Sami Moubayed at PostGlobal

Sami Moubayed

Damascus, Syria

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst and historian based in Damascus, Syria. Moubayed is the author of "Damascus Between Democracy and Dictatorship (2000)" and "Steel & Silk: Men and Women Who Shaped Syria 1900-2000 (2006)." He has also authored a biography of Syria's former President Shukri al-Quwatli and currently serves as Associate Professor at the Faculty of International Relations at al-Kalamoun University in Syria. In 2004, he created, the first and online museum of Syrian history. He is also co-founder and editor-in-chief of FORWARD, the leading English monthly in Syria, and Vice-President of Haykal Media. Close.

Sami Moubayed

Damascus, Syria

Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst and historian based in Damascus, Syria. more »

Main Page | Sami Moubayed Archives | PostGlobal Archives

Learning from Cuba and Dwight Eisenhower

I think that the Iranian elections should make everybody sit back, take a deep breath, and try to see whether they really understand the dynamics of Iranian politics.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (10)

PatMaGroyn Author Profile Page:

I was lucky to be in one of the last ships in the Suez Canal, when Nasser sunk barges inside that Canal to prevent use by foreign invaders.
An invasion by Britain, France, and Israel was imminent, but the Soviet Union informed Eisenhower that they would attack all three invaders with nuclear weapons in their home countries if they invaded their ally, Egypt. Eisenhower informed the three aggressors, who immediately called of that invasion. Discretion is the better part of valour. The three countries who wanted to bomb Egypt couldn't stand it themselves.

PatMaGroyn Author Profile Page:


AbuNawas Author Profile Page:


I'd appreciate if you could stop speaking for the people of the Middle East and patronizing us, the people of the Middle East, with your "freedom waves" empty slogans and propaganda.

We Arabs: men, women (the one who feel discriminated again too), Muslims, Christians, seculars, religious, arab-nationalists, Muslim-nationalists from Syria to Morocco have not elected you or your violent officials to lecture us about your so-called freedom that killed over 1 million Hajis, as your official racist army calls them, in Iraq.

I am sick and tired of reading about your freedom to kill our people and subject them against their will so you can pat yourself on the shoulder while your government holds and tortures children as young as 14 in Gitmo (on top of journalists) and who bombs wedding parties and funerals (last week in Pakistan) while denying it targets civilians despite the images of dead children and women.

Not once in my life have I ever came across a people who take the lives of others with so much impunity and tell us to our face that they did it for their freedom.

Your freedom is not our freedom.

Your freedom is racist (ask African-Americans how much they enjoyed it in the land of free), violent and tyrannical.

We don't want it.

Did you want me to write this to you in some other language so you can get it?

We do not want your tyrannical freedom.

Keep it for yourself.

TomMiller1 Author Profile Page:

Not once did I ever heard Obama suggest a regime change in Iran or predict that it would take place. Most observers in the U.S. believe the people will gain their rights one day and that this will also happen in countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria but serious thought even in the media fully expects the current regime to hang on for a while. What is remarkable about the Iranian election is that the people seemed to be only requesting a little respect for their intelligence and counting their votes. For that, they are treated like cattle for slaughter.

Given the veiled mix of miltiary, clerical, Royal/Revolutionary Guard, self-righteous government paid plain-clothes morality militia, and general beaurocratic benefactors in the Iranian Government, it's unlikely even the Iranian "Government" knows what to expect in the future and certainly not when. Paranoia reigns supreme as always.

What is obvious is the fear from Middle Eastern governments that a freedom wave is building that can't be stopped. It won't be the result of anything the West does. People aren't forever stupid and pliable. We've seen all of this many times before.

Irrelevant talk of Cuba and Eisenhower are just lack of inspiration for an event that some in the Middle East don't want to accept. In the meantime all of us in the world who value human rights should not hesitate to speak out against injustice wherever and whenever it appears. Iran is no exception.

Wetcoaster Author Profile Page:

Of course the world was watching - from a safe and enforced distance. Who from "the world" was there to ensure the boxes even got opened? It would be very easy to staff the process with people who blindly follow orders. What controls were there over the travelling ballot boxes? In short, there is no reason to believe anything got counted at all. Why doctor that many ballots (which would take far too long), when all you have to do is ignore them.
Obama's responses come from hawkish pressures from the slow learners in the US system. He made it clear early on that it wasn't the approach he wanted to take. Regrettable and counter-productive, they show the limitations he faces in his government as he tries to accomplish other goals as well.
The armed forces aren't ready to put down arms yet, but I'm sure that day is much closer.

ordak100 Author Profile Page:

Excellent analysis, especially about your observation of American presidents talk of Cuba falling and the number of Iranian presidents since 1979.

The MTV generation have a shallow knowledge of the world outside their hometown, the increase in world travel not withstanding as they think, for example, Dubai is like the rest of the Arab world!!


farhad2 Author Profile Page:

"I doubt that a government--any government--can doctor 11 million votes"

That is either because you're so naive, or because you're Syrian. I hear Ahmadinejad is very well respected among Arabs for lashing out Israel every now and then?

READ the net, see how there is tons of real EVIDENCE floating around about how the "election" was a total fraud.

start from this blog, which is one of the many places analyzing the statistics the Interior Ministry recently published (after TEN DAYS of tampering with the real numbers. although most of the Iranians believe they didn't even bother counting the ballots, see for yourself)

j2hess Author Profile Page:

Yes, Iran has had more genuine citizen participation than most countries of the region. And the US has little leverage. I don't think that is reason to recommend complacency.

This "election" is a sign that the system is slipping further into corruption - from the monetary corruption of the clerics, to the political corruption of the electoral process. Once Ahmadinejad his supporters have secured power, do you think they will surrender it in the next election?

Ahmadinejad is allied with an Islamic school that calls democracy un-Islamic. He believes the leader (himself) is a proxy for the Hidden Iman - the divine right of kings in another guise.

If Ahmadinejad wins this one, even limited democracy in Iran is done with for a generation at least. Don't try to tell us this is about the US. It's about the future of the people of Iran.

anaelena65 Author Profile Page:

I am amazed that this political analyst actually thinks that because Obama said something in defense of the protesters that's what gave Iran an excuse to blame the US. They were blaming us before Obama said anything. Also, to say Cuba was "too strong" is completely misleading. He should have said that when a country has a totalitarian and oppressive government, short of going in with bombs and armed forces it will not fall. I and many others around the world are moved by what is happening in Iran. I hope that they can rise above their oppression as is my hope for Cuba one day as well.

Lamoushka Author Profile Page:

Almost everybody in the world knows that Kohmeini's ascendancy had the tacit blessing of the U.S., after it has been decided to get rid of the Shah. Unfortunately, the people of Iran has been enduring most of the "crap" with the theocratic regime of the Ayathollas, almost the same way they were under the previous Imperial regime. All what the Moussawi followers are asking for is more freedom, more tolerance, more understanding and more openness to the world, nothing more. They want change, and they shall get it, whether now or tomorrow. What happened recently in Iran is irreversible!

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.