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
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