Ed: 36: April/2011
The popular usage of the term "lawfare" is the use of law as a weapon in itself. Its goal is to weaken an enemy, primarily through demoralisation.
Lewis regards a dash toward Western-style elections, far from representing a solution to the region's difficulties, as constituting "a dangerous aggravation" of the problem, and fears that radical Islamic movements would be best placed to exploit so misguided a move.
The old order has crumbled in the Middle East, and it will never be the same again. But what made it crumble? The experts who had been arguing that the youth in the region constituted a listless generation that did not care about freedom and democracy have been proved wrong.
Nonetheless, the question in Syria now is whether the genie of losing one's fear of the regime is indeed out of the bottle. For the time being, there is no unequivocal answer.