Syria: Debate, Damascus Style

Syria's governments have been over thrown so often that there is by now a certain ritual for a coup: martial music on Damascus radio, stentorian communiqués, tanks rumbling in the streets and the losers either shot or sent into exile. Last week, as rumors of yet an other upheaval continued to pour out of Damascus, the usual signs were ab sent. In fact, the supposed new strong man, Defense Minister Hafiz Assad, even showed up in public with the men he had reportedly overthrown, President Noureddine al Atassi and Baath Party Boss Salah Jadid. What had happened, it seems, was...

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