Cultural Briefings

Syria: Open Sesame

By 
Michael Teague

A spate of recent articles in The New York Times popularized the notion that Syria is “opening up” and that an effort is being made to somehow “liberalize” society.

Considering the long and brutal track record of the Assad regimes, especially the Machiavellian tactics to which both father and son have resorted in order to retain power, there is ample reason to question the sincerity of such reports. It behooves us to take a closer look at the premises of these articles, and ask whether they offer solid evidence that this new “opening up” is genuine, and to what extent, if at all, it is taking place.

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