“U.S. Policy Toward Syria Debate:” Landis, Badran, Jouejati

Listen to a debate on: U.S. Policy Toward Syria at WAMU 88.5, Washington D.C.'s Public Radio Station. It is an hour in length segment of the Kojo Nnamdi Show.

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Here is the show's blub:

To some it's a key sponsor of terrorism, a nation that deserves our scorn rather than our cooperation. To others, Syria is a nation that we ignore at our own peril. Join Kojo for a look at U.S. relations with Syria and the impact of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Damascus.


Joshua Landis, Co-Director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma; Author of SyriaComment.com blog

Tony Badran, Research Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; Author, "Across the Bay" blog on Syrian politics

Murhaf Jouejati, Professor of Middle East Studies, Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University; Adjunct Professor at George Washington University

Comments (9)

Alex said:

Tony 7abibi,

So you said that at eh Arab summit the Saudis kept Bashar on a very short political leash? .. wait let’s look at the pictures at the summit:

You mean like here with Mubarak? or like with the Palestinian president?

You are right Tony! … Bashar was not allowed to move anywhere alone .. he always had another major Arab “moderate” leader holding him from his arms.

And on your blog you mentioned that you forgot to make your best possible argument which is that in the past those who wanted to engage with Syria learned their lesson that it is useless …right? You mentioned as an example Amr Moussa … amazing how he was also keeping Bashar on a short political leash at the summit.

April 17th, 2007, 8:09 am


youngsyria said:

I don’t like the attitude and the “nonsense” of that tony guy…he is a researcher!! what? re-searching Google?

April 17th, 2007, 9:51 am


ugarit said:


“Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East”

Robert G Rabil

Praeger Security International | February 2006 | ISBN 027599015X

April 17th, 2007, 10:51 am


Jamal said:

Hey, I am getting bored with the endless keyboard theorising about others’ policy towards Syria. I don’t think anything fresh has been said for well over a year.

Instead can’t we talk more about Syria’s policy towards itself? Like Syria Comment used to in the good old days when Dr Landis was living there.

I’m just back from there (previous visit was 18 months ago) and wondering about a few things.

Can some reader here please provide a credible explanation about what the HELL is going on with the massive far-as-the-eye-can-see oceans of unfinished housing construction on the outskirts of every single town you drive through – Latakkia, Palmyra, Tartous, Der Ezzor, Homs, Raqqa everywhere!

None linked to infrastructure, planning programs, industrial or economic development or employment that anyone can point to. No ideas from any Syrian you ask. It’s staggering and baffling.

It just doesn’t add up.

Seriously, can any reader here who has actually witnessed what I’m talking about please explain it.

April 17th, 2007, 12:30 pm


Zenobia said:

and whyyyyyy is it that Tony is considered an expert?
poor tony can’t stop asserting things as fact that are actually completely debatable contentions.

Murhaf really gets the gold star; he was absolutely excellent in his responses, right to the heart of the matter all the while -not letting that tony get away with his one sided characterizations.

April 17th, 2007, 3:02 pm


Zenobia said:

Jamal – nice comment. I agree. these are actually more interesting and new issues.
hm. I witness that construction even two years ago. and i know what you mean, everybody just takes it for granted…and doesn’t seem disturbed by the ghosts of houses everywhere.

I think…. think only, that this is the syrian idea of ‘investment’….. the builders are obviously thinking that there is going to be massive expansion of housing in demand. However, they cannot afford to complete the projects – not willing to risk it – until they have actually buyers in hand who put their money down.
The whole situation is absurd obviously, and a pretty pathetic illustration of the economic conditions.

maybe others have some more sophisticated explanations of this.

April 17th, 2007, 3:09 pm


DJ said:

Tony is hilarious, as his grudge for Syria spout uncontrollably, his argument plummets to shameless levels…

Thanks a bunch for the photos Alex, do you think Tony has some eye-sight problems?

April 17th, 2007, 3:19 pm


Atassi said:

Good interview. Informative and balanced answers from all three sides, thank you Josh

April 17th, 2007, 3:55 pm


Rev. Michel Nahas Filho said:

This Tony (sorry, I forgot his name), is from the foundation for Defense of Democracies. So, considering that the Christians (like me, don’t take me wrong) are in the minority, and so are the Sunnis in Lebanon, as I understand, what kind of democracy is this, where Christians and Sunnis have more power than the Shia’a, who seems to have the plurarity in Lebanon?

Beyond that, this guy is probably on the pocket of AIPAC as his Think(?)Tank, which is just another offshot of AEI (Americans Empowering Israel), right?

Great job, you Josh and the other scholar too, as always!

Rev. Michel Nahas

April 19th, 2007, 2:00 am


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