Bashar al-Asad

Eager to forestall a U.S. intervention, Bashar al-Assad has agreed to relinquish his stockpile of chemical weapons—a stockpile that, until this week, he denied even possessing. But Syria's president continues to deny—as he did in a recent interview with Charlie Rose—that he used such weapons on civilians in an Aug.

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Is Assad Goading Obama?

The new Syrian atrocities may have been a miscalculation. But America's rhetoric encouraged them.

The new Syrian atrocities may have been a miscalculation. But America's rhetoric encouraged them.

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A New Plan For Saving Syria

Is Syria finished?

What was supposed to be the Syrian phase of the so-called "Arab Spring" has evolved into one of the greatest tragedies of the twenty-first century. The once-peaceful opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's deeply entrenched and powerful Ba'ath Party regime has escalated into armed resistance and, finally, a brutal civil war—one that has now claimed close to 100,000 lives. This escalation poses a serious threat, not just to Syria's neighbors, but—given the existence of chemical weapons in Syria—to the international community as well.

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From the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Executive Director Robert Satloff comes this analysis:  The Gaza Flotilla Incident: Impact on Three Key Arab Actors By Robert Satloff June 22, 2010   The Gaza flotilla episode pitted Israel versus Turkey, with Arabs as bystanders and observers. Yet reverberations of the incident have had a keen impact across Arab capitals. Egypt: Policy Adrift The country most negatively affected has been Egypt.

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Ban Ki-moon is the secretary general of the United Nations. The world is in pretty good shape. This is why he can spend so much of his time relieving the pain of the Arabs of Palestine, who are (if you don’t know already) the only people who suffer from their neighbors. The other Arabs probably suffer from their local overlords. But most of this is kept hush-hush, maybe because Barack Obama wants to have nice relations with them. Mr. Ban certainly wants to have good ties with them.

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I’ve written myself about the Obama administration’s more-than-flatfooted policies on Syria (here, here, and here) and Iran (here, here, and here). So I am particularly gratified when I find myself in alignment with Barry Rubin, a truly brainy scholar with a slight polemical touch. His latest analysis is below. Syria is a galling instance of the president’s obsessions ... and for several reasons. A weak country, both economically and militarily, its only possible political sway is to exacerbate the hatreds of its neighbors towards Israel.

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