Last week, demonstrations took place in the southern Syrian city of Daraa to protest something symbolic.
In the former heartland of Syria’s revolution, protesters gathered on March 10 to oppose the refurbishment of a statute depicting Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syria’s hereditary president, Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading →
When Germany announced last April that it was seeking the arrest of Jamil Hassan, head of Syria’s feared Air Force Intelligence Directorate, many dismissed it as a well-meaning piece of theatre. Continue reading →
Chemical warfare has dominated the global perception of the Syrian civil war. The use of chemical weapons, banned internationally, attracts its own condemnation but the way the Syrian war is captured and communicated to the world increased the horror and disgust its crimes can inspire. Continue reading →
Even in wartime, bureaucracies continue to produce weights of paper. Baathist bureaucracies are no exception. Throughout Syria’s war, the extent to which the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s worst excesses have found their way onto official paper has surprised onlookers. Couched among the death certificates issued by state-run prisons lies the documentation, officially signed, legally witnessed, describing a campaign of mass murder. It is punctilious, and in plain sight. Continue reading →
The central justification for US President Donald Trump’s demand that the United States evacuates its military presence from Syria is that the Islamic State (ISIS) has been defeated. Superficially, and compared to what came before, this argument may not initially appear outlandish. Continue reading →
The European Union has announced, last week, the extension of sanctioning of some people affiliated with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, noting that these ‘prominent businessmen are making large profits through their ties with the regime and are helping to finance the regime in return’ and were ‘supporting and benefiting from the Assad regime’. Continue reading →
Permanence has its attractions. It seems stable and without threat. Things we elect to do indefinitely are likely to be activities we enjoy, or can endure. We hope conditions that do not change might make us safe.
This reasoning is naïve, of course. And we know it, or come to learn it through experience. True permanence is as impossible as perfection, each equally out of reach. Continue reading →