March 27th, 2012
10:44 PM ET

Kofi Annan's plan is destined to fail

Editor’s Note: David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  

By David Schenker – Special to CNN

President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to U.N. envoy and former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s six-point plan to end the bloodshed in Syria.  Al-Assad was wise to do so.  The U.N. initiative, which endorses al-Assad’s oversight of a “political process to address the legitimate aspirations” of the Syrian people - is a boon to the dictator and a setback for the opposition.

Al-Assad had little to lose by signing on to the plan.  The concessions he made in the deal- - the ceasefire, the ensuring of humanitarian assistance, a release of political prisoners, allowing entry to journalists, and permitting demonstrations - can all be reversed relatively quickly.  FULL POST

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Topics: Diplomacy • Syria • United Nations
Mubarak’s flawed trial
Egyptian ousted president Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher as he is wheeled into a courtroom in Cairo on September 7, 2011.
September 27th, 2011
01:26 PM ET

Mubarak’s flawed trial

Editor's Note: David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute. His most recent publications include Egypt's Enduring Challenges: Shaping the Post Mubarak Environment.

By David Schenker - Special to CNN

This week in Cairo, attorneys representing the families of those killed during the Egyptian uprising filed a motion for a mistrial in the murder prosecution of former president Hosni Mubarak. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  The trial was supposed to represent a critical phase of transitional justice - an opportunity to hold Mubarak and the senior officials during his 30-years in office accountable for their crimes.  Just weeks into the trial, however, preliminary indications suggest Egyptians are going be disappointed with the outcome. FULL POST

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Topics: Egypt • Law