90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Syria’s Bashar Assad Hangs Onto Power Despite Turmoil

In this July 13, 2008, file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma arrive for a formal dinner after a Mediterranean Summit meeting at the Petit Palais in Paris. (AP)

In this July 13, 2008, file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma arrive for a formal dinner after a Mediterranean Summit meeting at the Petit Palais in Paris. (AP)

The revolt against the Syrian regime is now more than a year old and has claimed an estimated 10,000 lives.

This week, international outrage has flared up after reports of more than 100 civilians killed in the village of Houla.

So how has President Bashar Assad been able to hold onto power when other Middle Eastern leaders have fallen?

One reason could be that Assad, and his wife, Asma, still enjoy support across the country from people of all walks of life. They also have support in all of Syria’s religious communities.

But ultimately, economic issues could undermine Assad.

The international community is putting increased pressure on Syria, and the economy is now beginning to fail, which could turn Assad’s supporters into dissenters and damage his ability to maintain power.

Guest:

  • Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • J Frog

    Interesting theory about the Syrian uprising being spurred on by economic troubles. So what he’s saying is that the financial meltdown caused the Syrian Arab Spring? I guess that was one good outcome of the meltdown and recession. Take a bow George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan, Former Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Reid, and Rep. Barney Frank.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 22 2 Comments

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

DNA from the boy buried 12,600 years ago shows his people were ancestors of many of today's native peoples.

July 22 Comment

After Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Closer Look At Planning Flight Paths

Retired pilot John Ransom discusses how to factor in war zones, and how the decision is made to close an airspace.

July 21 Comment

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

July 21 Comment

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

An average of 38 kids die in a hot car every year in the U.S. We look at the science of why cars get so hot so fast, and why children are more vulnerable.