Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who makes decisions in Syria?

A few weeks ago in a conversation with Bassam Haddad (whose knowledge of Syria I respect even if we don't always agree, and lately we have disagreed) he makes this point that is rarely made: he maintains that Bashshar Al-Asad still in fact governs within the regime, and that he has not really surrendered all powers to the Iranian or Russian government.  I think that he is right: Western commentaries have overstated the case that Bashshar has become a figure head.  Bassam does not believe that at all.  I wonder if the regime wants to promotion this view that Bashshar is powerless in order to absolve him of responsibility for all that happened in the last few years.