A Strategy for Syria Under International Law: How to End the Asad Dictatorship While Restoring Nonviolence to the Syrian Revolution – By Harvard International Law
HARVARD INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL – OPINION – EDITORIAL Online MARCH 2012 Volume 53
By Chibli Mallat, Jane Mansbridge, Sadek Jalal al-Azm, Trudi Hodges, Mansoor al-Jamri, Ishac Diwan, Sharhabeel al-Zaeem, John J. Donohue, S.J., Yang Jianli, Ph.D.*
I. INTRODUCTION: HIGH STAKES
The iron rule of the Asad dynasty over Syria’s people is forty-two years old. It began in 1970 when then Defense Minister Hafez al-Asad carried out a bloody coup against his own party colleagues and appointed himself president. Hafez, the family patriarch and dictator for life, killed or jailed companions he perceived as his rivals, supported violent extremism whenever he found it useful, and plundered Syria’s riches while arresting and torturing any dissenter. Over two generations of Asads, a brutal government in Damascus has been the main Mideast ally of an increasingly belligerent
* The authors wish to thank Paul Kahn, Edward Mortimer, Eman Shaker, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. We are grateful for their time spent looking over this piece and their helpful criticisms and suggestions, which strengthened it. Of course, all the views expressed herein are those of the authors.