October 27, 2011

The overwhelming majority of Arabs in the six nations covered in the survey side with those Syrians demonstrating against the government... And when asked whether Bashar Al Assad can continue to govern, the highest affirmative ratings he receives are 15% in Morocco and 14% in Egypt.

Robert Ford, the American ambassador to Syria, slipped out of the country on Sunday after credible threats were made against him. Ford and the Damascus embassy staff have been posting extensive content criticizing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to Facebook and offering public sympathy for Syrian rebels.

Three major democracies... by abstaining on a censure-Syria motion... have yet again shown... that they do not side with aspiring democrats in the developing world. The stronger a country becomes the less disposed it may be to support principles it does not need for protection any more...

October 8, 2011

At the end of the day, Turkey risks being told to mind its own business and to first put its house in order. The more it wants to be a soft power, the more it is going to be told by the international community to apply the same standards with its Kurd minority.

September 28, 2011

The Turkish leadership’s anti-Israeli rhetoric has certainly helped boost Turkey’s popularity in the region. But this is not the only dynamic that explains Ankara’s growing soft power influence in the Middle East. Turkey’s economic success, liberal visa policies, and a desire to engage constructively with the main players in the region are also important factors.

To vent their frustration with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose crackdown on the country’s uprising has killed an estimated 2,700 civilians since mid-March, the ambassadors have taken to slamming the regime on the embassy blog, embassy Facebook page, and online interviews, Storyful reports.

Sanctions are a hard form of economic power that Joseph Nye discusses in chapter three of his new book, The Future of Power, and a topic that is discussed widely today in relation to Syria. Many policy makers are pondering whether sanctions will be useful in convincing President al-Assad to stop killing his people.