Across the Bay

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Syria and the Iraqi Elections

Here's a piece on Syria and the Iraqi elections. One thing that's not explicitly stated is that the Syrians don't want a system that legitimizes ethnopolitics nor do they want to see the elimination of the idea of minority rule over a clear majority. Both scenarios put the Alawites in charge in a tight spot. To better understand the Alawite dilemma (vis à vis the Sunnis), read these two pieces by Josh Landis. I am currently thinking about a post on the issue of minority rule in the ME. It'll be based on this excellent presentation by Martin Kramer and this summary of the presentation by his co-panelist, Syrian intellectual Ammar Abdulhamid. The post will hopefully also take into consideration some of the issues raised in Amy Chua's book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (New York: Anchor Books, 2004), especially the concept of "market-dominant minorities."