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Asad in Search of Legitimacy: Message & Rhetoric in the Syrian Press Under Hafiz & Bashar
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Asad in Search of Legitimacy: Message & Rhetoric in the Syrian Press Under Hafiz & Bashar (Paperback)

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Synopsis

The Syrian regime, ruled by the Ba'th socialist party and headed by presidents from the Alawi minority, faces problems of legitimacy vis-a-vis its people, which it tackles through powerful security organizations and the state media. The government media machine exists to express the regime's viewpoint in both local and external spheres, and to promote acceptance of the legitimacy of Asads presidency and government. The media also attempts to mobilize the masses to act in the service of the state by disseminating information which reflects Asad's position on current issues. The organs of the regime -- army, party, security services, national and local authorities -- are proclaimed as acting by order of the president. While personal commitment to the legitimacy of Hafiz al-Asad is the principal 'article of faith', this message is supported by complementary messages -- Asad being true to the Moslem faith; Asad as historic leader; Asad as the focus of identity of all Syrian citizens; the 'crimes' of the Moslem Brotherhood, etc. -- and vociferous political discourse.

Mordechai Kedar is Lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. For 25 years he analyzed documents in Arabic in his duties as Senior Intelligence office in the IDF. He is the author of many articles on political issues in the politics of Arab states.

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