Youth, liberalism ascend in Syria

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Since the death of President Hafez al-Assad last year, the Syrian government has embarked on a major push for democratization, according to FEED. And this isn’t an isolated case: A handful of Middle Eastern countries have been swept along in this recent tide of liberalization led by youthful new leaders.

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Hafez al-Assad’s son, Bashar, has already brought significant reforms both personal and economic in his short term. Under his administration, the nation has relaxed rules limiting freedom of the press, released hundreds of political prisoners, privatized the banking system, and approved the creation of a stock exchange.

While Syria seems to be moving towards a Western-style liberal democracy, the drift hasn’t brought Damascus any closer to Washington. The younger al-Assad has spurned US requests to drop demands on territory occupied by Israel and has moved to open up trade with Iraq.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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