Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Sendoff for slain Syrian defense minister | Martin Kramer

A sight not to be missed: Watch the funeral service for assassinated Syrian defense minister Dawoud Rajiha, the first-ever Christian defense minister of Syria, at the (Greek Orthodox) Holy Cross Church in Damascus on Friday. Quite a sendoff (1:26min).
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President Bashar will see you now! | Martin Kramer

President Bashar will see you now! | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Join me on an exclusive tour of the Presidential Palace in Damascus, before it’s too late. I promise you won’t be disappointed: http://bit.ly/P8kqOV.

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Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer

Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Jeff Goldberg: “Which candidate is better positioned to jump-start Mideast peace negotiations? If you guessed the one who already has a Nobel Peace Prize on his shelf, you guessed wrong. Which candidate is better prepared to confront Iran militarily? If you guessed the Republican with an aviary of national-security hawks working on his campaign, well, wrong again.” Speculation indulged here: http://goo.gl/8AyVs.

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Do Arabs need strongmen? | Martin Kramer

Do Arabs need strongmen? | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Max Boot: “The Arab world cries out for an Ataturk, Adenauer, Bismarck, Cavour, Lee Kuan Yew, or Washington—a great leader who can forge a strong state out of unpromising materials” (http://bit.ly/NBgbdr). Yet only last year, Max warned of the danger of Arab versions of… Bismarck and Cavour, who would turn “nationalism into a tool of dictatorship and aggression” (http://bit.ly/NBhnO4). So do Arabs need strongmen?

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The People's Palace | Martin Kramer

Yesterday we went on a tour of Bashar Assad’s palace (if you missed it, go here: http://bit.ly/P8kqOV). The palace is also called the People’s Palace (who says the regime has no humor?), and there’s an amusing series of anti-Assad cartoons called just that: Qasr ash-Shaab, “The People’s Palace.” Here’s a short one; it’s in Arabic, but it’s easy to figure out.

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How to say nothing in 1,200 words | Martin Kramer

How to say nothing in 1,200 words | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

As battles rage in Damascus and a suicide bomber kills Syria’s defense minister and Bashar’s brother-in-law, Fawaz Gerges stands by his man. The idea that the regime’s days are numbered “should be viewed skeptically… regime collapse in Damascus is not a smart bet for now.” But then he hedges: “Though Assad's days are not as few as Clinton suggests, there are signs that the regime is not durable.” Therefore… therefore, what? Gerges has said nothing (http://goo.gl/Cshty).

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Twelve years of Bashar | Martin Kramer

Twelve years of Bashar | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

It’s twelve years to the day since Bashar Assad took his presidential oath and gave his inaugural speech (pictured). Six days earlier, he’d been elected by his people: 8.69 million of them checked ‘yes’ and 22,439 checked ‘no.’ Sure, he promised reforms. On his tenth anniversary, Human Rights Watch issued a report on Syria entitled “A Wasted Decade” (http://goo.gl/igvEf). How long now until Bashar is wasted?

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