Glass, formerly the chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News and a veteran of Lebanon’s kidnapping heyday (he spent sixty-two days as a hostage in 1987), cuts none of the parties to the current Syrian war much slack. He establishes that the government’s murderous response to protesters in Dera’a was initially to blame for “escalat[ing] and radicaliz[ing]” demonstrations throughout Syria, and pulls no punches when it comes to highlighting the brutality of the state: “President Assad’s counter-insurgency strategy has appeared to involve targeting the civilian population and medical facilities in rebel areas, in order to deprive the armed opposition of its support.”

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