David Hirst, longtime Middle East correspondent for the Guardian, has also written for the Christian Science Monitor, the Irish Times, the St. Petersburg Times, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Beirut Daily Star . He is the author of Sadat, a study of the late Egyptian president who once denounced him over the airwaves, and, most recently, The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East (Nation Books).. Hirst has been banned at various times from visiting Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He lives in Beirut.
The Baathist regime is the most opaque on earth, and Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad must develop a strategy to save himself and his regime,
as the UN investigation of the assasination of Lebanese Prime Minister
Rafiq Hariri unfolds.
The retreat from Lebanon threatens the survival of the regime in Damascus.