Syria – A Decade of Lost Chances. Repression and Revolution from Damascus Spring to Arab Spring. By Carsten Wieland, Cune Press, Seattle, 2012, 336 pp.
This is a fascinating and highly readable book, providing one of the most detailed accounts of the dramatic events in Syria over the past decade and before. Carsten Wieland gives an original and critical in-depth analysis of modern Syrian history with a refreshing approach.
Since the start of the Syrian Revolution in March 2011 various other relevant books have been published on Syria, but none of these has thus far dealt with Syria’s past decade so much in detail and in-depth as Carsten Wieland’s “A Decade of Lost Chances“. If you really want to be well informed about why things did not go well, or went wrong, time and again, during the epoch of Bashar al-Asad, Wieland’s book is a must.
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This is not only an academic reference work, helping us to better understand Syrian history; it could also be used as a tool for future policy-making, and to help evaluating what foreign governments might have, or should have done differently during this past “decade of lost chances”.
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Wieland ends his book by concluding that “the Syrian people cannot afford and do not deserve another decade of lost chances. If the most grim scenarios unfold, however, the next decade may be much worse for many Syrians than it was, prior to the Arab Spring, under the rule of Asad.” It appears as if these most grim scenarios have already started to unfold. The big question is whether there might still be a possibility to get out of this situation through dialogue instead of bloodshed. The answer is in the hands of the Syrians.AJ
AL JADID Vol. 17, no. 64, pp. 30-31.
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