Commanding Syria: Bashar Al-Asad and the First Years in Power
"When Bashar al-Asad became President of Syria in June 2000, he had a tough act to follow. A quiet, unassuming ophthalmologist, trained in Britain, young Asad was successor to his dynamic, wily father Hafiz, who had consolidated power in his ethnically diverse and politically restive state through personal charisma, brute force and political balancing acts." "This is the first major work on Bashar al-Sad. It explains his emergence to power from the Byzantine manoeuvering of Asad family politics. It assesses the durability of Hafiz's legacy, including the persistent influence of the old power-brokers, the effectiveness of Bashar's attempts to move away from his father's shadow, and the prospects for reform in Syria. It examines the key events of Bashar's Presidency - the so-called "Damascus Spring', the decision not to support America's second war with Iraq in 2003, and the assassination of the former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, and puts them into historical and political context. Above all Commanding Syria evaluates Bashar's continuing hold on power following Syria's humiliating retreat from Lebanon in Spring 2005 and the aggressive American drive to impose democracy in the Middle East."--BOOK JACKET.
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