If the point of the article is to argue that Bashir Assad is more of a by-product of an already dysfunctional society then I would agree. Of course, his personal guilt, was clear the moment he decided that he would not be a practicing ophthalmologist. Israel has been a focus of Syria’s and the other mandate sister states (Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan) and Egypt’s hostility but it is almost as if it is a target of opportunity. An easy way to forge identity politics for either pan-Arabism or pan-Islam. Which probably goes a long way in explaining why the Israeli-Arab conflict is so intractable.