A Smoother Dynasty

The smoothness with which Bashar Assad is being elevated to his late father's job as ruler of Syria must be generating some envy in the two other prominent heirs waiting to succeed a parent as head of state--Prince Charles and George W. Bush. Of the three countries involved, Syria, which is supposedly a socialist republic, seems to be the only one that still observes the monarchical line of succession in unreconstructed form. Bashar Assad is in line for the top job simply because his elder brother was killed several years ago. The only other person claiming to be the true successor...

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