has posted a couple very interesting speculations about what a democratic Syria would look like.After Assad Goes: 1. Inside Syria
tries to answer the question “What do the protesters want?” and comes up with a fairly optimistic answer.After Assad 2: Beyond our Borders
(which I’ve only read about half of and very quickly skimmed the rest, since plumtreeblossom
and I are trying to get out the door to get to EarthFest on the Esplanade) talks about how a democratic Syria would look to its neighbours (short answer, “Terrifying!”). This is really interesting, and I think these issues are part of why the U.S. has been (even) slower and more tentative about supporting the Syrian protesters than it was about supporting the Egyptian ones. As important as Egypt is in the region, it’s (very large) influence was fairly simple and straightforward.¹ Syria, though, has complex and far-reaching unpredictable tentacles in all sorts of nearby countries — and moreover, nearby countries have complex and far-reaching and unpredictable tentacles in it
¹ To my untrained, not particularly well informed eye, anyway. Of course Egyptian foreign policy has changed in some important ways since the revolution, too.