Posted by Joshua on Sunday, June 17th, 2007
"If America thinks it can fight us from Iraq and Lebanon, it will fail. They are not nations. They are quicksand. Syria is strong; it has a government. and must hold firm because time is on its side. America will sink and be eaten." This was what Syrian officials told me in 2005 when their government was under great strain, having just pulled out of Lebanon.
It was the highpoint of US strength vis-a-vis Syria. The first UN report investigating the murder of Rafiq Hariri had just be published, implicating Syria. Most American analysts were predicting that the Syrian regime was on its last legs and would crack within months. Some officials suggested there would be a coup; others believed that Assad would make a Qadhafi-like about-face to save himself.
It was hard to square the contradictory perceptions of the region's condition. Syrian officials believed Bush did not understand Middle East realities. Westerners insisted that Bashar did not understand the "new reality." Syrians gambled that the US position in Lebanon would collapse as surely as Israel's in 1982, following the invasion of Lebanon. The Middle East remained a place divided by sect and ethnicity, unprepared for democracy, the Syrian regime concluded. The US believed this Syrian assessment was merely self-serving. The regime was a house of cards. It would collapse when confronted by international pressure and the weight of US and Israeli military superiority in the region. Washington concluded that a new Middle East was aborning. 1982 was long in the past. The Cedar revolution had given a fresh foundation to Lebanese politics and created a national platform which could sustain US ambitions to transform the region and pressure Syria. Anyway, Americans insisted, the US would never make the mistake President Reagan had committed in 1983 when he withdrew US marines from Lebanon after the barracks' bombing. America had new will, new might, and clarity of leadership.
Today, it looks as if the Syrians were correct in their regional analysis. Robin Wright uses the quicksand analogy in her article, quoting Ellen Leipson that the present situation is “close to a nightmare for the administration.” It is a "morass" that "just gets deeper," she explains.
Nothing is ever so simple, however. The US may rally and find a way to breathe new life into the PLO if the PLO can capture the West Bank. Israel and Washington should be chastened to the point that they will turn on the money spigot in a meaningful way. If they can flood the West Bank with enough dollars to make a difference, the US position will be retrieved momentarily. Of course, such a rally, cannot be sustained, for the US and Israel are in no mood to make meaningful political concessions to any Palestinian leadership.
Lebanon accuses Syria of assassinating another member of parliament, which may or may not be true. It follows on Lebanese accusations that Syria is the mastermind of Fatah al-Islam. This last accusation is less plausible. Syria authorities cannot be displeased that the Palestinian situation is blowing up in March 14 hands, but much of the problem is of Lebanese making. Keeping the Palestinians in camps, forbidding them to hold jobs in the official Lebanese economy, and restricting their educational possibilities has produced an subculture of despair.
The Lebanese government has neglected to police people coming into the country, allowing jihadists to collect in the camp, many coming from Saudi Arabia. The SITE Institute has an excellent overview – “The Rise of Fatah al-Islam.” It ties the organization to Saudis and suggests that much of the leadership and recruitment was put together by the Jihadi community, which has no connection to Syria. The jihadists have explained that their strategy is to spark conflict between Syria and Lebanon in an effort to weaken both governments, leaving a void into which they can expand. A number of the commentators on this site even speculate that Islamists may be behind much of the past violence in Lebanon. There is no way to know whether this is true, but it cannot be dismissed.
I am copying two articles below, one by Robin Wright and another by Ellen Knickmeyer, both of which explain how US policy is floundering. The Knickmeyer article explores the extent to which Saad Hariri has backed Salafists in Lebanon, thus permitting an environment in which Jihadists have had free rein. Accusations that the Future Movement or the US have supported Fatah Islam are not credible without proof. So too are the accusations that Syria is secretly running the organization. The notion that Syria has done a lousy job of stopping jihadists from traveling to Lebanon across its borders does not mean that it runs the organization or has played a role in organizing it. Every country has done a lousy job of stopping jihadists from traveling to Lebanon, including Lebanon's allies, such as Saudi Arabia. The blame for the number of foreign nationals who have joined Lebanese and Palestinian residents in the Jihadi community in Lebanon must ultimately be shouldered by Lebanon's immigration and security services. Getting full control over these services and reforming them has not been easy. Eventually, Lebanon will have to rescind the 1969 Rabat Agreement that guaranteed Palestinian immunity in the camps, just it will have to come to agreement with Hizbullah.
The French invitation to Hizbullah to come to Paris may provide a new opening for such an agreement. Let's hope the US does not try to pop this trial balloon and instead welcomes it. Sarkozy has positioned France well to become a mediator. By embracing Israel and at the same time claiming that he wants to engage Hizbullah and Syria, he is opening a new chapter.
For U.S. and Key Allies in Region, Mideast Morass Just Gets Deeper
By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 17, 2007; Page A16
The Middle East is in flames. Over the past week, war erupted among the Palestinians and their government collapsed. A Shiite shrine in Iraq was bombed — again — as the new U.S. military strategy showed no sign of diminishing violence. Lebanon battled a new al-Qaeda faction in the north as a leading politician was assassinated in Beirut. And Egyptian elections were marred by irregularities, including police obstructing voters, in a serious setback to democracy efforts.
U.S. policy in the region isn’t faring much better, say Middle East and U.S. analysts.
“It’s close to a nightmare for the administration,” Ellen Laipson, president of the Henry L. Stimson Center and former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, said in an interview from Dubai. “They can’t catch their breath. . . . It makes Condi Rice’s last year as secretary of state very daunting. What are the odds she can get virtually anything back on track?”
Each flash point has its own dynamics, but a common denominator is that leaders in each country — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — are each pivotal U.S. allies.
“The people we rely on the most to help are under siege, just as we are,” said Bruce Riedel, a Brookings Institution fellow and former National Security Council staffer. “Three of the four leaders may either not make it [politically] through the end of the summer or find themselves irrelevant by then.”
The broad danger is a breakdown of the traditional states and conflicts that have defined Middle East politics since the 1970s, said Paul Salem of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Beirut office. An increasing number of places — Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories — now have rival claimants to power, backed by their own militaries.
Also, once divided by the Arab-Israeli conflict, the region is now the battleground for three other rivalries: the United States and its allies pitted against an Iran-Syria alliance in a proxy war regionwide, secular governments confronted by rising al-Qaeda extremism, and autocratic governments reverting to draconian tactics to quash grass-roots movements vying for democratic change.
Extremists are scoring the most points. “Gaza is the latest evidence that most of the trends are pointed in the wrong direction. It’s yet another gain for radical forces. It’s another gain for Iran. It’s another setback for the U.S., Israel and the Sunni regimes,” said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and State Department policy planning chief during President Bush’s first term. “The United States has not shown that moderation pays or will accomplish more than violence.”
A second danger is that conflicts now overlap. “You can’t look at Lebanon or Iraq or the Palestinians or Syria or Iran and try to deal with them separately anymore. You could have 10 years ago. Now they are politically and structurally linked,” said Rami Khouri of the American University of Beirut.
Khouri said the United States deserves a good share of the blame for a confluence of disasters spawning pessimism and anger across the region.
On the Palestinian breakdown, he said, “It’s hard to know who appears more ludicrous . . . the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas leaderships allowing their gunmen to fight it out on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, or an American administration saying it supports the ‘moderates’ in Palestine who want to negotiate peace with Israel.”
U.S. officials counter that the Palestinians have demonstrated a sense of national identity and are not likely to want to split the West Bank and Gaza. Because the West Bank is the center of the conflict with Israel, a peace process remains viable, they say.
In Iraq, the second attack on Samarra’s mosque and the failure of the Baghdad security plan to lessen the death toll shows that U.S. influence and power is slipping away, Laipson said.
“The best that we can hope for is that, come autumn, the administration will be able to persuade Congress to support a much-reduced U.S. presence and avoid simply pulling out,” Haass added. “If we can do that, it will at least give the Iraqis more time to try to discover a national political identity and reduce the chance that Iraq will be seen simply as an American foreign policy disaster.”
In Lebanon, a beleaguered government faces a triple threat. The Army entered the fifth week of fighting a few hundred Fatah al-Islam extremists, who held out in a Palestinian refugee camp despite a U.S. infusion of arms and ammunition. The car-bomb killing of anti-Syria parliamentarian Walid Eido has deepened fears that Syria is seeking to reassert control after its 2005 withdrawal. Hezbollah is still blockading Siniora’s government — both politically and physically.
“What’s consistent about all three is wanting to get rid of the Siniora government. It’s not coordinated, but it will stretch the government to its limits,” Riedel said.
U.S. officials counter that Siniora has proven surprisingly resilient, despite Syrian attempts to restore its control. In Egypt, the detention of hundreds of activists, including candidates for parliament’s upper house, reflects the deteriorating state of democracy efforts. “Arab regimes are regrouping now that the U.S. push for democracy seems to have come to an end,” said the Carnegie Endowment’s Salem.
But even former Bush administration officials blame Washington for the region’s latest woes. “The U.S. bears responsibility, both for things it’s done, particularly in Iraq, but also for things it’s not done, which is where the peace process comes in,” Haass said. “The president never developed his idea of a Palestinian state. He never used his leverage to help Egypt get launched on a trajectory of greater openness.”
The United States finds itself active in more Middle East theaters than ever but with less ability to influence events, said Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group. “It is very much now manipulated in places that it once thought it could manipulate.”
Radical Group Pulls In Sunnis As Lebanon's Muslims Polarize
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, June 17, 2007; A16
TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Surrounded in the first hours of their battle with Lebanese forces in this northern Lebanese city, fighters of the Fatah al-Islam group shouted desperately from the windows of their hideouts. "God is great!" one resident, housewife Aziza Ahmed, recalled the fighters yelling. "Come be holy warriors with us!"
Mohammed al-Jasm, a 28-year-old unemployed Lebanese Sunni, received his summons by cellphone on May 20, his family believes.
Chunky and unmarried, twice-failed in shopkeeping ventures and increasingly prone to spending his idle hours with fundamentalist friends, Jasm took his gun and rallied to the Sunni group, his brothers said.
He soon made a forlorn cellphone call to his mother: I'm wounded, he told her.
Within hours, Jasm was dead, his body gouged by bullets, his jowly, bearded face pressed into the filthy street. A sister keeps an image of his body captured on a cellphone camera.
To his family, Jasm and a handful of other young Lebanese Sunnis who responded to Fatah al-Islam's appeals died hapless recruits in a conflict that leaders on all sides are promoting between the Muslim world's Sunni majority and Shiite minority.
In Lebanon, the polarization is felt ever more keenly. A governing bloc led by the Sunni-dominated Future Movement of parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is locked in an eight-month-old standoff with the Shiite movement Hezbollah, led by Hasan Nasrallah and backed by Iran and Syria. Both sides are arming.
In January, Siniora's administration received pledges of $7.6 billion from the United States, Europe and Persian Gulf states, including millions of dollars in military aid. The Bush administration is trying to strengthen Sunni countries it considers moderate, among them Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to counter Shiite entities such as Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.
In Tripoli, residents say they have watched the expansion of groups dedicated to the more strident forms of Sunnism, especially since Hezbollah's war with Israel last year. This growth includes politicking by leaders of the Salafi sect, a fundamentalist stream of Sunni Islam that traditionally rejects politics as an impious Western concept.
At the same time, prominent figures in the Salafi community here have served as intermediaries between their flock and Hariri. In the mosques, "our preachers call upon the people to become part of the political process," said Daii al-Islam al-Shahal, a member of a prominent Salafi family in Tripoli and founder of a group he describes as dedicated to charity, education and preaching.
"There's a relationship between ourselves and Sheik Saad when it's needed," Shahal said. "The biggest Sunni political power is Hariri. The biggest Sunni religious power are the Salafis. So it's natural."
Hariri denies that promoting Sunni political power trickles down to support for armed groups. "We sponsor culture and education, not terrorism," he said in an interview in Beirut. "I am the son of Rafiq al-Hariri — we never had blood on our hands and we never will."
"I am concerned about Iranian intervention in the affairs of other countries," Hariri added. "But that doesn't mean that we will sponsor Sunni radicalism. Radicalism is not the answer."
The U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have fed Sunni militancy, and U.S. and European leaders are inciting it anew in the building confrontation with Iran and Hezbollah, said Alistair Crooke, former Middle East adviser under European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
With U.S. and European governments encouraging the alignment of Sunnis against Shiites, "it should not be surprising that in November a group of Salafis could think it would be important to come to Lebanon to defend their Sunni people against a growing threat," Crooke said. Fatah al-Islam was founded by Shaker al-Abssi, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, who arrived in northern Lebanon late last year after serving a prison sentence in Syria.
Abssi reportedly embraces the ideology of Osama bin Laden and seeks to promote Islamic fundamentalism among Palestinians in Lebanon before eventually attacking Israel.
Mustafa al-Jasm, Mohammed's 40-year-old brother, said the younger man was drawn to Fatah al-Islam by the heated rhetoric accompanying the sectarian divide in the region. Some clerics, he said, "are telling Sunnis, 'You have nothing to do here. You might as well go fight Iran, for our Sunni brothers there.' "
"Saad Hariri and all of his Future Movement, the only sect they have in their hand is the Sunnis, and they used religious speech to pump them up," said Mustafa, a bookkeeper in an auto repair shop here. "The tension built, like a bomb waiting to explode. And my brother was part of that."
Across the bare, uncarpeted living room, one of three shared by the 14-member family, Mohammed's 19-year-old brother, Taya, agreed, unsmiling.
"I put the blame on Saad Hariri and Nasrallah — this is how they have spread their quarrel to the people," said Taya, who wore a polo shirt and baseball cap rather than the beard and checkered kaffiyeh scarf favored by his dead brother.
In another tenement in the same neighborhood of al-Tabineh, the father of a 26-year-old man killed by Lebanese forces in the first week of fighting with Fatah al-Islam insisted there be no such blame in a time of crisis for his sect.
"Shut up!" Riad Mohammed roared, raising the back of his hand, when the slain youth's kerchiefed grandmother ventured a quiet rebuke of Saad Hariri.
"The Sunni people must stand together now," the father insisted.
The short trip up the narrow concrete steps to their apartment made clear what the family looked for in a leader. Their son's thickly bearded face was first, scowling from a photocopied sheet declaring him a martyr. An image of Saad Hariri and Siniora followed, next to a poster of Saddam Hussein with sunlit clouds surrounding his head. "God bless Osama bin Laden," someone had scrawled one flight up.
After sectarian strife in Tripoli earlier this year unrelated to the clashes between Lebanese forces and Fatah al-Islam, Hariri and his political allies rewarded Sunnis who had fought and honored the families of those who had died. Such patronage has long been a part of Lebanon's largely feudal system of clan loyalty.
Abed al-Rahman al-Helo, 30, the owner of an electrical shop in al-Tabineh, was one such fighter. In January, rival demonstrators shot him through the chest in a street battle between Sunnis and minority Allawites, members of a mostly Syrian sect that is doctrinally close to Shiism. The fighting in Tripoli was sparked in part by Shiite-Sunni clashes in Beirut at the same time that left four people dead.
Two lawmakers from Hariri's Future Movement visited Helo in the hospital, he said.
"They were telling me, 'Don't be afraid. We're proud of you. We have our heads up high because of you,' " Helo said.
The Lebanese government paid 80 percent of his hospital bill and Future took care of the rest, he said, but added that he had refused the $200 Hariri's bloc offered for his pharmacy bills, deeming it insultingly low.
Relatives of Bilal al-Hayek, a 28-year-old tow-truck driver shot dead in the same clash, said they had received $5,400 in separate payments from a Future Movement official in Tripoli.
After Hayek's funeral, Hariri summoned the family to Beirut, said Nazha and Fatima, the dead man's sisters. Hariri received them with ceremony, telling them that Hayek and the others killed in the sectarian brawl were "brothers and martyrs," the sisters said.
But the violence sparked by the more radical Fatah al-Islam group seems to have made Sunni leaders more cautious.
Mustafa al-Jasm said none of the families of those who died alongside Fatah al-Islam had received any support from Hariri or other Sunni politicians.
Special correspondent Alia Ibrahim contributed to this report.
Arab League states split on support for Abbas over Hamas
By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies
The Arab League member states found themselves divided Saturday over their response to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and the crisis in the Palestinian Authority.
Syrian sources told an Arabic language newspaper that Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, fired by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah following the Hamas action in Gaza, had been democratically elected.
The sources emphasized that Syria supports both "factions of the Palestinian government – that of Fatah and that of Hamas."
Israel and the West have announced full support for Abbas, as have Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia
Where is Olmert's Seriousness about Peace? Tishreen, June 11, 2007
On June 11, the state-controlled daily Teshreen carried an article by Ahmad Suwwan who said: "Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "I realize that any peace agreement with Syria will force me to return the Golan Heights to the Syrian sovereignty, and I am ready to shoulder my responsibilities to establish peace between us."
“This is what Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot quoted Olmert as saying. If this really is Olmert's position, why doesn't he implement, or at least announce his readiness and commitment to implement, the resolutions and principles that constitute the terms of reference for the achievement of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region, beginning with a clear and public announcement of readiness for full withdrawal from the Golan in return for a just, lasting, and genuine peace based on the land-for-peace principle?
“Not only had Olmert refused to discuss the return of the Golan to the motherland, Syria, but he also asked his ministers – in what he described as instructions and orders – not to talk about initiatives to revive the peace process on the Syrian track! We will not discuss the timing of Olmert's new position, but we would like to ask an important question: Is it true that Israel is ready and qualified to resume the negotiations and revive the peace process? And is it true that Olmert can captain the peace ship on the Israeli side?…
Syria was always ready for the revival and activation of the peace process from where it left off. Syria sees in peace a strategic objective because peace helps it regain its land, rights, and people in the occupied Arab Golan. Syria, therefore, rejects negotiation for the sake of negotiation.
“For Syria, negotiation is a means to achieve the objective of peace; namely, the end of the occupation and the restoration of the Golan. Syria also rejects secret or out-of-the-spotlight negotiations because peace is a sacred and honorable thing and Syria does not fear or feel ashamed to negotiate before the eyes of its people and the world public and all circles, organizations, and countries. Syria used every opportunity to call and appeal for the achievement of peace on the basis of right and justice. This is something that cannot be hidden or covered.
“So the Israeli worn-out tune about "direct or indirect" secret negotiations is fabricated by Israel, and sometimes by the United States, or by both of them to suggest that there is a deal on peace. Syria totally rejects this because peace needs no deals as much as it needs a courageous political will.
"Facts and information indicate that such a will is not available to the Israeli leadership, as it was not available to any of the governments that came after Rabin's announcement in 1996 that he pledged to US President Clinton to fully withdraw from the Golan. Since then the peace process on the Syrian track has been moving in a vicious circle.” – Teshreen, Syria
Are Outside Actors Funding Sunni Islamist Groups in Lebanon's Camps? (Anrew Exum writing for Jamestown Foundation)
When fighting broke out between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Sunni Islamist militant group Fatah al-Islam on May 20, the main concern was that the fighting would somehow spread from the Nahr al-Barid refugee camp north of Tripoli to other Palestinian camps across Lebanon. Many reasoned that if the LAF was unable to defeat Fatah al-Islam without incurring mass civilian casualties, refugees and militant groups in the other camps might rise up and attack the LAF in response. On June 3, those fears were realized as militants from the Jund al-Sham group, claiming allegiance to Fatah al-Islam, began exchanging gunfire with the LAF in and around the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp outside Sidon. Although the fighting there has abated after the establishment of an uneasy truce, further conflict is likely to ensue. The armed militant groups in the Ain al-Helweh camp and elsewhere represent a serious threat to stability in Lebanon and the broader region. Even more ominously, these groups appear to be armed and manipulated by external sponsors for their own ends.
Over 200,000 Palestinians registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East live in 12 camps spread throughout Lebanon, the largest of which are Nahr al-Barid (30,439 refugees) and Ain al-Helweh (45,004). The first stirrings of jihadi ideologies in the camps originated with the second Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 (Bernard Rougier's Everyday Jihad is the best source on the history of Islamist extremism in the Palestinian refugee camps). Since then, Islamist splinter groups have lived in uneasy co-existence with the official Palestinian authorities in the camps, who themselves have been more or less lawless since the withdrawal of Syrian military intelligence in 2005.
Whereas Fatah al-Islam is the best known Islamist group in the Nahr al-Barid camp, in Ain al-Helweh that distinction belongs to Usbat al-Ansar, the rejectionist organization from which the even more radical Jund al-Sham group splintered in 2002. This past week, Usbat al-Ansar was one of the four armed Palestinian groups which contributed to the 40-man "peacekeeping" force deployed in Ain al-Helweh to help keep order (Daily Star, June 7; L'Orient-Le Jour [Beirut], June 7). This, notes French expert Bernard Rougier, is one of the ironies of Usbat al-Ansar: despite being a group dedicated to the destruction of the Arab political order, they clearly have an interest in maintaining the status quo within Ain al-Helweh (Le Monde, June 6).
Since the emergence of Fatah al-Islam as an armed jihadi threat earlier this spring, Lebanon's Sunni-led March 14 coalition has been forced to answer charges from the Hezbollah-led opposition and others that it—as well as its Saudi and Jordanian allies—has been funding Sunni Islamist groups like Fatah al-Islam in an effort to counter the strength of Hezbollah's weapons and manpower. Links between Fatah al-Islam and the Syrian regime that emerged following the recent clashes made those accusations easier to counter; with respect to the armed groups in Ain al-Helweh, however, the accusations have been both more frequent and harder to disprove. Bahia al-Hariri, sister to the slain prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri and the March 14 minister of parliament for Sidon, has been forced to defend against charges that she and her allies have supported Jund al-Sham (Daily Star, June 7; an-Nahar [Beirut], June 5). A piece of evidence surfaced, however, showing that $100,000 was paid this last week to Jund al-Sham by the Palestinian Liberation Organization with money received from Bahia al-Hariri (Daily Star, June 7). This money was allegedly given as compensation for the dislocated families of Jund al-Sham members, but it may have been part of a wider peace deal. In the end, it is unclear how much money and support is currently allotted to these Palestinian militant groups and from whom. Jordanian, Saudi and Syrian sources are all suspected to be supporting militant groups in the camps, as are parties within Lebanon. All of these actors have used proxies to fight their rivalries.
Lebanese sometimes describe their civil war of 1975-1990 as "the war of the others" because copious groups and states outside Lebanon contributed to the violence. The phrase "of the others" suggests that the Lebanese themselves were not at fault, when in fact the author of the original phrase, Lebanese journalist Ghassan Tueni, had written of "a war for the others." The Lebanese, he argued, were responsible for allowing their country to become a battlefield for outside interests. If the fighting in the Palestinian camps between the LAF and militant groups continues apace or intensifies, the Lebanese themselves will again play a role in this deepening spiral of violence.
Andrew Exum is a Soref fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, focusing on contemporary Middle Eastern insurgencies and counter-insurgency strategies. He served in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2004 and lived in Beirut until recently.
Several new publications focus on Syria:
- The 2007 Syrian parliamentary elections witnessed several violations of basic electoral standards, including fraud, the banning of electoral programs, and government domination of state-owned media, according to two reports in Arabic by the Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Studies, and Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (May 28, 2007).
- Eyal Zisser's Commanding Syria: Bashar al-Asad and the First Years in Power evaluates Bashar's continuing hold on power following Syria's retreat from Lebanon in spring 2005, the effectiveness of Bashar's attempt to move away from his father's shadow, and the prospects for reform (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007).
- For the Syrian regime to survive, it needs radicalism, control over Lebanon, regional instability, and anti-Americanism, argues Barry Rubin in The Truth About Syria (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).