Shabby Inheritance in Syria

(New York Sun) Nibras Kazimi - Syria under Bashar Assad seems caught in a time warp. On one hand, the Syrian citizen is allowed to receive a whole spectrum of information. Arabic and Lebanese dailies that run stories critical of the Syrian regime are sold on the streets unimpeded. Satellite TV has been available here for a decade. But at the same time, almost every shop bears the pictures of Papa Assad and his son, and almost every area of free wall space is painted with Ba'athist slogans. Wandering across large portions of Syria, the bitter aftertaste one is left with is that this country is in a very shabby state. The Syrian regime seems brittle, and does not seem to inspire a base that would defend it. This is good news for the handful of local democrats pushing back at the regime to gauge the limitations of freedom, but also for shadowy jihadists, who may be preparing for a blitz of terror. The current regime will not sustain a challenge from either, and it is now a question of who rises to the challenge first.

2006-03-17 00:00:00

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