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As`ad Abukhalil أسعد ابو خليل


The Left and the Syria Debate

[Map of Syria, its governorates, and major cities]

Talking about Syria  Civil wars generate their own momentum. They go through different phases and produce different leaderships and warlords. The Lebanese civil war makes for a good academic comparison with the current Syrian war in that internal and external actors are entangled and weapons and fighters are being poured into the country. The dynamics of war in both countries helped catapult or create new constellations of arms, money, and interests across the ...

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The Cult of Ziad Rahbani

[Crowd photo of Ziad Rahbani in Damascus. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

For people between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, Ziad Rahbani is the biggest celebrity there is. Some non-Lebanese may not be aware of the extent and reach of the Ziad Rahbani cult. You will find young people in Lebanon who can recite entire dialogues and songs by him. These are people who for every occasion and every episode in life can invoke an aphorism by Ziad. To be sure, Ziad was also (and remains) big for people of my generation. After all, he introduced a ...

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الطاغية إبن الطاغية

[بشار الأسد]

‎[.إرتأت جريدة “الأخبار” ألّا  تنشر مقالة أسعد أبو خليل الأسبوعيّة وهذا هو نصّها الكامل] ‎يجثم فوق صدور العرب طغاة، ويجثم فوق صدورهم أبناء الطغاة. الطغاة يولّدون، لكن ليس إلى ما لا نهاية. الإنتفاضات العربيّة—إن دلّت على شيء—دلّت على أن أجل الطغاة محدود، حتى لو كانت أميركا وإسرائيل هما الضامنتيْن. وسوريا عانت من حكم الطاغية، وتعاني من حكم إبن الطاغية. ‎غاب بشّار الأسد لأشهر عن السمع قبل أن يطلّ على محطة "الدنيا"، وهي نموذج للتخصيص الإقتصادي في ...

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Hafez Al-Assad in 1976

People of my generation cannot (and should not) forgive and forget. What happened in 1976 changed the course of contemporary Lebanese history and prolonged the agonizing years of the civil war. In 1976, the PLO-Lebanese National Movement (LNM) coalition was on its way to defeat the pro-Israeli Phalanges militias in Lebanon, after they were the ones who started the civil war on behalf of Israel and the US. According to Newsweek magazine at the time, the PLO-LNM joint forces ...

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Opposition to the Syrian Opposition: Against the Syrian National Council

[Image from AllVoices]

First, let us be clear. The Syrian people have every right to protest, peacefully and violently, against the brutal regime. But let us be clear; the Syrian regime has no right to stay in power, and this was true even before it began using violence to quell the uprising. And let us be clear; the Syrian regime is incapable of reforming itself. It is rather foolish to wait for a group to ascend to power before criticizing it. There was no mystery as to the intentions and ...

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As`ad Abukhalil أسعد ابو خليل

As`ad Abukhalil is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is also author of the widely read Angry Arab blog.