The Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland, flashes back to the World Policy Conference organized by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Vienna. He feigns surprise at the consensus struck between Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak regarding Syria. They both think that the downfall of Assad is inevitable since it is no longer viable to govern by resorting to the bloody crackdown against the protest movement.

• In The National Charles Glass recalls that the U.S. has a history of regime change in Syria. In 1949, the CIA organized the military coup of Colonel Zaim, to allow Aramco to build a trans-Syrian pipeline. However, this move opened a period of instability and Zaim was himself overthrown a month later. The CIA attempted two other regime changes (Operation Straggle and Operation Wappen) which were aborted. This tumultuous period ended with the coup staged by Hafez al-Assad in 1970, which brought stability to Syria if not freedom.

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