Saturday, September 12, 2015

Understanding Syria

Could Syria's revolution have been different?

From the Afterword to Charles Glass's new book, Syria Burning:

"One way to view the fanatic Islamicization of the Syrian revolution after 2011 is that it was the inevitable form of a rebellion inspired and financed by Saudi Wahhabism that sought not democracy but the elimination of rule by Alawite 'infidels'. Another is that fratricidal violence marginalizes moderation, renders compromise impossible and pushes forward the most brutal actors. What was more surprising than the rise of fanatics within the revolution was that such disparate opposition forces had found any ground at all. Like the leftists opposed to the Shah of Iran in 1979, Syria's democrats saw their Islamist allies dispose of them and their beliefs when they were no longer needed. If the regime fell, the victors would replace it with a theocratic dictatorship that would purge the country of its diversity, its minorities, its dissidents and its tolerance."

The complete Afterword can be read at

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