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In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria

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A key player and an unrelenting obstacle in the Middle East peace process, Syria has long been a thorn in Washington's side when it comes to forging strategic alliances with powers in the region. But only after the events of 9/11 and Damascus's staunch opposition to the War in Iraq did the U.S. government begin a campaign to pressure President Bashar al-Asad's regime to ch A key player and an unrelenting obstacle in the Middle East peace process, Syria has long been a thorn in Washington's side when it comes to forging strategic alliances with powers in the region. But only after the events of 9/11 and Damascus's staunch opposition to the War in Iraq did the U.S. government begin a campaign to pressure President Bashar al-Asad's regime to change its policies and bring Syria into the Western political orbit. Author Andrew Tabler was both a witness to and participant in the events of this covert conflict. No other Western journalists or academics were based in Damascus during this entire period, and as co-founder of what was then Syria's only English-language publication, Tabler was not only watched and censored, but courted by the Syrian government in an attempt to influence his stories to the international community. He gained unique access to the upper echelons of power like no other journalist before him, even accompanying the Syrian president on a state visit to China. In the Lion's Den provides a rare glimpse into the machinations of one of the world's most baffling political systems. The book vividly captures Tabler's behind-the-scenes experiences as well as the story of Syria itself post-9/11 and Washington's attempts to craft a "New Middle East." Tabler's astute political analysis of the goings-on around him is seamlessly interwoven with a devastating critique of U.S. foreign policy. He examines the effects of the the Bush adminstration's strategy, asking what went wrong, what went right, and where Washington needs to go from here to deal with this volatile Middle Eastern country.


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A key player and an unrelenting obstacle in the Middle East peace process, Syria has long been a thorn in Washington's side when it comes to forging strategic alliances with powers in the region. But only after the events of 9/11 and Damascus's staunch opposition to the War in Iraq did the U.S. government begin a campaign to pressure President Bashar al-Asad's regime to ch A key player and an unrelenting obstacle in the Middle East peace process, Syria has long been a thorn in Washington's side when it comes to forging strategic alliances with powers in the region. But only after the events of 9/11 and Damascus's staunch opposition to the War in Iraq did the U.S. government begin a campaign to pressure President Bashar al-Asad's regime to change its policies and bring Syria into the Western political orbit. Author Andrew Tabler was both a witness to and participant in the events of this covert conflict. No other Western journalists or academics were based in Damascus during this entire period, and as co-founder of what was then Syria's only English-language publication, Tabler was not only watched and censored, but courted by the Syrian government in an attempt to influence his stories to the international community. He gained unique access to the upper echelons of power like no other journalist before him, even accompanying the Syrian president on a state visit to China. In the Lion's Den provides a rare glimpse into the machinations of one of the world's most baffling political systems. The book vividly captures Tabler's behind-the-scenes experiences as well as the story of Syria itself post-9/11 and Washington's attempts to craft a "New Middle East." Tabler's astute political analysis of the goings-on around him is seamlessly interwoven with a devastating critique of U.S. foreign policy. He examines the effects of the the Bush adminstration's strategy, asking what went wrong, what went right, and where Washington needs to go from here to deal with this volatile Middle Eastern country.

30 review for In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Jørgensen

    This is a great intro for people wanting to know more about Syria during the Bush admin. It does not deal very much with the current situation in Syria, but does touch on some diplomacy ideas worth reading. The most interesting part for me was better understanding the deep ties between Syria/Iran.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hazem Akil

    What a waste of time The author is obviously a mediocre journalist who found a chance to be relevant by portraying himself as an idealist in a tough neighbourhood. The inaccuracies in the the book are shocking. Don’t waste your time reading it (like I did unfortunately). It is nothing but trash.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Husain

    Interesting read and helpful context into the years leading up to the current civil war in Syria. However felt that the author lacked some perspective on the region and made some over generalizations at times.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Quratulain

    GB

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Excellent first hand account of the years leading up to the Syrian revolution. KInd of a memoir, but with more of a journalist's view, lacking in some of the typical local flavor/personal discovery stuff that many travel memoirs have. Excellent first hand account of the years leading up to the Syrian revolution. KInd of a memoir, but with more of a journalist's view, lacking in some of the typical local flavor/personal discovery stuff that many travel memoirs have.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Faulkner

    Totally eye opening and shows a Western insiders perspective of Syria during a pivotal era in Middle Eastern history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hansen

  8. 5 out of 5

    William Christou

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  10. 5 out of 5

    Quamazons

  11. 4 out of 5

    Villy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Miller

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily Conrad

  15. 5 out of 5

    J. L. C.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aadhu

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andre

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Brausch

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matti Paasio

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mahesh

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Starr

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leonora

  24. 5 out of 5

    Boaz Simovici

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tahabali

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexis M

  27. 5 out of 5

    emessan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Christolis

  29. 5 out of 5

    William Shockley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brian

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