How Fighter Pilots Made Modern Syria
War Is Boring

Mr. Cooper makes a reference to the then Soviet Union stationing 123 MiGs in Syria in 1956. What Cooper failed to make perfectly clear is that Moscow had not placed a 100 plus contingent of fighters in Syria. Why?

Mr. Cooper also failed to put this report of Soviet air power into perspective. In 1956 and 1957, the United States and Britain attempted to overthrow the government in Damascus. The 1956 plan was scrubbed when England and France colluded with Israel in attacking Egypt in 1956. The 1957 plan was discovered by Syrian authorities and fell apart. Why did Mr. Cooper omit the context of the story?

Mr. Cooper also failed to provide key background information about Asad’s rise to power. No where does he mentioned the kaleidoscope of governments and rulers that made up Syrian politics from 1949 to 1970. If the term had been in use, the State Department would have labelled Syria as a “dysfunctional state.”

Mr. Cooper’s brief and narrow biography of Hafez al-Asad is interesting, but his glaring omissions of important and relevant background information weakens his article.

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