by Michael Totten
“No war without
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana flew to Damascus this weekend to cajole
Assad’s late father and former President Hafez Assad imposed his dictatorial “emergency rule” on
An official state of war costs Assad very little. His army does not have to fight. His father learned the hard way in 1967 that
Assad gains a lot, though, by buying himself some legitimacy with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 1982, the Muslim Brotherhood took up arms against the regime in the city of
In his book From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas Friedman dubbed the senior Assad’s rules of engagement “Hama Rules.” They are the Syrian stick. The carrot is Assad’s steadfast “resistance” against
Earlier this year, I met with
“Suppose,” he said, “we go ultimately to the so-called peace. Then later on, what is the purpose of the Syrian regime? What is Assad going to tell his people? Especially, mind you, he is a member of the Alawite minority. This minority could be accused of treason. It’s not like
“When Hafez Assad was about to fix up the so-called settlement through Bill Clinton,” Jumblatt continued, “and before they met him in Geneva, a prominent Alawite officer in the Syrian army came to Assad and said, ‘What are you doing? We will be lost if you make peace. We will be accused of treason.’”
I don’t know for sure whether
Such a nation almost certainly would make peace with
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