Landis in the News 2006 - Syria Comment

Landis in the News 2006


Fox News TV: Dec. 30, 2006.

Secret US plan to overthrow Syrian gov’t – Report Dec. 21, 2006

22 December 2006
Secret U.S. Plan to Overthrow Syrian Gov’t — Report
By Aljazeera.com

… US invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” says Joshua Landis, a Syria …

21 December 2006
Report: US looking to topple Assad
By Yitzhak Benhorin, Ynetnews

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who is co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma told TIME that the proposal “is really just an attempt to pressure the Syrian government” into doing what the US wants.

19 December 2006
Syria in Bush’s Crosshairs
By Adam Zagorin, Time

Others detect another goal for the proposed policy. “Ever since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” notes Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who is co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Syria has appeared to be next on the Administration’s agenda to reform the greater Middle East.” Landis adds: “This is apparently an effort to gin up the Syrian opposition under the rubric of ‘democracy promotion’ and ‘election monitoring,’ but it’s really just an attempt to pressure the Syrian government” into doing what the U.S. wants. That would include blocking Syria’s border with Iraq so insurgents do not cross into Iraq to kill U.S. troops; ending funding of Hizballah and interference in Lebanese politics; and cooperating with the U.N. in the investigation of the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Senior Syrian government officials are considered prime suspects in Hariri case.

16 December 2006
Should Bush talk to Syria?
By Adla Massoud, Aljazeera

But Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma , believes the Bush administration will simply not budge on the issue. A senior Fulbright scholar in Syria in 2005 and operator of a Website called SyriaComment.com, Landis says the current view among the neoconservatives in Washington is that Syria is ruled by an “evil” dictatorship.

12 December 2006
Go-it-alone strategy a gamble that failed
By Alan Freeman, Globe and Mail

…In 2003, going into Iraq, the U.S. made this massive gamble that the Middle East was ready for the fourth wave of democracy,” like Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, said Joshua Landis, co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

The theory was that by toppling Saddam Hussein, populations in Iraq’s neighbours, such as Syria, would rise up and overthrow their dictatorial regimes as well. The gamble clearly failed. But the Middle East, with its ethnic and tribal divisions, was not ready to embrace democracy — “The nation state in the Middle East is not fully cooked,” Mr. Landis said…

26 November 2006
Lebanon: regional dynamics and internal tensions
By Leo Brincat, Times of Malta

… According to an American expert, Joshua Landis, the drawn-out Iraq conflict has fed an image of declining US influence in Lebanon, and this has led Hizbollah to try to weaken, if not overthrow, the Siniora government. US power in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion enabled it to pry Lebanon away from Syria’s sphere of influence, but now as America’s authority starts to drain out of the region because of the Iraq debacle, Syria and its allies in Lebanon are trying to capitalise on a weakened America…

17 November 2006
The Case For Engaging Syria,”
By Joshua Landis, Brookings

Regarding the Syrian-Iranian alliance, Abdulhamid said that Iran has for some time cultivated deep and complex relationships with different members of the al-Asad family and that Iran serves as Syria’s only committed ally in the region, making it difficult to separate Damascus from Tehran. In addition, Abdulhamid claimed that, without cooperation from Iran, Syria’s influence over Hizballah could be significantly reduced. Landis countered that Iran’s and Syria’s interests are not synonymous, and diverge particularly when it comes to the issue of Iraq. He argued that the Shi’ah Arabs in the south of Iraq identify more strongly with Iran, whereas most of the Sunni Arabs in Iraq’s al-Anbar province identify with Syria and have begun sending their family members there for education and healthcare. This example, he suggested, indicated a genuine possibility for driving a wedge between Syria and Iran on an issue key to U.S. interests.

22 November 2006
Lebanon Struggles to Maintain Stability After Assassination
By Jim Lehrer, PBS News Hour

… Joshua Landis suggests both sides playing hands where the United States doesn’t hold very many good cards, doesn’t have very many good …

6 November 2006
Gemayel’s Killing Hits US Mideast Policy
By Agence France Press

An early casualty may be the idea of dialogue with U.S. foes Damascus and Tehran expected to be mooted soon by a commission co-chaired by former secretary of state James Baker probing new strategy for Iraq.

“It is going to be much harder,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Lebanon “certainly was the sort of crown jewel in the administration’s Middle East portfolio, but they are going to have to regroup,” said Schenker who served Bush as a Pentagon Middle East advisor.

Bilal Saab said the failure of the Saniora government would be a “setback for the Bush administration.”

“The Americans believe that this government is capable of advancing U.S. interests — the flourishing of democracy in the region — and they see Lebanon an example of democracy taking its way,” he said.
Landis was blunter. “Lebanon is the last success story. If it falls, it is the end,” he said. “The U.S. is going to use Lebanon as a battering ram,” against Syria and Iran, Landis said. Syria meanwhile, “feels the tide is running out on America’s imperial authority in the Middle East.”(AFP)
International Herald Tribune, By Sally Buzbee,
… since. “In some ways you can read this as upping the ante,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. Most …
Khaleej Times – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
… “It is going to be much harder,” said Joshua Landis…
Voice of America – USA, By Gary Thomas, 22 November 2006
… Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says Gemayel’s killing could have been done by …
San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA
Washington’s in paralysis. They don’t know what their policy will be,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. Given the fears that Iraq may collapse into complete chaos, said Landis, “Iraq and the neighbors cannot afford to wait two, three, four months for Washington to figure out who’s on first, who’s on second and what their Iraq policy is. So they’re driving the situation right now.”

While it’s unlikely the White House is prepared to begin those talks without preconditions, such as Iran abandoning its nuclear program or Syria doing more to secure its borders, some analysts warn that America stands to lose even more if it simply stands by while Iran and Syria sit down with Iraq to discuss that tattered nation’s future.

“You don’t want that. America wants to be leading this policy and working together with these people,” he said. “If this meeting doesn’t happen, the next one will, unless America gets on the phone and talks to both of these capitals and says we’re going to work something out with you.”

Envisioning US Talks With Iran and Syria, Nov. 19, 2006
New York Times, Michael Slackman,

… “Syria is quite realistic, if proud and stubborn,” said Joshua Landis, an assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.“It will accept serious American offers and insist that the problems be dealt with comprehensively.”

Curbing the Crisis in Lebanon, 17 November 2006
Voice of America,

… Cooperating with the United States also carries dangers. “Syria and Iran both believe that the U.S. is tilting at windmills and will not lend their leverage to a venture which they see as doomed,” said Joshua Landis, a University of Oklahoma specialist who recently spent a year as a Fulbright scholar in Damascus….

Will Syria change its tune? Nov. 7, 2006
Edmond Sun – OK,USA

… One of the most knowledgeable people regarding Syria is Professor Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, who serves as co-director of the Center For …

Landis: Iraq War Sapping US Influence in Lebanon

Nov. 3, 2006
Council on Foreign Relations – New York,New York,USA
Interviewee:
Joshua Landis, Co-director, Center of Peace Studies, University of Oklahoma
Interviewer:
Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor

Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and Lebanon, says the drawn-out Iraq conflict has fed an image of declining US influence in Lebanon, and this has led …

BBC World News
November 1, 2006

Landisinterviewed with Imad Mustapha, Syrian Ambassador in Washington and Advisor to Lebanese Prime Minister about US accusation of a Syrian plot to destabilize Lebanon’s democratic government. Listen here.
Speaking with the enemy Oct 24, 2006
Asia Times Online – Kowloon,Hong Kong

… But there remains an obstinate, if misguided, logic to US policy, as summarized by Syria expert Dr Joshua Landis: “The resistance to opening the door to …

David Brooks (Mis)Uses Israeli History to Involve the US in a October 6, 2006
New York Observer – New York,NY,USA by Philip Weiss

… One of the most creative thinkers about the Middle East, Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, makes the point that many states in the Middle East …

Let’s Make a Deal: It’s time to talk to Syria. Sept. 15, 2006
Slate By Fred Kaplan

… “Joshua Landis,” whose blog, Syria Comment, is the most informative clearinghouse of analysis on the country, thinks that Assad wants better relations with the United States; that he turned to Iran in part because he needed to turn somewhere and had no alternative…

Wisconson Public Radio interview: Listen to interview

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM. Four men attacked the U.S. Embassy in Syria on Tuesday, killing one and wounding thirteen.

Kathleen Dunn and her guest examine what this says about the U.S. being targeted overseas.

Guest: – Joshua M. Landis, co-director, Center for Peace Studies, International Programs Center. Assistant professor of Middle Eastern studies, School of International and Area

Attack on US embassy foiled Sept 13, 2006

Globe and Mail – Canada

… The Syrian regime will be “deeply embarrassed” by the attack and hugely relieved that it was thwarted, said Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria who recently …

Council on Foreign Relations – New York,New York,USA

… a national dialogue between political leaders failed in the spring, the country’s leadership just stopped working, says Joshua M. Landis, assistant professor …

BBC Newshour (begins at 14:25 min) September 1, 2006

BBC World News Tonight: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio4/aod.shtml?radio4/worldtonight_fri active for a week

The Fight Over Iraq September 5, 2006 Council on Foreign Relations

… Syria, as Joshua Landistells Gwertzman, has forged a new dialogue and repaired relations after two decades of mutual distrust. …

BBC’s The World Today Sept 12, 2006 BBC Link

Syria seen as linchpin in Lebanon

San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA

… Syria “is the doorman, and it gives Hezbollah diplomatic cover in the region,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. …

Syria, Traditional Refuge for Displaced Arabs, Is Strained by …

New York Times – United States

… But Joshua Landis, an expert on Syrian history at the University of Oklahoma, said he expected Syria to remain the last refuge for citizens of other Arab …

What drives Hezbollah?

Minnesota Public Radio – Saint Paul, MN, USA

… Lebanon. Joshua Landis: Assistant professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma. He writes the blog, Syria Comment. …

Syria stands to gain from Lebanon’s pain

Guardian Unlimited – UK

… “The Syrian opposition will be silenced by growing dislike of the United States,” Damascus-based commentator Joshua Landis wrote in his blog. …

Is Hizbullah winning by losing?

Christian Science Monitor – Boston, MA, USA

… “A month ago there was considerable attention being paid to Assad’s crackdown on the opposition,” wrote Damascus-based commentator Joshua Landis in his blog. …

Rice Faces Crisis of Her Own as Middle East Diplomacy Falters

Bloomberg – USA

Joshua M. Landis, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma and a specialist on Syria, which occupied Lebanon until last year, said …

Syria holds key to lasting peace in Lebanon: analysts Khaleej Times – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AFP)

Analyst Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria, said Damascus wanted a hand in any truce between the warring parties so as to show that it still holds sway in …

http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2006/8/166572.htm

الى ذلك رأى محللون انه لا يمكن التوصل الى تسوية دائمة للأزمة في لبنان في غياب الدعم الدبلوماسي لسورية التي ما زالت تتمتع بنفوذ كبير في لبنان عن طريق حزب الله. وقال الباحث

الأميركي جوشوا لانديس المتخصص في الشؤون السورية ان دمشق تريد هدنة بين الاطراف المتناحرة بواسطتها لتثبت انها ما زالت تلعب دورا محوريا في لبنان رغم انسحاب قواتها من هذا البلد في نيسان(ابريل) 2005 بعد ان مارست نفوذا سياسيا وعسكريا فيه لسنوات طويلة. واضاف لانديس في حديث لوكالة فرانس برس ان “الولايات المتحدة طردت سورية من لبنان. ولإبقاء نفوذها في لبنان دعمت حزب الله”، معتبرا ان سورية “ستملأ نوعا ما الفراغ من خلال ثقلها الدبلوماسي اذا ما اصبحت طرفا في التوصل الى هدنة”. وراى لانديس ان ارسال قوات اجنبية دون موافقة حزب الله، أي دون موافقة دمشق، سيكون “ضرباً من الجنون”. واضاف “ستتعرض (هذه القوات) لهجمات بالعزيمة نفسها التي ابداها حزب الله لدى مهاجمته القوات الأميركية والفرنسية والاسرائيلية التي حاولت اعادة تنظيم لبنان دون موافقة حافظ الاسد” الرئيس السوري الراحل.

Secretary Rice Faces Her Biggest Test Yet New York Sun – New York,NY,USA

… A specialist on Syria, which occupied Lebanon until last year, and a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Landis, said Ms. …

Analysis: Assad on the warpath United Press International

… Assad`s message, according to a Syrian blogger identified only as ‘Fadi’ and posted on Joshua Landis` Syriacomment.com, was simple: ‘Our camp won, yours lost …

Rising from the rubble ITP.net – Dubai,United Arab Emirates … s ability to continue sending rockets into Israel after a month of Israeli air strikes proves that Syria’s clients have teeth,” Joshua Landis, a Syria …

PBS – Charlie Rose Show – Friday, Aug 11, 2006

Charlie Rose invited me to speak on his show with Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha in a 25 minute Segment of his show. A DISCUSSION ABOUT SYRIA AND THE NATION’S ROLE: IN THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS WITH IMAD MOUSTAPHA, Syria’s Ambassador to the United States JOSHUA LANDIS, University of Oklahoma CLICK HERE TO WATCH FRIDAY’S SHOW

Is peace possible?

Yes. Hafez Assad wanted to finish this deal in the 1990s when President Clinton led peace negotiations. He went to Geneva to meet with Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak, but, as Clinton writes in his memoir, Barak got cold feet. It was a few months before elections, and Barak didn’t think he could get Israel to give back the Golan Heights. As happened with Egypt in 1979, Israel didn’t want to give up the Sinai, but Jimmy Carter closed the deal by providing Israel with gobs of money. If there could be peace with Israel—and everybody in Damascus is talking about it, as is Syria’s ambassador to the U.S., Imad Moustapha—that would help lift the strict sanctions against Syria. America now has a chance to bring Syria away from anti-Western alliances that it has needed to fight the Arab-Israeli conflict.

20 August 2006
Note from producer of Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Sunday Edition

—–Original Message—–
From: Jane Farrow

Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 6:37 PM

To: Landis, Joshua M.

Subject: RE: CBC Interview Again?

Joshua, well, you did fantastic. The interview was wonderful. Lots of great response to it; I am so happy it all turned out so well. You and Afshin have great rapport together… I hope we can do something with you again soon…. You are ‘radio paydirt’ (a great yakker) and really interesting material.

Jane Jane Farrow
Producer
The Sunday Edition
CBC Radio One

25 August 2006
On the sidelines of a cease-fire, an increasingly defiant Syria
By Rhonda Roumani, Christian Science Monitor

“In essence, what we see going on in Lebanon is a classic struggle for an important sphere of influence,” says Joshua Landis, a historian of Syria and director….

5 September 2006
The Fight Over Iraq
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations

Many of Iraq’s neighbors, not knowing what the future may hold, have sought to improve their ties with Baghdad. Syria, as Joshua Landis tells Gwertzman, has forged a new dialogue and repaired relations after two decades of mutual distrust. Iran has hedged its bets by establishing ties with many parties and sects in Iraq. Jordan, fearing a failed state on its eastern flank, has assisted in Iraq’s U.S.-led rebuilding efforts, according to the United States Institute of Peace’s Scott Lasensky. No state in the region wants Iraq to become a terrorist training ground, à la Afghanistan in the 1990s.

31 August 2006
Iraaq’s Meddlesome Neighbors
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations

Some say Syria, because of its own Baathist past, is abetting the Sunni insurgency in Iraq in order to reinstate a Sunni-led secular government and capitalize on anti-Americanism in the region. Joshua Landis, an independent expert on Syria, emphasizes on his blog SyriaComment.com that Syria is neither Sunni nor Baathist but Alawite, an offshoot of Shiism. “Almost every statement [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] has uttered in the last months suggests he does not see the world through a Baathist lens.”

17 July 2006
A Divide Deepens in Arab World
By Kim Murphy, LA Times

…They have promised, ‘America will protect us if we stand against Syria,’ ” said Joshua Landis, a Middle East expert and professor at the University of Oklahoma. Now Israel is “blowing the hell out of them, and America isn’t taking one step to protect them,” Landis said. “The whole Arab world is going to look and see that Hariri has been sacrificed on the altar of Israeli power. For the Arabs, this just rips the face of democracy right off.”

18 July 2006
Crisis May Put Syria Back in Political Mix
By Kim Murphy, LA Times

…Damascus, urged by the U.S. to use its influence to help end the conflict, appears eager to reassert its claim to be a regional power broker. But the upshot is that Washington has been left in the current crisis with fewer negotiating levers, said Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and a professor at the University of Oklahoma. The Syrians are “playing a very dangerous game. But until the first bomb starts falling on Damascus, everything’s going Syria’s way,” Landis said. Syria backed Hamas when it was a fledgling Islamic resistance movement, only to see it triumph at the polls this spring and take over the Palestinian government, he said. “Last week when all hell broke loose in Gaza, the [Palestinian administration] was sending negotiators to Damascus to try to get the release of this [captured] Israeli young man,” Landis said. “A year ago, those people would all have been sent to Cairo. “Now Egypt has been replaced by Syria as the major broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he added. “Bashar has outfoxed them.”

19 July 2006
Analyzing the Syria-Hezbollah connection
By host Kai Ryssdal, American Public Media

KAI RYSSDAL: Tony Snow had an interesting turn of phrase today. The White House spokesman was asked about the Middle East and whether Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would go to Syria. Snow said he didn’t think so, that talks with Syria’s president Bashar Assad had been, his words, “blazingly pointless” and that Syria’s ties with Hezbollah are too close. Depending on who you ask, that’s exactly the point. That talking to Syria is the key to ending the fighting that’s gone on for more than a week now. Joshua Landis studies Syrian politics and economy at the University of Oklahoma. I asked him what Syria stands to gain from its connection to the militant group.

JOSHUA LANDIS: Syria’s benefit of having Hezbollah is it gives them a front on this Arab-Israeli conflict and in the last year what we’ve see is that Syria has come up holding all the cards on the Arab-Israeli conflict. A year ago they had almost no cards, but Syria hung onto Hamas and the more radical Palestinian groups as America put pressure on Syria as America said you’ve got to kick these guys out, we want to eliminate them. But what happened is that Hamas won the elections in Israel last year and become the Palestinian Authority. So Bashar was proven a very smart calculator and his investment paid off in spades.

18 July 2006
Syrian President May Hold Key to Mideast Crisis
By Karby Leggett, The Wall Street Journal

…[S]ome analysts have begun speculating that the U.S. may seek to throw Syria a lifeline. Under one scenario, the U.S. would end Syria’s international isolation and possibly offer it some kind of aid package, in return for cutting ties with> Iran and ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas. “There is no military solution to the current problem, unless you kill every single Hezbollah and Hamas member. So reality for the U.S. is there is no end game unless you sit down and talk with the bad guys,” says Joshua Landis, a professor at Oklahoma University and a expert on Syria politics. “And so the choice is between Damascus or Tehran.”

3 August 2005
In Syria, Providing a Voice for Moderate Islam
By Deborah Amos, NPR

Syria remains a secular country but the capital is showing signs of transformation. Slighted political parties that call for Islamic modernism and the advancement of technology are only a few of the changes. Landis says the Muslim Brotherhood declared Alawites apostates, non-Muslims, in the 1980s, a position they have not officially changed.

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Aljazeera.com – London,UK

… US invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” says Joshua Landis, a Syria …

Report: US looking to topple Assad Dec. 21, 2006

Ynetnews – Israel

… Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who is co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma told TIME that the proposal “is really just an …

Syria in Bush’s Crosshairs

Dec. 20, 2006
TIME – USA by ADAM ZAGORIN
… invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” notes Joshua Landis, a Syria …

Should Bush talk to Syria? Interview with Joshua Landis Dec. 16, 2006

Aljazeera.net – Qatar, Adla Massoud in New York

… But Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma , believes the Bush administration will simply not budge on the issue. A senior Fulbright scholar in Syria in 2005 and operator of a Website called SyriaComment.com, Landis says the current view among the neoconservatives in Washington is that Syria is ruled by an “evil” dictatorship….

Should the US engage Syria?

by Joshua Landis

Published by Civility, a publication of the “Foreign Policy Centre” in Britain

December, 2006

Go-it-alone strategy a gamble that failed.

Dec. 12, 06
Globe and Mail – Canada, ALAN FREEMAN
…In 2003, going into Iraq, the U.S. made this massive gamble that the Middle East was ready for the fourth wave of democracy,” like Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, said Joshua Landis, co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

The theory was that by toppling Saddam Hussein, populations in Iraq’s neighbours, such as Syria, would rise up and overthrow their dictatorial regimes as well. The gamble clearly failed. But the Middle East, with its ethnic and tribal divisions, was not ready to embrace democracy — “The nation state in the Middle East is not fully cooked,” Mr. Landis said…

Lebanon: regional dynamics and internal tensions, Nov. 26, 2006

Times of Malta, by Leo Brincat, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Europe Rapporteur for Lebanon.

… According to an American expert, Joshua Landis, the drawn-out Iraq conflict has fed an image of declining US influence in Lebanon, and this has led Hizbollah to try to weaken, if not overthrow, the Siniora government. US power in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion enabled it to pry Lebanon away from Syria’s sphere of influence, but now as America’s authority starts to drain out of the region because of the Iraq debacle, Syria and its allies in Lebanon are trying to capitalise on a weakened America…

The Case For Engaging Syria,” by Joshua Landis, November 17, 2006

Brookings Institute,

Should The United States Engage Syria? A Saban Center Policy Forum Debate

Memo #10,

“Syria’s obstructionist behavior derives largely from the fact that the United States has historically allied itself with Syria’s enemies. Rapprochement with Syria would change this context. Moreover, Syria’s undefined international borders, as opposed to the Ba’thist state’s ideology, is what fuels radicalism in Syria. An intrinsic component of a United States-Syrian rapprochement, then, would be a concerted US effort to press Israel to conclude a peace agreement with Syria and end the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights.”…..

Lebanon Struggles to Maintain Stability After Assassination, Nov. 22, 2006

PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer

… Joshua Landis suggests both sides playing hands where the United States doesn’t hold very many good cards, doesn’t have very many good …

Agence France Press,
An early casualty may be the idea of dialogue with U.S. foes Damascus and Tehran. “It is going to be much harder,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma. … Lebanon “certainly was the sort of crown jewel in the administration’s Middle East portfolio, but they are going to have to regroup,” said Schenker who served Bush as a Pentagon Middle East advisor.
Bilal Saab said the failure of the Saniora government would be a “setback for the Bush administration.” “The Americans believe that this government is capable of advancing U.S. interests — the flourishing of democracy in the region — and they see Lebanon an example of democracy taking its way,” he said. Landis was blunter. “Lebanon is the last success story. If it falls, it is the end,” he said. “The U.S. is going to use Lebanon as a battering ram,” against Syria and Iran, Landis said. Syria meanwhile, “feels the tide is running out on America’s imperial authority in the Middle East.”(AFP)
International Herald Tribune, By Sally Buzbee,
… since. “In some ways you can read this as upping the ante,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. Most …

 

Khaleej Times – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
… “It is going to be much harder,” said Joshua Landis…

 

Voice of America – USA, By Gary Thomas, 22 November 2006
… Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says Gemayel’s killing could have been done by …

 

San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA
Washington’s in paralysis. They don’t know what their policy will be,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. Given the fears that Iraq may collapse into complete chaos, said Landis, “Iraq and the neighbors cannot afford to wait two, three, four months for Washington to figure out who’s on first, who’s on second and what their Iraq policy is. So they’re driving the situation right now.”

While it’s unlikely the White House is prepared to begin those talks without preconditions, such as Iran abandoning its nuclear program or Syria doing more to secure its borders, some analysts warn that America stands to lose even more if it simply stands by while Iran and Syria sit down with Iraq to discuss that tattered nation’s future.

“You don’t want that. America wants to be leading this policy and working together with these people,” he said. “If this meeting doesn’t happen, the next one will, unless America gets on the phone and talks to both of these capitals and says we’re going to work something out with you.”

Envisioning US Talks With Iran and Syria, Nov. 19, 2006

New York Times, Michael Slackman,

… “Syria is quite realistic, if proud and stubborn,” said Joshua Landis, an assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.“It will accept serious American offers and insist that the problems be dealt with comprehensively.”

Curbing the Crisis in Lebanon, 17 November 2006

Voice of America,

By Aida Akl,
… This conflict, says Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma, focuses on two diverging views. “One is that Lebanon belongs with the West, with the United States. And that’s what’s being upheld by the March 14 crowd. The other is that the United States is bad for the Middle East. It’s brought war. It’s brought an Israeli invasion, and that Lebanon belongs with Syria, [it] belongs with the Arab nations, and belongs with Islam. And that is the major dispute and it’s the fundamental identity question that Lebanon has yet to resolve,” says Landis.

Washington Post – Robin Wright

… Cooperating with the United States also carries dangers. “Syria and Iran both believe that the U.S. is tilting at windmills and will not lend their leverage to a venture which they see as doomed,” said Joshua Landis, a University of Oklahoma specialist who recently spent a year as a Fulbright scholar in Damascus….

Will Syria change its tune? Nov. 7, 2006

Edmond Sun – OK,USA

… One of the most knowledgeable people regarding Syria is Professor Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, who serves as co-director of the Center For …

Landis: Iraq War Sapping US Influence in Lebanon

Nov. 3, 2006
Council on Foreign Relations – New York,New York,USA

 

 

Interviewee:
Joshua Landis, Co-director, Center of Peace Studies, University of Oklahoma
Interviewer:
Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor

Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and Lebanon, says the drawn-out Iraq conflict has fed an image of declining US influence in Lebanon, and this has led …

BBC World News

November 1, 2006
Landisinterviewed with Imad Mustapha, Syrian Ambassador in Washington and Advisor to Lebanese Prime Minister about US accusation of a Syrian plot to destabilize Lebanon’s democratic government. Listen here.

Asia Times Online – Kowloon,Hong Kong

… But there remains an obstinate, if misguided, logic to US policy, as summarized by Syria expert Dr Joshua Landis: “The resistance to opening the door to …

David Brooks (Mis)Uses Israeli History to Involve the US in a October 6, 2006

New York Observer – New York,NY,USA by Philip Weiss

… One of the most creative thinkers about the Middle East, Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, makes the point that many states in the Middle East …

Let’s Make a Deal: It’s time to talk to Syria. Sept. 15, 2006

Slate By Fred Kaplan

… “Joshua Landis,” whose blog, Syria Comment, is the most informative clearinghouse of analysis on the country, thinks that Assad wants better relations with the United States; that he turned to Iran in part because he needed to turn somewhere and had no alternative…

Wisconson Public Radio interview: Listen to interview

Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM. Four men attacked the U.S. Embassy in Syria on Tuesday, killing one and wounding thirteen.

Kathleen Dunn and her guest examine what this says about the U.S. being targeted overseas.

Guest: – Joshua M. Landis, co-director, Center for Peace Studies, International Programs Center. Assistant professor of Middle Eastern studies, School of International and Area

Attack on US embassy foiled Sept 13, 2006

Globe and Mail – Canada

… The Syrian regime will be “deeply embarrassed” by the attack and hugely relieved that it was thwarted, said Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria who recently …

Council on Foreign Relations – New York,New York,USA

… a national dialogue between political leaders failed in the spring, the country’s leadership just stopped working, says Joshua M. Landis, assistant professor …

BBC Newshour (begins at 14:25 min) September 1, 2006

BBC World News Tonight: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio4/aod.shtml?radio4/worldtonight_fri active for a week

The Fight Over Iraq September 5, 2006 Council on Foreign Relations

… Syria, as Joshua Landistells Gwertzman, has forged a new dialogue and repaired relations after two decades of mutual distrust. …

BBC’s The World Today Sept 12, 2006 BBC Link

Syria seen as linchpin in Lebanon

San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA

… Syria “is the doorman, and it gives Hezbollah diplomatic cover in the region,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. …

Syria, Traditional Refuge for Displaced Arabs, Is Strained by …

New York Times – United States

… But Joshua Landis, an expert on Syrian history at the University of Oklahoma, said he expected Syria to remain the last refuge for citizens of other Arab …

What drives Hezbollah?

Minnesota Public Radio – Saint Paul, MN, USA

… Lebanon. Joshua Landis: Assistant professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma. He writes the blog, Syria Comment. …

Syria stands to gain from Lebanon’s pain

Guardian Unlimited – UK

… “The Syrian opposition will be silenced by growing dislike of the United States,” Damascus-based commentator Joshua Landis wrote in his blog. …

Is Hizbullah winning by losing?

Christian Science Monitor – Boston, MA, USA

… “A month ago there was considerable attention being paid to Assad’s crackdown on the opposition,” wrote Damascus-based commentator Joshua Landis in his blog. …

Rice Faces Crisis of Her Own as Middle East Diplomacy Falters

Bloomberg – USA

Joshua M. Landis, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma and a specialist on Syria, which occupied Lebanon until last year, said …

Syria holds key to lasting peace in Lebanon: analysts Khaleej Times – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AFP)

Analyst Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria, said Damascus wanted a hand in any truce between the warring parties so as to show that it still holds sway in …

http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2006/8/166572.htm

الى ذلك رأى محللون انه لا يمكن التوصل الى تسوية دائمة للأزمة في لبنان في غياب الدعم الدبلوماسي لسورية التي ما زالت تتمتع بنفوذ كبير في لبنان عن طريق حزب الله. وقال الباحث

الأميركي جوشوا لانديس المتخصص في الشؤون السورية ان دمشق تريد هدنة بين الاطراف المتناحرة بواسطتها لتثبت انها ما زالت تلعب دورا محوريا في لبنان رغم انسحاب قواتها من هذا البلد في نيسان(ابريل) 2005 بعد ان مارست نفوذا سياسيا وعسكريا فيه لسنوات طويلة. واضاف لانديس في حديث لوكالة فرانس برس ان “الولايات المتحدة طردت سورية من لبنان. ولإبقاء نفوذها في لبنان دعمت حزب الله”، معتبرا ان سورية “ستملأ نوعا ما الفراغ من خلال ثقلها الدبلوماسي اذا ما اصبحت طرفا في التوصل الى هدنة”. وراى لانديس ان ارسال قوات اجنبية دون موافقة حزب الله، أي دون موافقة دمشق، سيكون “ضرباً من الجنون”. واضاف “ستتعرض (هذه القوات) لهجمات بالعزيمة نفسها التي ابداها حزب الله لدى مهاجمته القوات الأميركية والفرنسية والاسرائيلية التي حاولت اعادة تنظيم لبنان دون موافقة حافظ الاسد” الرئيس السوري الراحل.

Secretary Rice Faces Her Biggest Test Yet New York Sun – New York,NY,USA

… A specialist on Syria, which occupied Lebanon until last year, and a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Landis, said Ms. …

Analysis: Assad on the warpath United Press International

… Assad`s message, according to a Syrian blogger identified only as ‘Fadi’ and posted on Joshua Landis` Syriacomment.com, was simple: ‘Our camp won, yours lost …

Rising from the rubble ITP.net – Dubai,United Arab Emirates … s ability to continue sending rockets into Israel after a month of Israeli air strikes proves that Syria’s clients have teeth,” Joshua Landis, a Syria …

PBS – Charlie Rose Show – Friday, Aug 11, 2006

Charlie Rose invited me to speak on his show with Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha in a 25 minute Segment of his show. A DISCUSSION ABOUT SYRIA AND THE NATION’S ROLE: IN THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS WITH IMAD MOUSTAPHA, Syria’s Ambassador to the United States JOSHUA LANDIS, University of Oklahoma CLICK HERE TO WATCH FRIDAY’S SHOW

Is peace possible?

Yes. Hafez Assad wanted to finish this deal in the 1990s when President Clinton led peace negotiations. He went to Geneva to meet with Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak, but, as Clinton writes in his memoir, Barak got cold feet. It was a few months before elections, and Barak didn’t think he could get Israel to give back the Golan Heights. As happened with Egypt in 1979, Israel didn’t want to give up the Sinai, but Jimmy Carter closed the deal by providing Israel with gobs of money. If there could be peace with Israel—and everybody in Damascus is talking about it, as is Syria’s ambassador to the U.S., Imad Moustapha—that would help lift the strict sanctions against Syria. America now has a chance to bring Syria away from anti-Western alliances that it has needed to fight the Arab-Israeli conflict.

20 August 2006
Note from producer of Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Sunday Edition

—–Original Message—–
From: Jane Farrow

Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 6:37 PM

To: Landis, Joshua M.

Subject: RE: CBC Interview Again?

Joshua, well, you did fantastic. The interview was wonderful. Lots of great response to it; I am so happy it all turned out so well. You and Afshin have great rapport together… I hope we can do something with you again soon…. You are ‘radio paydirt’ (a great yakker) and really interesting material.

Jane Jane Farrow
Producer
The Sunday Edition
CBC Radio One

25 August 2006
On the sidelines of a cease-fire, an increasingly defiant Syria
By Rhonda Roumani, Christian Science Monitor

“In essence, what we see going on in Lebanon is a classic struggle for an important sphere of influence,” says Joshua Landis, a historian of Syria and director….

5 September 2006
The Fight Over Iraq
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations

Many of Iraq’s neighbors, not knowing what the future may hold, have sought to improve their ties with Baghdad. Syria, as Joshua Landis tells Gwertzman, has forged a new dialogue and repaired relations after two decades of mutual distrust. Iran has hedged its bets by establishing ties with many parties and sects in Iraq. Jordan, fearing a failed state on its eastern flank, has assisted in Iraq’s U.S.-led rebuilding efforts, according to the United States Institute of Peace’s Scott Lasensky. No state in the region wants Iraq to become a terrorist training ground, à la Afghanistan in the 1990s.

31 August 2006
Iraaq’s Meddlesome Neighbors
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations

Some say Syria, because of its own Baathist past, is abetting the Sunni insurgency in Iraq in order to reinstate a Sunni-led secular government and capitalize on anti-Americanism in the region. Joshua Landis, an independent expert on Syria, emphasizes on his blog SyriaComment.com that Syria is neither Sunni nor Baathist but Alawite, an offshoot of Shiism. “Almost every statement [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] has uttered in the last months suggests he does not see the world through a Baathist lens.”

17 July 2006
A Divide Deepens in Arab World
By Kim Murphy, LA Times

…They have promised, ‘America will protect us if we stand against Syria,’ ” said Joshua Landis, a Middle East expert and professor at the University of Oklahoma. Now Israel is “blowing the hell out of them, and America isn’t taking one step to protect them,” Landis said. “The whole Arab world is going to look and see that Hariri has been sacrificed on the altar of Israeli power. For the Arabs, this just rips the face of democracy right off.”

18 July 2006
Crisis May Put Syria Back in Political Mix
By Kim Murphy, LA Times

…Damascus, urged by the U.S. to use its influence to help end the conflict, appears eager to reassert its claim to be a regional power broker. But the upshot is that Washington has been left in the current crisis with fewer negotiating levers, said Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and a professor at the University of Oklahoma. The Syrians are “playing a very dangerous game. But until the first bomb starts falling on Damascus, everything’s going Syria’s way,” Landis said. Syria backed Hamas when it was a fledgling Islamic resistance movement, only to see it triumph at the polls this spring and take over the Palestinian government, he said. “Last week when all hell broke loose in Gaza, the [Palestinian administration] was sending negotiators to Damascus to try to get the release of this [captured] Israeli young man,” Landis said. “A year ago, those people would all have been sent to Cairo. “Now Egypt has been replaced by Syria as the major broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he added. “Bashar has outfoxed them.”

19 July 2006
Analyzing the Syria-Hezbollah connection
By host Kai Ryssdal, American Public Media

KAI RYSSDAL: Tony Snow had an interesting turn of phrase today. The White House spokesman was asked about the Middle East and whether Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would go to Syria. Snow said he didn’t think so, that talks with Syria’s president Bashar Assad had been, his words, “blazingly pointless” and that Syria’s ties with Hezbollah are too close. Depending on who you ask, that’s exactly the point. That talking to Syria is the key to ending the fighting that’s gone on for more than a week now. Joshua Landis studies Syrian politics and economy at the University of Oklahoma. I asked him what Syria stands to gain from its connection to the militant group.

JOSHUA LANDIS: Syria’s benefit of having Hezbollah is it gives them a front on this Arab-Israeli conflict and in the last year what we’ve see is that Syria has come up holding all the cards on the Arab-Israeli conflict. A year ago they had almost no cards, but Syria hung onto Hamas and the more radical Palestinian groups as America put pressure on Syria as America said you’ve got to kick these guys out, we want to eliminate them. But what happened is that Hamas won the elections in Israel last year and become the Palestinian Authority. So Bashar was proven a very smart calculator and his investment paid off in spades.

18 July 2006
Syrian President May Hold Key to Mideast Crisis
By Karby Leggett, The Wall Street Journal

…[S]ome analysts have begun speculating that the U.S. may seek to throw Syria a lifeline. Under one scenario, the U.S. would end Syria’s international isolation and possibly offer it some kind of aid package, in return for cutting ties with> Iran and ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas. “There is no military solution to the current problem, unless you kill every single Hezbollah and Hamas member. So reality for the U.S. is there is no end game unless you sit down and talk with the bad guys,” says Joshua Landis, a professor at Oklahoma University and a expert on Syria politics. “And so the choice is between Damascus or Tehran.”