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Clinton holds out hope Syria’s government will reform


The difference between the situations in Syria and Libya is that the Syrian government might still come around and pursue a reform agenda, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.

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Why Does Syria See a Threat Coming from Tiny Lebanon?


 

Syria long has been accused of stirring trouble in the territories of its neighbors by exporting unwanted people across porous borders — Kurdish separatists into Turkey, Sunni insurgents into Iraq and Palestinian militants and Al-Qaeda sympathizers into Lebanon.

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The Damascus Spring


The Arab Spring has now reached the authoritarian and notoriously repressive Syria, long thought immune to such large scale protests and riots that have now shaken the hold of Bashar al Assad’s Baathist regime.

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Robert Fisk: 'The Arab awakening began not in Tunisia this year, but in Lebanon in 2005'


Revolutions don't start with a single dramatic event, such as the destruction of a church or a man's self-immolation.

Friday, 15 April 2011

 

First, to reports from the revolutionary front lines in Syria, in the same imperfect, but brave, English in which they were written less than 24 hours ago...

 

"Yesterday morning I went to the square to demonstrate, I arranged it with guys on Facebook, I don't know them, but we share the same ambition of freedom, that night I was awake until 6am watching the news, it was horrible what's happening in Syria, the security forces slaughter people as if aniamals !!!...

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Statement by the Press Secretary on Syria


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2011
 
Statement by the Press Secretary on Syria
 
We are deeply concerned by reports that Syrians who have been wounded by their government are being denied access to medical care. The escalating repression by the Syrian government is outrageous, and the United States strongly condemns  the continued efforts to suppress peaceful protesters.

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Russia + Syria + Hizballah = Hamas By Elliott Abrams


Council on Foreign Relations: Pressure Points Blog

Russia + Syria + Hizballah = Hamas
By Elliott Abrams
Monday, April 11, 2011


On April 6, Hamas terrorists fired a Russian Kornet laser-guided missile at a school bus in southern Israel.  How did Hamas get such a missile?

It turns out that Russia does not license others to produce this missile; every single Kornet is manufactured in Russia at the KBP factory. The KBP web site helpfully touts all the wonderful qualities of this weapon.

 

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is every bit as dangerous and thuggish


Fashionable

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is every bit as dangerous and thuggish as his autocratic counterparts across the Middle East, yet for some reason Washington continues to embrace him

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Syria of a despot by Elliott Abrams


WASHINGTON POST OPED
Syria of a despot
By Elliott Abrams, Friday, March 25
While  the monarchies of the Middle East have a fighting chance to reform
and survive,  the region’s fake republics have been falling like dominoes —
and Syria is next.

 

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Dark Secrets The sordid history of Syria's collaboration with Qaddafi.


 

Dark Secrets
The sordid history of Syria's collaboration with Qaddafi.
Mar 21, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 26 • By LEE SMITH

 

The uprisings sweeping the Middle East have started to blow down some very dark doors​—​the doors that lead to the dungeons and prisons where Arab security services do their work.In Alexandria and Cairo, Egyptian protesters broke into the offices of state security, where they discovered some of the tools and torture devices used to make prisoners more pliant. Perhaps more important, they unearthed files detailing the nature of the work, and on whose behalf it was done.
 
 

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Why Syria Is Unlikely to be Next . . . for Now


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Why Syria Is Unlikely to be Next . . . for Now
By Bassam Haddad

March 10, 2011

As millions of Arabs stir their respective countries with demonstrations and slogans of change and transition, certain Arab states have been generally spared, including some oil rich countries and Syria. Syria stands out as a powerful regional player without the benefit of economic prosperity and with a domestic political climate that leaves a lot to be desired. Some say it combines the heavy-handedness of the Tunisian regime, the economic woes of Egypt, the hereditary rule aspects of Morocco and Jordan, and a narrower leadership base than any other country across the Arab world. Why, then, is all relatively quiet on the Syrian front? 

 

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Lebanon's revolution waylaid by the old sectarian demons


Lebanon's revolution waylaid by the old sectarian demons

Last Updated: Mar 10, 2011

 

analysis

Michael Young

Last weekend, thousands of people gathered in Beirut to demand an end to Lebanon's sectarian system. The groups backing the campaign are poorly organised, their agendas diverge, but the greatest difficulty they face is more fundamental: most Lebanese, for better or worst, are used to functioning within a sectarian framework, and have always bestowed legitimacy on their sectarian leaders.

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Prospects for a New Lebanese Government


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Prospects for a New Lebanese Government
By Majdoline Hatoum

February 23, 2011

Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati has a tough job ahead: forming a cabinet strong enough to endure the political storm expected to rise from the findings of the United Nations’ Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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From Tahrir Square to Shatila Camp: ‘Cry Hurriya!’ (Freedom!)


by Franklin Lamb

February 22, 2011

The Tahrir Square “Hurriya!”  tremors spreading across the Middle East may or may not be impacting today’s events in the  historically liberal American state of Wisconsin and other areas of America,  yet most of us would agree that the Tunisian-Egyptian revolutions are being felt far and wide and appear to be dramatically gaining steam. Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps are no exception.

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Prime Minister-designate briefs UN envoy on efforts to form new government


Lebanon: Prime Minister-designate briefs UN envoy on efforts to form new government


22 February 2011 –The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon met today with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati, who briefed him on his continuing efforts concerning the formation of a new government.

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Obama ripped in Congress on Egypt, Lebanon


Obama ripped in Congress over Egypt, Lebanon

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama's administration was the target of harsh criticism in Congress Wednesday for not doing enough to support democratic reforms in Egypt and Lebanon.

"In both Egypt and Lebanon, we have failed to effectively leverage US assistance in support of peaceful, pro-democracy forces and to help build strong, accountable, independent, democratic institutions as a bulwark against the instability that is now spreading throughout much of the region," said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee she heads.

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Beirut calling Lebanon, not Egypt, may determine the fate of democracy in the Middle East


Despite the media's recent focus on Egypt, events in Lebanon may well tell us more about the troubled prospects for Middle Eastern democracy. The fall of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government, replaced by a Hezbollah-dominated coalition, dramatically imperils Beirut's democratic Cedar Revolution.

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Troubled Engagement


Foreign Policy
Troubled Engagement
The United States has an ambassador in Syria for the first time in nearly six years. Now what?
BY ANDREW J. TABLER | JANUARY 25, 2011

On Jan. 16, Amb. Robert Ford stepped off a plane in Damascus -- and right into a diplomatic crisis in Lebanon. The news that Hezbollah and its allies, which are supported by Syria and Iran, have secured the votes to elect a friendly Lebanese prime minister will no doubt be on the top of Ford's agenda as Washington struggles to rein in Hezbollah's growing influence.

 

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Clinton: Hezbollah govt in Lebanon bad for US ties


Clinton: Hezbollah govt in Lebanon bad for US ties

Jan. 25, 2011, 1:13 p.m. EST
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Tuesday that formation of a Hezbollah-dominated government in Lebanon will mean changes in the U.S. relations with the country.

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Pressure Points The “Resistance” in Lebanon


Council on Foreign Relations Blog: Pressure Points
The “Resistance” in Lebanon
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011
by Elliott Abrams

The influence of the United States in the Middle East is declining while that of Iran is rising. That’s the meaning of events in Lebanon, where Hizballah has in essence thrown Prime Minister Saad Hariri from office and is about to choose his successor.

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Lebanon Approaches Tipping Point


Council on Foreign Relations
Lebanon Approaches Tipping Point
By Deborah Jerome, Deputy Editor
January 24, 2011

Lebanon's increasingly assertive Hezbollah faction has said it would nominate for prime minister a fifty-five-year-old billionaire businessman, Najib Mikati. The emergence of a Hezbollah government--backed by allies Iran and Syria--would almost certainly set Lebanon on a collision course with the United States and its allies about the fate of the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri.

 

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