Joseph Daher on the Syrian revolution

Joseph Daher is a Swiss-Syrian academic and activist. Originally from Aleppo, Daher is a staunch opponent of the Syrian Ba’ath regime. He maintains the website Syria Freedom Forever, which is dedicated to building a secular and socialist Syria. In his latest book Hezbollah: The Political Economy of the Party of God, Daher takes apart the misconceptions around Hezbollah and its role in Lebanese society. In the years since the Arab Spring began the international left has become increasingly divided over Syria, particularly as the revolution turned into a civil war with plenty of interference from outside. As a result, the left has diverged into at … Continue reading

Are you an Assadist?

Hunkering down: a poster of Syria's president at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus, Jan. 14 2012. (E. Arrott/VOA)

Some people whose interest in the Middle East is recent think that Assad is a uniquely Syrian phenomenon. I think the excessively harsh despotism and the equally excessive ability to cruelly exterminate your own population while believing yourself to be setting your nation on the road to modernity are quite unique in terms of their degree and intensity, but Assadism is nonetheless a more widespread political disposition in the Arab world. It can even be described as a mode of being. How do you recognise an Assadist? Here are some helpful suggestions for the newcomers: • An Assadist is anyone who … Continue reading

Six reasons why we don’t need a new cold war

The Pentagon budget the Obama administration unveiled this week calls for quadrupling spending on efforts to counter Russia. The money would move more troops, tanks, and artillery into position near the Russia border. This last Obama budget would also fund another installment in a $1 trillion and 30-year plan to “modernize” our nuclear arsenal with new land-based missiles, bombers, and submarines. If Congress supports the White House’s request, this budget would have our country spending more, adjusting for inflation, than we did during most of the Cold War. The Republican-controlled Congress wants to add even more. Sounds like we’re gearing … Continue reading