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

The BBC is not ‘left-wing’

You often hear the BBC described as having a ‘left-wing’ bias. This is despite all the evidence to the contrary. The logic behind such accusations seems to be that the state and its institutions are inherently ‘left-wing’. Although the BBC is somewhat removed from the market pressures heaped upon private companies, it is still subject to the same sorts of political pressures facing state bodies. The absence of advertising and corporate sponsors does not leave them totally beholding to the state. The BBC does enjoy an aloof relationship with the state. Of course, though the BBC is a public service … Continue reading