get out of the way. The get-out-of-the-way is going to be the operative phrase, here. And every Republican is going to remind President Obama of this, every day. Assad is not a reformer. He’s not going to bring democracy. He’s not going to leave power. And that’s doing to corner America.

RAZ: How important, though, are those words? How meaningful are they to people in the region?

Prof. LANDIS: They’re very important. Americans don’t appreciate the extent to which Syria – the average Syrian believes that somehow, the United States has helped Basil Assad and Bashar al-Assad into power, sanctions them. And that’s why bin Laden believed that al-Qaida had to attack America, the far enemy, because America was the puppet master pulling the strings of all these Arab dictators.

The Arab Spring has reversed that logic and shown that people can lead in overthrowing their own governments, and that the United States is willing to follow them.

RAZ: Overall, this is billed as a major address by the president on the Middle East. Reading between the lines, you can see the argument that’s made by the White House. But it seemed, as he was giving it, to be a pretty measured speech. Do you think it was as significant as the White House suggested?

Prof. LANDIS: It’s important for Obama in the campaign. Is it that important for the United States in the Middle East? This was high on atmospherics, low on specifics. This is not going to change the Middle East. The basic structures of American foreign policy are there. They’re not going to change.

RAZ: That’s Joshua Landis. He’s the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He spoke to me from member station KGOU in Norman, Oklahoma.

Joshua Landis, thank you. Prof. LANDIS: Well, it’s been my pleasure.

Religious and Class Divisions Stoke Popular Uprising in Syria May 16, 2011 (25:30)
Interview with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, conducted by Scott Harris

The popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa which succeeded in ousting the governments in Tunisia and Egypt have for the past two months also unexpectedly taken hold in Syria. Although western journalists have not been permitted into Syria to report on police attacks on demonstrations, more than 850 civilians are estimated to have been killed, with at least 8,000 arrested. …

Deadlocks and Violence 12 May 2011
NPR By The Brian Lerner Show, WNYC

The Syrian military’s crackdown on protestors has left thousands in detention and hundreds dead. Anthony Shadid of The New York Times and Joshua Landis of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma report on the violence. Plus: Democrats in the Senate are seeking to reframe the debt debate by proposing an end to tax cuts for the largest oil companies; the details on the insider trading conviction of Raj Rajaratnam, hedge fund boss; and Jill Lepore, staff writer at The New Yorker, on how past events have influenced the present political and social climate in the U.S.

Impact on Arab uprising 2 May 2011
By PRI’s The World

Listen Here
Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma talks to anchor Lisa Mullins about the impact Bin Laden’s death may have on what some are calling the “Arab Spring.”

Protesters Want Changes To Syria’s Power Structure 27 April 2011
NPR – Morning Edition

Syria expert Joshua Landis talks to Steve Inskeep about how the family has maintained its power.


Syria’s Sluggish Economy Adds to Regime’s Troubles - 16 May 2011
By Wall Street Journal

Deadlocks and Violence – 12 May 2011
NPR By The Brian Lerner Show, WNYC

The Syrian military’s crackdown on protestors has left thousands in detention and hundreds dead. Anthony Shadid of The New York Times and Joshua Landis of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma report on the violence. Plus: Democrats in the Senate are seeking to reframe the debt debate by proposing an end to tax cuts for the largest oil companies; the details on the insider trading conviction of Raj Rajaratnam, hedge fund boss; and Jill Lepore, staff writer at The New Yorker, on how past events have influenced the present political and social climate in the U.S.

Syrian President Assad blows his reformist credentials8 May 2011

By Liz Sly, The Washington Post

“Ultimately, this is a family affair,” said Joshua Landis, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma who writes the blog Syria Comment. “And all the signs are that the family is sticking together, because they know they’re going to have to live together or die together.”

6 May 2011

Analysis: Syria to pursue crackdown undeterred by sanctions

By Allstair Lyon, Reuters

“Syria will pay lip service to the Turks, but Assad cannot usher in the sort of reforms that Erdoghan has brought to Turkey without ending his regime,” said Joshua Landis, associate professor of Middle East studies at Oklahoma University.

4 May 2011

Syria’s Unrest Seeps Into Lebanon

By Josh Wood, The New York Times

“Freedom in the Levant doesn’t mean freedom,” said Joshua Landis, professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma and a Syria specialist. “Freedom in the Levant is code for one community getting in power over another community. Unfortunately, that’s the way it turns out in reality.”

4 May 2011

Syria

By RearVision, ABC Radio National

Listen Here.
These borders were set by the Sykes-Picot agreement, signed by France and Britain during the First World War. This secret treaty was a betrayal of the Arab world, long under Ottoman rule, but promised independence by the great powers once the War ended. Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

3 May 2011

Former P-I Reporter Missing in Syria

By Ross Reynolds, KUOW

Listen Here.
Former Seattle P–I journalist Dorothy Parvaz is missing in Syria. Dorothy Parvaz wrote for the P–I for nine years. Now she reports for Al Jazeera. We talk to Syrian blogger and Mid–East studies professor Joshua Landis.

3 May 2011

Osama bin Laden’s death opens door

By Kathleen Evans, The Oklahoma Daily

The credit for bin Laden’s death will go to Obama because of his changes to U.S. strategy in the Middle East, Joshua Landis said, director of the OU Center for Middle East Studies.

2 May 2011

Impact on Arab uprising

By PRI’s The World

Listen Here
Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma talks to anchor Lisa Mullins about the impact Bin Laden’s death may have on what some are calling the “Arab Spring.”

2 May 2011

Is Syria really in the throws of a Jasmine revolution?

By Shevonne Hunt, The Wire

There are more reports of the brutal crack down of protesters in the southern city of Dera’a… but with no independent media allowed in to the country… do we really understand what is happening in Syria? Featured in story: Dr Fiona Hill, anthropologist and long time visitor to Syria and Joshua Landis- Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Listen Here.

1 May 2011

Evening News

By KPFA

The KPFA Evening News (Weekend) – May 1, 2011 at 6:00pm

Click to listen (or download)

30 April 2011

SPJ announces Oklahoma journalism awards

By WRAL

Interview/Talk Show:_1, Ted Riley, KCCU; 2, Brian Hardzinski, Zach Messitte, Joshua Landis, Suzette Grillot and Mike Boettcher, KGOU; 3, Kurt Gwartney, KGOU; honorable mention, Brian Hardzinski, Zach Messitte, Joshua Landis, Suzette Grillot and Scott Gurian, KGOU.

30 April 2011

Syrian Businessman Becomes Magnet for Anger and Dissent

By Anthony Shadid, The New York Times

Joshua Landis, a professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, called Mr. Makhlouf “the tendons that reach out to the new capitalist class that was empowered.”

29 April 2011

Expert: Syria threatens civil war, unlike Egypt or Tunisia

By Christian Lininger, Radio Österreich 1

Click here to listen. (Broadcast in German.)

Syria will hardly be able to return to relative calm of an authoritarian regime, Syria expects the experts at the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Landis. He compares Iraq with Syria or Lebanon and holds a civil war for quite probable.

 

28 April 2011

No Going Back for Syrian Uprising

By Zoe Holman, Institute for War & Peace Reporting

“The strength of this movement is that it has no real leadership that the regime has been able to identify or arrest,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University and editor of the prominent blog Syria Comment, said.

28 April 2011

Syrian SPring, Arab Spring

By Tom Ashbrook, On Point

Joshua Landis, joins us from Norman, Oklahoma. He is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He runs a blog called “SyriaComment.com.”

27 April 2011

Protesters Want Changes To Syria’s Power Structure

By Morning Edition

Syria expert Joshua Landis talks to Steve Inskeep about how the family has maintained its power.

27 April 2011

UN, European nations seek end to Syrian violence, demand respect for human rights

By AP, published in The Washington Post

“This is a revolutionary movement and if he doesn’t stop it, it will mean regime change and possibly civil war,” said Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, who runs a blog called Syria Comment. “The threat of sanctions from Europe isn’t going to be uppermost in his mind.”

27 April 2011

Experts: Assad’s ouster could prompt widespread chaos, violence

By Johnathan Sl. Landay, The Kansas City Star

“Syria is the cockpit of the Middle East,” noted Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who authors the blog Syria Comment.

27 April 2011

The United States Weighs Options against Syria

By Warren Olney, KCRW


Syria’s deadly crackdown on political protesters has provoked outrage at the UN, the European Union and from some Arab countries as well. International sanctions are not expected to make any difference to the regime of Bashar Assad, who’s already killed some 400 of his own people. But, even if he remains in charge, instability in Syria could have consequences for the balance of power in the Middle East and for alliances with western countries. We update the unrest and the implications for Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Does President Obama have a coherent strategy, or is he playing it by ear?

26 April 2011

Uprising exposes Syria’s economic weaknesses

By Abigail Fielding-Smith and Lina Saigol, Financial Times

“(The government’s) plan was foreign investment and tourism, both of which don’t proliferate if you have a civil war,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at Oklahoma University. “Eventually things will fall apart.”

25 April 2011

Evening News

By Katie Couric, CBS

25 April 2011

Assad’s Crackdown Could Drive Syrian Opposition to Armed Revolt

By Guy Taylor, World Politics Review

“If the opposition wants to continue to press its cause, there’s only one way to do it, and that’s through armed struggle,” says Joshua Landis, a professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma.

23 April 2011

La guerra civile è alle porte Il modello è l’Iraq

By Maurizio Molinari, La Stampa

“Bashar Assad is a victim of his own success, and now Syria is sliding towards civil war,” so reads the news of the revolt from Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the newsletter Syria Comment, “that the Arabs consider to be a timely source of study on what happens in Damascus.”

Original in Italian. Translation by Google Translate with modification.

22 April 2011

U.S. faces quandary in Syria

By Karen Deyoung and Scott Wilson, StarTribune

Others were more sympathetic to the administration’s dilemma. Syria’s weak national institutions and long-standing militant Islamic undercurrent give the administration few good alternatives to Assad’s rule, said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

22 April 2011

“The criminal you know.” Assad is better for Israel?

By Ynet

Professor Joshua Landis, a world expert in Syria and syriacomment.com blog editor, believes that the Israeli view, Assad is still an asset. Professor Landis, who spent several years in northern neighbor and know the mood there believes that “Israel has traditionally seen the collapse of the Assad regime is in any case state is losing it.”
(*Translation by Google Translate.)

22 April 2011

Assad Forces Confront Syrians Testing End of Emergency Rule

By Benjamin Harvey, Tamara Walid, and Massoud A. Derhally, Bllomberg Businessweek

Josh Landis, a Syria specialist who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, said he expected Assad to stifle the protests despite the announcements yesterday.

21 April 2011

Escalating protests in Syria put Obama administration in a bind

By Karen DeYoung and Scott Wilson, The Washington Post

Others were more sympathetic to the administration’s dilemma. Syria’s weak national institutions and long-standing, if dormant, Islamic undercurrent give the administration few good alternatives to Assad’s continued rule, said Joshua M. Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who has lived in Syria.

21 April 2011

Syria – Assad: is the iron fist weakening?

By France 24

DEBATE:

Sadek SALEM, Syrian Activist

Dr Elie HATEM, Professor of international relations, Free faculty of law and economics in Paris

Joshua LANDIS, Blogger, syriacomment.com (By Skype from Norman, Oklahoma)

Nabil, France 24 Observer (By Skype from Damascus)

Watch here

The Assad family has ruled Syria with an iron fist for some 40 years. Now, however, its grip on power is weakening. Weeks of protests have pressured the regime into lifting a 48-year-old state of emergency, but activists are not convinced the regime wants reform. Laura Baines and guests discuss what might be next for Syria.

20 April 2011

Tough to determine who’s winning in Syrian uprising

By Olivia Ward, thestar

“Everyone is licking their wounds and wondering what to do next,” said Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, a Syria expert and blogger who is in close touch with the country.

19 April 2011

Syria: The Other Side of the Mirror

By Jean Feraca, Here on Earth

Listen Here
Feraca: So, is it the carrot or the stick that’s likely to prevail? It’s an interesting pattern of ‘three steps forward, five steps back’ that seems to be going on in Syria.

Landis: When the president announced his cabinet this weekend, he drew a line in the sand, and essentially he said ‘These are my concessions’–lifting the emergency law, citizenship for stateless Kurds, and a few other things, as well as a new government. But then he drew the line. He said, “After this, there should be a halt to the demonstrations.” And today he announced that he considers the continuing demonstrations as a rebellion that is going to be put down harshly.

19 April 2011

Snap Analysis: Syria emergency law move won’t stop protests

By Yara Bayoumy, MSNBC

“This is a moment of truth for the regime. The president has made concessions. In many ways that’s a sign of weakness. He’s in a trap, the protesters are going to see that as a success, so they’ll redouble their efforts,” said Syria expert Joshua Landis of Oklahoma University.

19 April 2011

U.S. Denies It Is Trying to Undermine Assad

By Samer Araabi and Jim Lobe, IPS

“It looks much less likely today than last week that he’s going to be able to either tamp down or stomp out this uprising,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, who noted that the explicit calls by the demonstrators for Assad’s ouster marked a new stage in the confrontation.

19 April 2011

Syrian forces fire on protesters in Homas as crackdown intensifies

By Tara Bahrampour, WORLD

But the government is unlikely to offer more, said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. In announcing the new laws, he said, “the regime has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s drawn a line in the sand.”

16 April 2011

In Syria, protesters push to end decades of isolation

By Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post

“Syrians are rightfully fearful that this call for peace and freedom is a chimera, a phantom, a mirage,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “That’s why Syrians have been so slow, that’s why it’s been gaining momentum, but step by step. Because the middle class, the silent majority, are still sitting on the fence. But the more they see these videos [of crackdowns,] the more it repulses them.”

15 April 2011

Syria and the Delusions of the Western Press

By Peter Lee, CounterPunch

By a remarkable coincidence, the events in Banyas attracted the close attention of one of America’s chief Syria watchers: Dr. Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma. [...]

Landis, an extremely circumspect and careful observer, wrote bluntly:

A number of news reports by AFP, the Guardian, and other news agencies and outlets are suggesting that Syrian security forces were responsible for shooting nine Syrian soldiers, who were killed in Banyas on Sunday. Some versions insist that they were shot for refusing orders to shoot at demonstrators.

13 April 2011

Protests In Syria Pose Challenges For The U.S.

By Talk of the Nation

As the protests continue in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, security forces have reportedly killed, detained and injured dozens of demonstrators. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, talks about what’s at stake in Syria.

12 April 2011

Syria Presses Crackdown in Two Cities on Coast

By Liam Stand and Katerine Zoepf, The New York Times

Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist and professor at the University of Oklahoma who is married to a Syrian, reported on his blog, Syria Comment, that his wife’s first cousin, Lt. Col. Yasir Qash’ur, was one of those killed.

7 April 2011

Why has the unrest sweeping the Mideast skipped Lebanon?

By International Business Time

However, Joshua Landis, Director, Center for Middle East Studies in Norman, Okla., had a different view of Lebanese stability.

“The reason that Lebanon has not had any revolts is that it has almost no government and thus the people are only repressed by the lack of a central state and not too much on one,” he said.

6 April 2011

Who Rules Syria and How? Interview with Joshua Landis

By Paul Jay, MRZine

Paul Jay: The title of your upcoming book, Syria’s Democratic Experiment, first of all, what is the experiment? And then talk a little about how we got there.

Joshua Landis: Well, the book really deals with a period at the time of independence — 1946, ’45, ’46 — in Syria, when the French left and Syrian Parliament was active. There was a president that was elected, and there were a series of three elections in Syria during the ’40s and ’50s when there was a change of government. We can get a window into Syrian nation and into Syrian society through looking at this period, because most of the serious parties emerged during this time. They had a very active parliamentary life. And we can see the forces at work in Syria. In many ways the thesis of my book is that Syria was not a nation. None of the political parties accepted Syria’s borders as had been laid down by the French and British after the First World War. Syrians wanted unity. Some wanted Arab unity from Morocco to the Gulf. Others wanted Syrian unity and Syrian nationalism, which is Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine. So there were many different arrangements that people were proposing other than the one that Syria had.

4 April 2011

Arab leaders exploit their countries’ divisions to stay in power

By Nicholas Seeley, The Christian Science Monitor

“Authoritarianism thrives and supports itself on dividing and ruling,” says Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “It will use whatever the best methods are for dividing a society, whether it’s national questions, ethnic questions, sectarian questions…. [Regimes] keep the people from uniting against them by playing on these types of insecurity.”

4 April 2011

As Protests Mount, Is There a Soft Landing for Syria?

By Joshua Landis, The Heptagon Post

The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes. Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria’s security forces to suppress demonstrations.

And on 24 May, his office announced unprecedented concessions to popular demands. But the question of whether those concessions assuage protesters’ concerns or prove to be too little too late may be answered in the escalation of clashes that followed Friday prayers, with a number of demonstrators reportedly killed when security forces again opened fire.

3 April 2011

The Republic of Fear

By Mike Giglio, Newsweek

Adding to the atmosphere of distrust and disorientation are rumors of murky power struggles between Assad and family members including his brother Maher, who heads the country’s most powerful security unit. Some analysts see this as one more way for the president to keep his opponents off balance. “The Syrians feed on this stuff because there’s no press. And they’re conspiratorial. And they’re being told that there are conspiracies,” says Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, one of America’s leading Syria scholars.

2 April 2011

A leader stares down his people

By Paul McGeough, The Sydney Morning Herald

Joshua Landis, one of America’s more high-profile Syria scholars, laid it out on Thursday. “Syrians have looked into the abyss, and they realise that Bashar al-Assad is not going to step down, that the Alawite regime is not going to go away, and in order for it to go away, they would have to go through a civil war,” he told The Washington Post.

1 April 2011

Syria: Under Pressure

By EnergyCompass, Energy Intelligence

“His standing as a reformer has taken a very big hit. In the eyes of the West, he seems much weakened today,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist at Oklahoma University. Others dismiss any expectations of democratic change as futile, arguing that it is too much to expect normalcy in a country that lies on all the Middle East’s main fault lines.

1 April 2011

Three dead as Syrian protesters clash with security forces

By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Globe and Mail

“There’s this incredible momentum that has built up across the Middle East that has galvanized people” in Syria, said Joshua Landis, an American professor and Syria expert. But the regime will likely crush any attempts to keep up the resistance — unless the opposition movement can rally enough people to overwhelm the army, he said.

1 April 2011

Arab street sweeps away prejudice

By Ghada Al Atrash, gulfnews.com

I asked professor Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, if he thought the recent uprisings have changed Western views of Arabs for the better.

April 2011

A letter from Skip Kaltenheuser

By Skip Kaltenheuser,

‘There’s no issue more intrinsic to winning or losing hearts and minds than unequivocal US pressure for a fair deal between Israel and Palestinians,’ says Professor Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Moreover, Landis believes this the opportunity to defuse much of the tension with Syria by brokering back the whole Golan, Syria’s prime concern. This would also undercut the reason for Syrian support of Hamas and Hizbullah.

31 March 2011

Syrian protests intensify

By ABC Radio National

Listen Here.

Syria’s president has dashed hopes of lifting the state of emergency that has been in place for almost half a century. In a much anticipated speech to parliament in Damascus, President Bashar Al-Assad made no pledges that would appease the growing anti-government movement. Instead, he accused foreign conspirators of orchestrating the unrest.

There are now reports of gunfire in the port city of Latakia as hundreds of protesters voice their anger at the speech.

31 March 2011

What’s ‘the Middle East’? Depends on the style guide or textbook

By Scott Leadingham, Journalism and the World

The Middle East “is not an exact term,” according to Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Depending on the situation and who you ask, “Pakistan or Afghanistan can be either in or out,” Landis wrote in an email.

31 March 2011

Syrian Leader Blames Protests On ‘Conspirators’; No Reforms Announced

By Radio Free Europe

Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria at the University of Oklahoma in the United States, tells RFE/RL that the speech was meant to suggest that if the protesters are allowed to prevail, dire consequences would follow.

31 March 2011

 

By Paul Jay, MRzine

30 March 2011

Al-Assad follows in his father’s footsteps

By Sonia Verma, The Globe and Mail

“This is a speech his father might have given,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “He did talk about the people who had been killed and he said this was a bad thing … But then he laid down the law … The opposition says his mask is stripped away. He’s not a reformer. He is his father.”

30 March 2011

Deadly protests continue across Syria

By Worldview, WBEZ

In a speech to the Syrian nation today, President Bashar al-Assad said foreign conspiracies, media distortions and the hand of Israel are to blame for uprisings in his country. The Syrian protests have resulted in at least 60 deaths, according to human rights groups. In his speech Assad didn’t offer to repeal emergency laws that have kept his regime in power since 1963. But he did say reforms are necessary while offering no specifics about how to enact those reforms. Joshua Landis, author of the blog “Syria Comment” and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma joins us to talk about the speech and the ongoing political unrest in Syria.

30 March 2011

Deadly protests continue across Syria

By WBEZ

Listen Here.

Joshua Landis, author of the blog “Syria Comment” and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma joins us to talk about the speech and the ongoing political unrest in Syria.

30 March 2011

Syrians talk of a country held back by fear

By Lauren E. Bohn, CNN

“Syria is the end of the line for the Arab revolution movement,” says Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “I have a feeling Syrians will get up to the ledge, look over the cliff and see civil war and other things, and step back. The regime will be shaken up, but Bashar will survive.”

29 March 2011

In Syria, many uneasy about where struggle for power might lead

By Leila Fadel, The Washington Post

“The Syrians have looked into the abyss, and they realize that Bashar al-Assad is not going to step down, that the Alawite regime is not going to go away, and in order for it to go away, they would have to go through a civil war,’’ said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.

29 March 2011

Syria’s Stalled Revolution

Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Council on Foreign Relations

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is scheduled to speak this week in response to recent protests and perhaps lift Syria’s emergency laws, and the Syrian cabinet resigned (al-Jazeera), creating questions about whether Assad’s government could meet the same fate as those in Tunisia and Egypt. But Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the protests’ “momentum has not caught on.” Landis says protests have largely been confined to southern Syria, in the impoverished region around Deraa–which has been hit hard by rising commodity prices–and they generally haven’t been large enough to overwhelm security, as they did in Egypt. Landis says that the alliance seems to be holding between the Alawite leadership that runs the political and security forces under Assad and the majority population of Sunnis who control the country’s economic and cultural life. He also notes that Saudi Arabia has made clear its support for Assad’s regime. “It is too early to say definitively, but it is very possible that the winds of change that have been sweeping the Arab world will stall in Syria,” says Landis.

28 March 2011

Syria unrest background

By The World, PRI

Listen here.

Marco Werman: I’m Marco Werman. This is The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI, and WGBH Boston. Anti-government demonstrations in Syria would have been unthinkable a few months ago. But that was before popular protests forced out the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Now the wave of Arab revolutionary sentiment is crashing onto Syria. Demonstrators there are calling for more political freedom. Today reports from Syria say security forces in the southern city of Dara fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters. Joshua Landis is an associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. So more violence today in Dara. What are the chances of Syria going the same way as Egypt or Tunisia, Joshua?

28 March 2011

Syria unrest background

By PRI’s The World

Listen Here.

The unrest in Syria continued today. Reports say security forces in the southern city of Deraa fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters. Anchor Marco Werman gets the background on the situation in Syria from Middle East expert Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma

28 March 2011

Syria in Context

Joshua Landis, Syria in Context

In 1982 the Muslim Brotherhood rose up and almost overthrew the outside government claiming they were neither Arabs nor Muslims and that Syria should not put up with them.

— Joshua Landis

28 March 2011

Syria: The Newest Member to Arab World Unrest

Joshua Landis, The Takeaway

There hasn’t been a true enlightenment in the Middle East, because the constitution in Syria says that the president has to be a Muslim.

— Joshua Landis

27 March 2011

Syrian Radio Report

By Radio Popolare

Listen Here. (In Italian)

27 March 2011

A Snapshot Of Syrian Protests

By Liane Hansen, NPR

As revolution sweeps the Middle East, Syria has become a focal point of protest. Host Liane Hansen talks to Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Landis writes a blog about Syrian politics and culture.

26 March 2011

Syrian Future Uncertain as Protesters Take to the Streets

By Gianna Palmer, uptown RADIO

Government forces in Syria opened fire today on crowds of protesters chanting “Freedom.” Syria’s anti-government demonstrations erupted just a week ago and show no sign of letting up. I spoke with Joshua Landis, a Middle East expert at the University of Oklahoma who writes a daily newsletter on Syrian politics. He thinks it’s too soon to say whether the unrest in Syria will mirror what’s been happening in nearby Arab countries.

Listen Here

25 March 2011

As Protests Mount, Is There a Soft Landing for Syria?

By Joshua Landis, TIME

The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes. Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria’s security forces to suppress demonstrations that began a week ago, and on Thursday afternoon his office announced unprecedented concessions to popular demands. But the question of whether those concessions assuage protesters’ concerns or prove to be too little too late may be answered in the escalation of clashes that followed Friday prayers, with a number of demonstrators reportedly killed when security forces again opened fire.

25 March 2011

As unrest spreads, Syrian government promises to respond

By Joe Sterling and Salma Abdelaziz, CNN World

Joshua Landis, who runs the Syria Comment blog and is director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor at University of Oklahoma, told CNN that the unrest in Daraa is spurred by a number of factors, widespread poverty, a dislike for the emergency law and the arrests two weeks ago of young people who scrawled anti-government graffiti.

25 March 2011

As protests mount, is there a soft landing for Syria?

By Jashua Landis, CNN World

The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes. Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria’s security forces to suppress demonstrations that began a week ago, and on Thursday afternoon his office announced unprecedented concessions to popular demands. But the question of whether those concessions assuage protesters’ concerns or prove to be too little too late may be answered on the streets after Friday prayers.

25 March 2011

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

By Michael Slackman, The New York Times

Sectarian tensions did not initially motivate this conflict. But they have begun to emerge. Mr. Tabler and Joshua M. Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the demonstrators had started chanting: “No to Iran, to Hezbollah. We want a leader who fears God.”

25 March 2011

Cover Story

Ask the Experts, L’Hebdo Magazine

Joshua Landis. American professor at the University of Oklahoma and editor of the site SyriaComments.

Is there a possibility to see a revolution break out in Syria?

It is impossible to predict the future. But one thing is certain: the Syrian regime controlling the country with an iron fist for over 50 years and it is unclear how the people are mobilized against him. Many analysts believe that things could go wrong in Syria. The country is divided on a religious level and regional level. A real religious war would mean that Christians and Alawite and other minorities have much to fear. Everything depends on the unity of the ruling elite in the period ahead.
* Translation by Google Translate

25 March 2011

Syrian Forces Kill 20 People in Sanamein (Video)

By Rhonda Schaffler, Reuters Insider

The tipping point would be if demonstrations, big demonstrations, spread to the major urban cities. If this spreads right across Syria, it will be very hard for the security to contain it.

25 March 2011

Fighting Oppression in Syria

Joshua Landis, The Takeaway

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to introduce reforms in his country, but there have been violent crackdowns in recent days with reports that Syrian secret police have broken up protests in Damascus. Joshua Landis is the Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the Syria Comment blog. He helps analyze the latest news out of Syria.

24 March 2011

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure

By Leila Fadel, The Washington Post

“Every Syrian is frightened, and they don’t want to be Iraq. That’s the cautionary tale — and the government has raised the banner of security and stability for the last 40 years,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “They’re hesitating, but it seems like there is a big hole in the dike here, and the fear factor is collapsing. The latest videos streaming out are horrifying; they’re very gruesome.”

24 March 2011

Does Unrest in Syria Signal Change?

Joshua Landis, The Takeaway

There are reports that Syrian security forces have killed at least 25 protesters in the city of Deraa on Thursday. The protests began a week ago when 15 school kids were arrested for writing anti-govt graffiti, but they’ve now expanded to a larger demand for freedom. So far the protests have been isolated to the once city of Deraa, but the government is fearful that they’ll spread. Syria has lived under dictatorship for 45 years, and now Syrians are asking if they can have a stable democracy. Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says that the government will maintain the upper hand as long as the Sunni economic elite, which runs the economy, sticks together with the military elite. However, if the elite splits, then anything can happen, he says.

24 March 2011

Syrians chant ‘freedom’ despite Assad reform offer

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi, The Globe and Mail

“When you first hear it you think they’re making major concessions, but when you look at it you realize there’s not a lot there besides the salary boost,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at Oklahoma University. “You understand the regime is in a very difficult spot and they’re flustered.”

24 March 2011

The Situation Room Transcripts

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

JOSHUA LANDIS, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA: As Syria liberalizes and gets rid of socialism, the supports, government supports, have been undermined. So the poor are getting poorer as the rich get richer, and it’s opening this income gap. And this is tearing Syria apart, as it’s tearing the rest of the Middle East apart.

22 March 2011

UOSA candidates answer student questions

By The Oklahoma Daily

The discussion was held in Walker Center and hosted by Walker Center Faculty-in-Residence and Center Middle Eastern Studies director Joshua Landis.

21 March 2011

Special from Syria: Syria ushers in unrest sweeping the Arab World

By Robert Jordan, Almasryalyoum English Edition

“I don’t think the regime is going to fall any time soon, but then again no one knows what’s going to happen anymore,” admits Joshua Landis, a long-time Syria watcher and director of the Centre for Middle East studies at Oklahoma University in the US.

19 March 2010

Syria’s relationships key to Middle East peace

By Andrew Benore, Herald Gazette

Northport — Joshua Landis said promoting peace between Syria and Israel is important for the United States if it wants to “preserve its broad interest in the Middle East and good relations with Arab allies such as Egypt and Tunisia.”

Landis was speaking March 14 to the monthly gathering of the Mid Coast Forum on Foreign Relations at Point Lookout. His talk was titled “How Syria Fits, and Doesn’t Fit, into U.S. Middle Eastern Policy.”

16 March 2010

US-Syrian Relations:

Changing Priorities After Egypt

By Josh Landis, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

The Middle East Institute is proud to host Joshua Landis and Andrew Tabler for a discussion about the current state of US-Syrian relations and the impact the changing regional dynamic will have on the relationship’s priorities. How might the revolutionary wave crossing the Middle East effect Washington’s discussions with Damascus? Should there be a greater emphasis on reform? Where does the Syrian-Israeli peace track stand and is it more urgent than ever?

14 March 2010

Syria’s virtual revolution

By Brooke Anderson, Daily Star

Joshua Landis, director at the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma believes that the Syrian authorities are quickly becoming more concerned about the possibilities of social media politicizing the youth of Syria.

“The Syrian government is beginning to wake up to the fact that a new world is emerging very rapidly — one that they may not have the tools to police and about which they know very little,” he added.

8 March 2010

Syrian human rights lawyer freed amid discontent

By Christine Theodorou and Joe Sterling, CNN

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and writer of the Syria Comment blog, believes the Maleh release was prompted by a “widespread campaign of anger” by young people who oppose the government’s authoritarian measures.

A lot of the discontent has emerged on social media.

Landis said the Syrian government has also made economic concessions, such as delaying the introduction of a value-added tax. Landis said the big question is whether energy subsidies will be lifted next month.

28 February 2010

Deer Creek graduate connects with past

By William O’Brien, The Edmond Sun

In addition to his journalism major, he also minored in Middle Eastern Studies while an undergraduate on the Norman campus, and speaks fondly of the professors who taught the courses in Hebrew and Arabic that he took there that served him well in the Middle East. He also maintains an affection for Professor Joshua Landis, who served as his mentor while he was at OU.

24 February 2010

Landis: Social media has revolutionized renegades

By Nanette Light, The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Two weeks ago, clicks on Joshua Landis’ blog spiked, as the cyberworld was all a “twitter” about the weeklong online campaign to galvanize Syrian protesters against the president’s iron-fisted rule.

“No one showed up, but everyone showed up on my site,” joked Landis, University of Oklahoma professor on Middle East studies and author of the blog syriacomment.com, of the failed “days of rage” protest in Damascus — meant to follow suit behind political dissenters in Egypt and Tunisia — during a discussion Wednesday at OU.

22 February 2010

‘Turkey an epitome for ME uprisings’

Interview by PressTV

Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma talks with Press TV about the extent of the nature of the uprisings being Islamic or democratic and compares this with the more mature situation facing Turkey.
Press TV: There are differing opinions with one analyst saying it is an Islamic awakening while another analyst says it would be misleading to equate Islam in terms of the revolutions being an awakening arguing that it is an Arab uprising for democracy and freedom. But there is a phobia (internationally), isn’t there of an Islamic nation? Why would that be?

Landis: Well there certainly has been and I think that the West in general, particularly the US, has been very anxious about democracy in the Middle East because they worry that it will bring Islamic elements and Islamic parties to the fore. On the other hand, most of these uprisings that have called for democracy have not been led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or other places; in fact, the Muslim Brotherhood came in a little bit late.

21 February 2010

Egyptian people not to allow Muslim Brotherhood organization to take power

By Tred Sadikhova, Trend

U.S professor on Middle East Joshua Landis thinks that the previous rating of the party in the elections may not be repeated in the future.

“Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood organization will play a large role in any parliament which holds free elections. They have won about 30 percent of the vote in the past, but we will have to see how well they do in the future. It is hard to know without free elections,” Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, told Trend.

20 February 2010

Democratization of the Middle East

By OETA

Click here to watch video.

We discuss the revolution in Egypt and the spread of democracy across the Middle East with: Joshua Landis, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma Zach Messitte, Ph.D., Dean of the College of International Studies, University of Oklahoma Mohamed Daadaoui, Ph.D., Asst. Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma City University

12 February 2011

 

By Independent Research Network

“An important factor is that he’s popular among young people,” Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of Syria Comment, says.

11 February 2011

Egypt: What Happens Next?

Joshua Landis and Max Rodenbeck, The Takeaway

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma looks ahead to what may transpire in Egypt, where the revolution continues. Although there’s fear of violence, Landis says, “the leadership of this mass movement has shown extraordinary ability to organize itself and show restraint.” He also helps explain the precarious position of the Egyptian Army, which finds itself potentially leading a country. Max Rodenbeck, Middle East correspondent for The Economist, author of ” Cairo: The City Victorious,” has an update and analysis from Cairo.

11 February 2011

About: Syria Comment – Joshua Landis

By Eurasia Review

Joshua Landis maintains Syria Comment and teaches modern Middle Eastern history and politics and writes on Syria and its surrounding countries. He writes “Syria Comment,” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 3,000 readers a day. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis regularly travels to Washington DC to consult with the State Department and other government agencies. He is a frequent analyst on TV and radio.

11 February 2011

Shoulder to Shoulder in Tahrir Square

Tamer El-Ghobashy and Joshua Landis , The Takeaway

Almost a million people have gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where protesters continue to call for President Mubarak’s immediate resignation. Protests have also broken out in other major Egyptian cities. The president has reportedly left Cairo for the Red Sea resort city of Sharm-al-Sheikh. Tamer El-Ghobashys, staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and Joshua Landis Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma respond to the latest news.

11 February 2011

Egypt’s Military Answers the Call for Democracy

By Terry McCarthy, CBS nightly news.

10 February 2011

Syrian flag carrier struggles to keep flying

By Edwin Lane, BBC News

“Airlines are particularly vulnerable to US sanctions because it is one of the few things that America has a quasi-monopoly on,” says Joshua Landis, a Syria-watcher and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. The impact on the airline’s passenger numbers is clear.

10 February 2011

Why Syria Squeaked

By James Denselow, Middle East News and Commentary

Veteran Syrian commentator Joshua Landis correctly described it as “not a situation that is endlessly sustainable.” What events in Egypt have shown is that the authoritarian inertia of the majority of the Arab states is no guarantee of its survival. ….

9 February 2011

Syria: ‘A kingdom of silence’

By AJE staff write, Aljazeera

“An important factor is that he’s popular among young people,” Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of Syria Comment, says.

9 February 2011

Fear dominates Syrian people’s lives, report

YaLibnan

“An important factor is that he’s popular among young people,” Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of Syria Comment, says.

9 February 2011

Syria lifts ban on Facebook

By Sakhr Al-Makhadhi , GlobalPost

“This is a clear in-your-face to critics of the Syrian government,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and founder of SyriaComment.com.

8 February 2011

Actions in Egypt could spill over to region

By William O’Brien, The Edmond Sun

Such predictions may fail to take into account the differences in the Arab nations. Joshua Landis, who serves as the director for Middle East Studies at OU, recently pointed out that most of those nations are burdened with poverty amidst rising commodity prices and unemployed young people, and each state has its own particular circumstances.

7 February 2011

World Views: Joshua Landis Dissects Tension in Egypt

By KGOU

With tensions escalating in Egypt and the current political situation changing almost daily, Zach Messitte and Suzette Grillot interview regular panelist Joshua Landis about what the strife means for other countries in the region, and the implications for the Obama administration and American foreign policy. Landis is the director of OU’s Center for Middle East Studies, and teaches modern Middle East history and politics courses in the College of International Studies. His daily newsletter “Syria Comment” is consulted by dozens of national and international media outlets, including NPR.

Later in the program, Suzette Grillot leads a discussion on the flooding in Australia, and the themes associated with the ongoing Chinese New Year. The three International Studies professors also reflect on their school’s upgrade to College status.

Listen Here

7 February 2011

Egyptian Islamists’ reaction to Hezbollah, Iran ‘lukewarm’

By WSJ, posted on YaLibnan

“As people begin to see the geopolitical shifts this will bring, it will have a tremendous effect and will be an example everyone would want to emulate,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

7 February 2011

Will Syria come next?

GBM News

Arab precedents do no always motivate change. The trauma of collapsing into a state of anarchy similar to that of neighboring Iraq serves as a deterrent for regime change in Syria, argued Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

7 February 2011

World Views” Joshua Landis Dissects Tension in Egypt

Listen to the program here.

With tensions escalating in Egypt and the current political situation changing almost daily, Zach Messitte and Suzette Grillot interview regular panelist Joshua Landis about what the strife means for other countries in the region, and the implications for the Obama administration and American foreign policy. Landis is the director of OU’s Center for Middle East Studies, and teaches modern Middle East history and politics courses in the College of International Studies. His daily newsletter “Syria Comment” is consulted by dozens of national and international media outlets, including NPR.

Later in the program, Suzette Grillot leads a discussion on the flooding in Australia, and the themes associated with the ongoing Chinese New Year. The three International Studies professors also reflect on their school’s upgrade to College status.

7 February 2011

A New Day in the Middle East?

6 February 2011

What Does the Future Hold for Syria?

By George Saghir, Syria Comment

As for the old guard, you are too optimistic about your view that Asad can get them on board. When Landis’ in-laws demand an orderly transition to democracy, let me know. That would mean something significant has happened.

6 February 2011

Jews in Damascus Restore Synagogues as Syria Tries to Foster Secular Image

By Massoud Derhally, Bloomberg

“Assad sees the rebuilding of Jewish Damascus in the context of preserving the secularism of Syria,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

6 February 2011

How Syria dodged an Egypt-style ‘day of rage’

Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor

Joshua Landis, the author of the Syria Comment blog, said the pace of reform could affect future stability. “Syria has a growing population and life is getting harder,” he says. “This is not a situation that is endlessly sustainable.”

5 February 2011

Syria escapes ‘Day of Rage’ protesets

By Zeina Karam, AP on YAHOO! News

Joshua Landis, an American professor and Syria expert who runs a blog called Syria Comment, said Syrians are wary of rocking the boat and have been traumatized by the sectarian violence in Iraq.

5 February 2011

Middle East echoes siren call of freedom

By Paul McGeough, The Sydney Morning Hearald

Scheuer and Joshua Landis, director of the centre for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, argue the critical setback for al-Qaeda in the region was the bloodthirstiness of its leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose Sunni-orchestrated mass murder of Shiite Muslims during the insurgency wars in Iraq was, according to Scheuer, the most serious post-9/11 strategic threat to al-Qaeda, which was ”all but mortally wounded” by it.

5 February 2011

Will protests in Syria come next?

By David Miller, The Jerusalem Post

Arab precedents do no always motivate change. The trauma of collapsing into a state of anarchy similar to that of neighboring Iraq serves as a deterrent for regime change in Syria, argued Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

5 February 2011

Al-Qaeda lost on the Arab street

By Paul McGeough, The Sydney Morning Herald

Commenting on the absence of the usual American flag-burning and Israel-taunting by the protesters and any Islamist ugliness, Joshua Landis, the director of the centre for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, told the Herald: ”It is the regimes that are the scary face – the violence of the Mubarak thugs is a reminder of what the people have to put up with.”

4 February 2011

Egypt’s “Day of Departure;” Proof Internet Feeds Into Gullability?

Hosted by Don Lemon, CNN

In the meantime, what does the Egypt uprising mean to its Arab neighbors and the rest of us around the world? Really, for that, we turn to an expert. His name is Joshua Landis. He is the director for Middle East studies at Oklahoma University (sic).

4 February 2011

Assessing Syria: Desire for Change?

By Joshua Landis and Munif Atassi, The Take Away

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma says if protesters do show up, we’re likely to see a very different story in Syria. And Syrian Americans, like Munif Atassi, the president of the Syran American Club in Washington, D.C. are skeptical the movement will get off the ground.

3 February 2011

Beyond Egypt

By Ross Reynolds, KUOW.org

The uprising in Egypt could have profound effects on other Mideast countries and the region as a whole. A conversation looking at the ripple effect on nations like Yemen and Syria with Barbara Bodine, Ellis Goldberg, and Joshua Landis.

Listen to the conversation now.

2 February 2011

U.S. Interests in Peril as Youth Rebel, Leaders Quit in Mideast

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Glen Carey and Massoud A. Derhally, Bloomberg

“He has promised political reforms in the past,” Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said of Assad. “The hard truth is that Syria has a rapidly growing population, a bad education system, too little water — and world food prices are going up rapidly.”

2 February 2011

How leaders of Bahrain, Jordan, Syria and Yemen plan to keep control

By Scheherezade Faramarzi, The Globe and Mail

Bahrain, a tiny island in the Persian Gulf, has had its own share of Shia unrest. The Muslim sect is the majority in a country ruled by the Sunni Muslim minority. The King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is a Sunni, and the Sunnis lost control of parliament last October.

The smallest economy in the area and a fledgling democracy, Bahrain doesn’t boast the oil wealth of many of its neighbours and has instead moved to diversify its economy by investing heavily in education and creating an unemployment safety net, the only one in the region.

2 February 2011

Mubarak’s Exit to Upend U.S. Policy in Arab World

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Glen Carey and Massoud A. Derhally, Bloomsberg

“He has promised political reforms in the past,” Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said of Assad. “The hard truth is that Syria has a rapidly growing population, a bad education system, too little water — and world food prices are going up rapidly.”

2 February 2011

Gordon Campbell on Mubarak’s divide and rule tactics

By Gordon Campbell, Scoop

As Syria expert Joshua Landis has indicated, even tyrants face the same basic problem in the Middle East as democrats – that of feeding their restive and growing populations:
The economic situation for the bottom 50% of most Middle Easterners is going to get worse in the future due to rising commodity prices, inflation, and scarce resources. To stay in power, governments presiding over a large percentage of poor will have to become more repressive or find a way to increase economic growth.

2 February 2011

The revolutionary remaking of the Middle East

By Elizabeth Delaney, examiner.com

As for Syria, Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahomatold www.cnsnews.com on Tuesday that, “Syrian authorities are excited by the prospect of regime change in Egypt,” and that, “In terms of geopolitics, the collapse of American allies in the region holds out many opportunities for Syria and the promise of improved prospects that Israel will take a new look at renewing peace talks with Israel.”

21 January 2011

Noted author Graham E. Fuller to address Middle East issues

By Sarah Martin, The Oklahoma Daily

Fuller’s talk will provide students insight into the war on terror, said Joshua Landis, The Center for Middle East Studies director.
“The U.S. has spent well over a trillion dollars on the war on terror, and Graham Fuller will tell why much of that money has been misspent,” Landis said.

21 January 2011

Lebanon crisis a test for the US

By Antoun Issa, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

American scholar and expert on Syria Joshua Landis accurately writes that “President Obama finds himself trapped in a Lebanese civil war that President Bush reignited and that he cannot win”.

18 January 2011

Tunisia: Not a Jasmine Revolution, not a twitter revolution but an….

By Dan Murphy, The Christian Science Monitor

I’ve been wondering who first said “Jasmine Revolution” with regards to the popular uprising in Tunisia… did some digging. The term’s been used before. A commenter on Josh Landis’ Syria Comment blog spoke about a Syrian Jasmine Revolution in 2005.

18 January 2011

Report: Syria would suppress a Tunisia-like revolt

World Tribune

“Syria is unlikely to follow along the path of Tunisia toward popular revolution,” Joshua Landis, a U.S. professor, said in an analysis. “The Syrian intelligence and military forces will shoot and stand by the president.”

16 January 2011

First U.S. ambassador to Syria in 5 years arrives in Damascus

Associated Press article Haaretz.com

“Intelligence sharing is the most promising overlap in U.S.-Syrian relations,” said Joshua Landis, an American professor and Syria expert. He noted that like Washington, Syria’s secular regime is against al-Qaida and “takfiri” Islamists, referring to an ideology that urges Sunni Muslims to kill anyone they consider an infidel.

16 January 2011

Coast to Coast

By Dania Akkad Syria Today

That year, Assad became the first Syrian head of state to make an official visit to Turkey. In light of the strained relationship with the US, the president’s time in Turkey sparked the idea for the Five Seas partnership, said Joshua Landis, Syria expert and director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

13 January 2011

Lebanese Government Collapse Adds to Obama Problems

IPS

“Lebanon is once again falling victim to the regional tug of war between the U.S., Israel and their allies on the one hand, and Syria, Hizbullah and Iran on the other,” wrote Joshua Landis, a regional expert at the University of Oklahoma on his widely read blog.

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