Al-Assad’s speech Monday was promising as he talked about concrete steps with a concrete timetable. I am sure that most of the measures he mentioned were the ones advised by the Turkish officials over the course of the last two months.
It is no coincidence that when it was clear from yesterday's speech that Assad's fall will not come without the fall of the entire regime (read my previous post), Turkey has suddenly understood that it is not in their inetrest to have another Iraq at their frontier. From the beginning I wrote that Turkey will come to change its attitude if there were no cracks in sight inside the Baath regime and this is what just happened. At the same time, the ill advised Syrian revolution 2011 has focused its platform on the fall of Assad. As I wrote in my earlier post, yesterday's speech clearly demonstrated the unity of the regime, they will either survive together or go down together. This means that targeting Assad was not a smart move and still is not a smart move. But the Syrian Revolution 2011 thought that by targeting Assad, the regime will crack and let down Assad. This was the dynamic in Tunisia and Egypt, but it is clearly not the case here because while in Tunisia and Egypt the men who fell were the ones who made the regime, in Syria the man the Syrian revolution wants to topple is the face of the regime and he was made a statesman by this same regime. What we have seen from the beginning is the unity of this regime. The Syrian Revolution 2011, by scapegoating Assad, has trapped itself in a hateful, emotionally charged, rationally limited campaign, and it is the hate directed at Assad that made the unity of the regime stronger than ever.