Monday, April 04, 2011

Assad: The Arab Spring stops here

While Syria’s protesters demand freedom, President has stark message for his people
 
Robert Fisk, The Independent,  March 31, 2011

President Bashar al-Assad addresses parliament yesterday
AFP/GETTY IMAGES  President Bashar al-Assad addresses parliament yesterday

He was not a humble President. He did not give way. There were hints, of course – an end to emergency legislation, “reforms” – but when he spoke yesterday, trying to calm a crisis that has seen more than 60 people killed in a fortnight and threatens his very office, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria did not give the impression of a man on the run.

Was it Libya that gave him the “oomph” to go on, the encouragement to stand up and say that “reform is not a seasonable issue” – an accurate translation of his belief that Syria does not have to conform to the Middle East revolution? Either way, the Baath party is going to fight on. Assad remains the President of Syria. No change.

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