Jonathan Tepperman talks about interviewing Bashar al-Assad

I interviewed Bashar al-Assad about Syria’s civil war. He’s still too delusional to end it.

In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach[…]

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Progress, Rwandan Style

KIGALI, Rwanda — Twenty years ago Monday, the state of Rwanda set about trying to hack itself out of existence. Starting on April 7, 1994, Hutu extremists, in a premeditated 100-day campaign, systematically butchered close to 1 million Tutsis — three-quarters of all those in the country — as well as moderate Hutus, driving countless[…]

Can Egypt Learn From Thailand?

BANGKOK was rocked by anti-government demonstrations earlier this month — once a depressingly familiar sight. But that bad news shouldn’t overshadow the good. Disruptive protests may have been all too common in Thailand just a short while ago, but in the last two years, they’ve become an anomaly. The country has gone from a virtual[…]

Waffle, Vacillate, Fail

In just the last few weeks, the Russian government has used a show trial to silence a prominent activist, Egypt’s junta has massacred protesters, Turkey has cracked down on peaceful dissent, and the rulers of Cambodia and Zimbabwe have stolen elections — again. In each case, the Obama administration has done little more than mutter[…]

Israel vs. Iran, Again

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel went on American television to remind the world (in case anyone had forgotten) that the threat from Iran remains very much alive. Speaking on “Face the Nation,” Netanyahu warned that the Islamic Republic is once again approaching a nuclear redline, and hinted that if the United[…]