Friday, April 5, 2013

The Lebanese Exception

Though its current instability is troubling, Lebanon may still provide an example of power sharing in a future Syria. And as refugees from Syria stream into Lebanon, its worth recalling how past movements in the region shaped the present order.
Read the rest in The National Interest...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Enigma of the Syrian Nation

Much is often said about the artificiality of the modern Middle Eastern state-system, particularly Syria. Often highlighted are the region’s current “republics” as the outcome of Anglo-French colonial fancy: “contrived points on a map” in Fouad Ajami’s telling, joining together disparate peoples, fractious ethnic groups, apprehensive confessional communities and distinct autonomous provinces—into uneasy, compulsory and ultimately unhappy matrimony. This picture of Western intrusions and failed cartography is not entirely off-kilter. Yet this restive Syria protruding out of the sad canvas of the modern Middle East remains an entity that influential pundits insist on defending and preserving in its current form.

Read the rest in The National Interest