Nader Hashemi writes: Assad’s chemical weapons attack and the subsequent U.S. missile strike on Syria jolted our world. Most of the commentary that ensued, however, was about the West.
What are the implications for U.S-Russian relations?
Is there a strategic vision behind Trump’s new Syria policy?
What can we learn about White House palace intrigue in terms of who has the president’s ear?
What was completely ignored was a connection between these attacks and the broader politics of the Middle East.
Assad’s sarin gas attack was not a sui generis event that took place in a vacuum. It is directly related to longstanding trends that help explain the region’s turmoil. Two themes stand out: 1) the extreme measures that authoritarian regimes will adopt to retain power, and 2) the severe human rights crisis facing the Middle East. [Continue reading…]