The Alawites of Syria have been in charge since 1970 and are only 12% of the population. They ethnically look like the lost children of the Western Crusaders, celebrate Christmas and our viewed as non-Muslims by the Orthodox Sunni population. The hard lesson of Papa-Doc Hafez -el Assad was “Hama rules”, as in the 1982 crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood and documented by NYT reporter Thomas Friedman in “Beirut to Jerusalem.”. The eye-doctor son Bashir may want to have a more refined image, but he must be tough in a tough neighborhood or risk a vengeance driven genocide of Alawites that Samantha Power will not attempt to appease.
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