Syria: Such As It Is, the Logic of an Intractable Conflict. Dr. Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, and author of the widely read and influential blog Informed Comment, returns again to Democratic Perspective, this time to share his insights into the seemingly interminable bloodbath in Syria. How did mass protests against a secular one-party state devolve into a sectarian war of attrition which has killed tens of thousands — civilians as well as combatants — and displaced 40% of the country’s population? What do Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Russia and the United States expect to gain from their direct and indirect involvement in what has become an increasingly obscure and brutal civil war? To what extent have Syrian refugees contributed to a destabilization not only of the Middle East, but potentially of the European Union itself? Professor Cole offers our interviewers some informed answers to these questions, while at the same time contributing a number of interesting policy recommendations of his own.
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