We have not touched on the situation in Syria of recent so let's have a look at it.
Syria's leader, Bashar Al Assad inherited from his father a country under control and in fairly descent shape for this neighborhood here in the Middle East.
Bashar's father Hafez Al-Assad ruled for four decades.
History will probably be good to him for the stability he ushered in for Syria. But how he got things to that point was with ugly and brutal force – a reoccurring theme in the Arab world.
Internal stability for Syria – like Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya came about and was maintained by huge amounts of state security.
Over time, the governance that Hafez put into place followed the British model of divide and conquer, the minority ruling the majority, that was set up during after WWI and II.
In Syria's case, the Sunni bourgeoisie from Damascus and Aleppo, along with elements from the minority communities, supported the ruling system which in fact was a dictatorial regime.
Hafez Assad and his family are Alawite, who as the ruler had the power to create a security regime. He then protected the economy and the social status of well to do Sunni's and others so that they could prosper and support Assad.
Additionally, the stability he provided (through force) benefited Syria's image as a respectable member in the Arab world.
But the younger son Bashar, who now rules, has lost Syria's independent regional standing due to his actions.
He has not had the same success of internal containment as his father.
Syria now, as before, is a country that the international community is meddling with.
In his day, Hafez Assad ended this and turned Syria into an Arab and regional mini-power, and then wound up controlling Lebanon.
Bashar Assad lives in a more complicated environment for dictators… with instant news, social networking, and the Middle East being on the edge of regional instability. So outside powers are working to undermine him, and with some degrees of success.
It may take more time and bloodshed, but Bashar Assad does not look like he will be able to maintain that which his father left for him in Syria.
Middle East Correspondent