Across the Bay

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hugging Bashar... What For!?

My buddy Josh Landis wrote a horrid op-ed in the NYT, essentially reiterating the useless drivel of Bashar confidant-wannabe Flynt Leverett. Thankfully, Michael Young undertook the task of demolishing it before I did (I was going to!). Despite being commonly referred to as "the butcher," it would've been rather painful for me to rip a piece written by a close friend (although, I wouldn't have hesitated! All's fair in blogs and war.) So, take a look.

Also, don't miss another piece by David Hirst that essentially endorses Josh's logic. Although, to his credit (and not Josh's), he did present a much more serious position on the Mehlis investigation and on the nature of rule in Syria:

Assad is the weak head of a regime built around clan solidarity and the consensus of rival fiefdoms. If he attempts to save himself through the sacrifice of others, Syrians say, he could set off an internal explosion that, in the absence of an effective opposition, has long been seen as the likeliest manner of the Baathists' eventual undoing.

This supports Michael's view, and presents yet another point against Josh's position, and highlights yet another paradox in his argument, as pointed out by Michael. Also, in case you missed it, Michael's last op-ed in the DS explored the issue of Syria and the Mehlis report, and criticized Josh and the useless Leverett for their credulity (he put it rather mildly).

I have been preparing a comprehensive post on Syria that touches on Hirst's point quoted above, and that deals with the system as a whole. It's been slow coming because I have a zillion other things to do, especially now that I'm back teaching. But it will come soon, and hopefully, it'll spark a debate with Josh.