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On the Record

Authoritarian Reaction in Middle East Challenges American Policy

Syria is the latest country in the Middle East to see its population arise as demonstrators demand reforms. Following deadly anti-government protests, Syria has promised to implement a series of radical measures. But as unrest and protests continue to spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Shadi Hamid says it’s time for the U.S. to carefully consider its policies and actions in the region. And as the spirit of pan-Arab solidarity builds, and as authoritarian regimes push back, U.S. policy has to strike a balance between ideals and interests, he says.

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