Friday, September 2, 2016

Washington's Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone

Amil Khan, "Washington's Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone,"

Image from article, with caption: Assad praying
The dictatorships of the Arab world — whether they claim to be religious or secular — don’t genuinely care about ideology. What they care about is staying in power, and their cack-handed efforts to do so have caused the multi-decade governance catastrophe that has allowed sectarianism to flourish. ...
In his book, Years of Upheaval, Henry Kissinger describes negotiating with Hafez al-Assad to facilitate what would eventually become the Camp David Accords: “His tactic was to open with a statement of the most extreme to test what the traffic would bear. He might then allow himself to be driven back to the attainable.” Assad the younger has followed a similar ploy in his approach to public diplomacy in the aftermath of the uprising against his rule, but he replaces “attainable” with “tolerable.” ...

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