Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post: What a Syrian PR trip says about Bashar al-Assad’s thinking
After five years of war, Syria has become a byword for the sort of vicious assault on civilian life unseen in the 21st century. But in a rare press trip to the capital, Damascus, this week, visitors tasted a different reality.
In town at the invitation of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Western reporters, politicians and analysts — some temporarily struck from the government’s blacklist — found a city where guns had fallen silent and bars were abuzz.
The centerpiece of their short visit was a workshop, finishing Monday, to understand the "ramifications of the war in Syria.” Born out of peaceful protests in 2011, that war has claimed the lives of almost half a million people — most at the hands of pro-government forces.
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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- November 2, 2016
Assad Speaks -- Dexter Filkins, New Yorker
Islamic State's myriad enemies make for awkward alliance -- Dominic Evans, Reuters
The Insane D.I.Y. Weapons of the ISIS War -- David Axe, Daily Beast
Tensions Brewing Between India and Pakistan -- Kamran Bokhari, Geopolitical Futures
Philippines’ Duterte discovered this week that his actions have consequences -- Emily Rauhala, Washington Post
Dominoes in the South China Sea -- Euan Graham, WSJ
As the threat from the North grows, South Korea finds itself in a lonely place -- The Economist
Is Japan Too Scared to Succeed? -- Michael Schuman, Bloomberg
China’s leader Xi Jinping gets a powerful lift -- Frank Ching, Special to The Globe and Mail
Jacob Zuma is on the edge and in retreat -- Simon Tisdall, The Guardian
Tsipras Caught Between EU and Voter Demands -- Spiegel Online
Vladimir of Arabia -- Emile Simpson, Foreign Policy
In rare move, China criticizes Trump plan to exit climate change pact -- Sue-Lin Wong, Reuters
Republicans and Russian hackers have made Hillary Clinton the most transparent candidate in history -- Ezra Klein, VOX
The Clintons — At the End of All Things -- Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
Clinton’s Foreign Policy: The Known Unknowns -- Robert E. Hunter, Lobelog
Populism on the March: Why the West Is in Trouble -- Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Affairs
Australia’s Lesson for a Thirsty California -- Sylvia Rowley, NYT