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The Syrian Rebellion

Free read ì PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Fouad Ajami

Away from orthodox Sunni Islam They have historically been a poor people a minority in Syria and under the thumb of Sunni rulers This changed when the Baath Party took control of Syria and when the Alawi Hafez al Assad became dictator of
*syria forty years *
forty years The poor Alawi peasants oined the military out if economic necessity The rich and urban Sunnis were able to avoid military service and this lead to their downfall because the Alawis took control of the military and eventually the country But the Alawis have had only modest gains during the rule of Hafez al Assad He did appoint many Alawis to positions of power in order to protect himself But Assad did little to help the poor Alawis Assad also allowed the Sunnis to play a major role in his government and the family courts continued to follow Sunni law The Sunnis and the Christians dominate the private sector The Syrians see Lebanon as part of a greater Syria and believe they have the right to be involved in its affairs In 1977 the Syrians assassinated the Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt In February 2005 the Syrians assassinated the Sunni politician Rafik Hariri Later that year the Syrians assassinated the Greek Orthodox ournalists Samir Kassir and Gebran Tueni who had been critical of Syria In 2000 Hafez al Assad died and power passed to his son Bashar Assad The Arab Spring of 2011 encouraged many Syrians to rebel against the new dictator who had failed to bring liberal reforms to Syria The Syrian rebels are rural poor and religiously observant rather than secular The Syrian military killed many peaceful protesters The Assad regime s soldiers were ordered to kill unarmed civilians under threat of being killed themselves The Syrian rebels are mostly Sunni so they are supported by foreign Sunnis such as the Saudis and the Muslim brotherhood The rebels are opposed by Shia leaders such as Prime Minister Maliki of Ira Syrian Christians fear that regime change would lead to the persecution of Christians as had occurred in Ira and Egypt The Arab League has sent in 50 monitors as observers but has taken only limited measures against the Assad regime Ajami is a neocon dirt bag but also a thoughtful and elouent writer This is a short book but every page is filled with beautiful prose and engrossing snapshots of Syria brief enough to be finished in a few short sittings Worthwhile read I think the book came out too soon It seemed like a large op ed than an actual scholarly work There are no footnotes included Those who are interested in modern political history of Syria and the role of minorities included Those who are interested in modern political history of Syria and the role of minorities opt for a different book The book covers the first year of the uprising and the factors that triggered it before things became bloody after the spring of 2012 There were several minor inaccurate facts throughout the book For example Ajami states that Sulaiman Al Assad who sent a letter to the French reuesting independence of the Syrian coast was Hafez Assad s father as opposed to his grandfather Also Amal Hanano who is mentioned in the last chapter of the book is a pseudonym and not the granddaughter of Ibrahim Hanano the leader of the Syrian 1925 revolt in North Syria Also Ajami states that Saleh al Ali an Alawitte sheikh from the Syrian coast fought the French for further autonomy and not for Syrian unity without providing any evidence or sources Saleh al Ali was a known nationalist Nevertheless the book is an easy read for those without any background on Syria and are interested in attaining a basic understanding on the triggering factors and the events on in the first year of the uprisin. Orce clashed with an immovable object the regime versus people who conuered fear to challenge a despot of unspeakable cruel.
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Ays This dynastic inheritance in Syria was not destined to survive the second generation like he s narrating a goddamned play This wore out its welcome pretty fast Anyway further reading definitely reuired Who said Ibn Khaldun and didn t get any The author definitely has a bias HOWEVER provides an informative timeline and facets of the Syrian conflict that have resulted in the ongoing civil war First off the author has a strong bias in who he thinks is in the wrong here so take some of what he says with a grain of salt But having said that this is a fairly readable summary of the history and background of the current rebellion This situation is much complex than the other arab spring countries complex than the other Arab Spring countries obvious and probably accurate Analogy Is Yugoslovia When It Broke Up is Yugoslovia when it broke up the early 90s There are centuries old conflicts in Syria between the various factions of Sunni Shia Alawites Druze etc These also impact the intrusion of outside parties like Iran Iran does not want the Sunnis to gain power So worth reading to understand as much as possible what is going on in Syria Unfortunately it does not come across as anything that will end soon or well Ajami tells #the complicated tale of how Hafez al Assad father of the current President Bashar al #complicated tale of how Hafez al Assad father of the current President Bashar al came to power through eliminating rivals and buying the allegiance of the military and the silence of other potentially influential groups Ruling for almost thirty years Hafez had one one goal in the year 2000 and that was for his son to succeed him which he did Portrayed as a modern Western educated physician who was worldly and sophisticated Bashar s reign has been even explicitly violent against any form of dissent using tactics like starving towns and cities of water and food The author weaves the tapestry of how complex the international stage is in Syria Although many large powers like Iran China and Russia have their hooks into Syria others like Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia also try to influence President Assad but he is like an orchestra conductor Ultimately the score that is played is his which means that he will likely remain in power no matter how much his people have to suffer Unlike most foreign policy books there is no magical policy prescription at the end Western intervention or arming the Syrian rebels would reading this story be a total disaster and would inevitably fuel the already strong anti American anti Western anti modernism which helps keeps regimes in place in the Middle East Good reading but not a happy story not exactly fresh on content but beautifully written and includes the writers interesting perspective on a number of things related to Syria s history and how it ties to the 2011 uprising Its only in the tenth chapter where the author engages some of the oppositional figures and not ust narrate his views though readings of the media and history political books on Syria France carved Lebanon out of Syria They created a country for the Maronite Christians of Mount Lebanon The French included Tripoli as part of Lebanon but it had few Maronite Christians and perhaps should have remained as part of Syria The French also excised Alexandretta and Antioch from Syria and gave them to Turkey Jordan was also carved out of Syria but by the British rather than the French Syria is important to Russia because Russia has a naval base in Tartus Syria The 4 main cities of Syria are Damascus Aleppo Homs and Hama Syria has traditionally been Sunni but has included many minorities Druze Ismailis Kurds Christians and Alawis The Alawis are a Muslim sect nominally Shia but even farther. Ferences in skills between former dictator Hafez al Assad and his successor son Bashar Ajami explains how an irresistible This is an excellent and concise overview of the nightmare situation in Syria Ajami diligently tracks the path to crisis and civil war focussing on the sectarian leaders who have defied the nationalist agenda of Bashar Assad and detailing the cruelty and total disregard for human life that has been employed by army loyalists and free Syria fighters More enlightenment information and beautiful writing on each pase of this slender book than in most books on the middle east Ajami who is a Shia from Lebanon leaves the reader understanding the place of the religious and ethnic minorities in SyriaLebanon the history of their relations from Ottoman times through French rule and to the Assad dynasty the relationship of Syria and Lebanon since 1982 the status of the regime vis a vis its minorities not Mexican Hooker just the Alawites and Christians but Sunni and Shia the place of the threat and promise of the west and the US the nature of the Ba ath all in an almost day by day account of the uprsing from April 2011 to about February 2012 and a brief update going forward until this 2012 April I am my ex wives tell me a pretty well informed guy on the middle east and pretty well read but I learned something new on every page and from the whole a way of looking not only at Syria but at the whole Levant unlike anything else on offerHis emphasis is on the sectarian dimension of the war the bloody history between the Alawis and the Muslim Brotherhood of 1979 82 the role of the Sunni centralists in creating the Syrian state and their confidence that the minorities the Christians the Alawis the Druse and the Shia would fall into line and yet the civilized state that the Sunnis had created pre Assad He looks over the border at the renascent Shia Arabs of US liberated Ira and their distrust of the fundamentalist Sunnis whom they assume dominate the rebellion the suicidal intervention of Lebanon s Maronite leadership on the side of Assad and the central place of Damascus at the faultline between Shia and Sunni Arab since 680 AD and today where Al Jazeera urges on the rebels while Shia Arabs remember how the TV station was no friend to the Shia of Ira while they were being slaughtered byihadists 2004 2006I have admired Ajami since the pre Gulf War days and since I wait upon his columns I have noticed That He Has Been Relatively he has been relatively in print on the Syria uprising and the post 2011 development in Egypt if you re reading this you probably know than I did about his views on Syria since he s a freuent talking head but I never see talking head shows This book is obviously the explanation for the silence and its wisdom and beauty is well worth the wait It s written contemporaneously with events takes the form at times of a ournal but that makes Ajami s perspective all the valuable It makes me wish he lived at my houseHe offers no solutions and however pessimistic you may be now writing on July 7 2012 reading it will not lessen your pessimism But Ajami writes with deep feeling and not a bit of cheap cynicism or saving distance from what is going on Stop read mourn for Syria and then go on with your life Not uite what I was hoping for in that it s mostly focused on the current well as of a year ago conflict rather than the background Very much a first draft of history Still the early chapters help give an overview of who against who and the basic beats of 20th century Syrian history and geopoliticsKind of weirdly to my mind Ajami often dips into a sort of melodramatic speaking to posterity tone complete with poetically mixed up tenses history moved with velocity nowad. Fouad Ajami offers a detailed historical perspective on the current rebellion in Syria Focusing on the similarities and dif. ,

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