January 11, 2006


A potent threat to Syria rises in exile: Former Syrian vice president launches a public campaign to link President Assad to Lebanese assassination. (Rhonda Roumani , 1/12.06, The Christian Science Monitor)

With [Former Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim]'s public campaign against Assad, the Syrian government may face its first real internal challenge from the country's frayed opposition. Until now there was no well-known Syrian figure to unify the opposition.

"He's absolutely an alternative because he's a well-known man," says a Syrian analyst who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions. "He knows how to deal with the people and the country. He has the backing of so many regional and local powers. Otherwise, how would you explain the fury of the government to his statements?"

The only real question is whether Assad or Ahmadinejad falls first.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2006 6:42 PM

Assad. For many reasons, but having a credible alternative is key. We would be much further along in Iraq had we allowed one to develop there.

Posted by: JAB at January 11, 2006 8:47 PM

The proper equation is Assad and Khameini. Ahmadinejad is just the front man, the lighting rod (as it were). While he rants about the Holocaust, the Guardian Council continues to run things from their bunker.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 11, 2006 10:12 PM

Assad will fall in 2036.

Posted by: Bartelson at January 11, 2006 11:41 PM

Khamenei is the one who will topple Ahmadinejad, who was a fluke in the first place.

Posted by: oj at January 12, 2006 12:03 AM

Exactly how does the puppeteer 'topple' the puppet?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 12, 2006 10:00 AM

Khamenei's candidates lost.

Posted by: oj at January 12, 2006 10:05 AM

Whoa - those he did not approve of were not allowed to run. So, in what way did his candidates lose?

Granted, a large part of the electorate did not vote. But it seems they knew something you don't.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 12, 2006 11:40 PM