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NYT: Syria's Leader Moves to Consolidate Power(dictator must act like one)

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:37 AM
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NYT: Syria's Leader Moves to Consolidate Power(dictator must act like one)
Syria's Leader Moves to Consolidate His Power
By HASSAN M. FATTAH
Published: March 19, 2005


DAMASCUS, Syria, March 16 - When Bashar al-Assad inherited the presidency of Syria from his father five years ago, there was talk of a new era. An ophthalmologist trained in England, the soft-spoken young Assad favored economic reform and openness to dissent. He shunned the personality cult of Arab dictators, declining to paper the country with his image.

Last week, though, his picture was on every street corner as Damascus held a well-orchestrated rally celebrating his rule.

The posters are the most visible and recent sign that Mr. Assad, 39, has shifted tactics, starting a campaign to consolidate power and shore up his position in the midst of the international crisis over Syria's three-decade domination of Lebanon.

"Bashar is learning that his father did things for a reason," says Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma and the Web site Syriacomment.com, who is spending 2005 in Damascus. "If you're going to be a dictator you're going to have to act like one."

Beginning last summer, analysts and diplomats here say, Mr. Assad purged the ranks of the military, sidelined prospective opponents and wrested control of foreign policy, especially the "Lebanon file," from his vice president....


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/19/international/middlee...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 02:25 PM
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1. There's hope for the boy yet.
I was thinking Bush might get him overthrown and slain (and perhaps publicly displayed). The odds of that have lessened.
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 02:31 PM
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2. Why is he called President.......
when he is a hereditary ruler? (The same reason Bush II is called President?) In America we call it DEMOCRAZY! (Chaffee/Chaffee, Murkowski/Murkowski, Bush/Bush, Kennedy/Kennedy, Taft/Taft/Taft) In the past it was called Aristocracy! I thought we fought a revolution against it?
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