Syria Siding with the U.S. Sheriff

Sheriff Bucking mounting doubts at home, Hafez Assad continues to ride in the American-led posse against Iraq

Early risers in Damascus these days are treated to what is ordinarily an unthinkable sight in the Syrian capital: antigovernment graffiti. LONG LIVE SADDAM HUSSEIN, one scrawler proclaimed recently in a bold protest against President Hafez Assad's participation in the U.S.-led alliance against Saddam. The inscriptions are quickly erased, but government authorities know that all the whitewash in the world cannot obliterate the sentiment they express. "To be anti-U.S. and pro-Arab nationalism is what people in Syria have been groomed for, and it's very difficult to shake off," says a Western diplomat in Damascus. "This feeling is all of the government's...

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