Syria: The Proud Lion and His Den

One year after his humiliation, Assad is stronger than ever

Atop a gray bluff overlooking Damascus, a palace of splendid proportions is slowly rising. When it is finished, it will be the residence of Syrian President Hafez Assad. The lofty home is testament to the adroit ways of Assad, a onetime air force commander who has dived and climbed his way through the stormy skies of Arab politics for 13 years. It is also something more: a gleaming symbol of Assad's faith in his future as a major powerbroker in the Middle East.

Assad's confidence is not misplaced.

One year after Israel's...

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