This is his third speech since the start of the revolution 2011, different from the exuded confidence during the first and the measured confidence of the second. This speech is about a situation that has been deteriorating daily and El Assad seemed to be fully aware of this. The Main points:
- A realistic assessment of the situation: but there is no going back, Syria must look to the future.
- A will to make the amnesty more inclusive without threatening the security of the people and the state, and there will be no concessions for the extremists who willingly kill and vandalise.
- The reforms will be articulated by the national dialogue process that is going on. The national dialogue basis is the muhafazat because of the mosaic of the Syrian society.
- There is need for electoral reform and constitutional reform, the first must come first.
- Electoral reform will likely be decided soon, before the august elections. And by the end of the year the consitutional reform will be initiated.
- Bashar nearly shocked when he mentioned the state of the Syrian economy and thanked all the people who are keeping their money in Syrian pounds even as little as 1000 pounds.
- Not once did he mention the sects or religions, he spoke in terms of the rich mosaic of the Syrian society. He spoke only once of the painful events of the 1980s to illustrate that there is no going back for Syria. This can be interpreted in two different ways and El Assad speaks in this way when he is under duress. It can mean that reforms are coming but it can also mean that some people are trying to drag Syrians again in this hole but they won't succeed, the second interpretation conveys more firmness, albeit a veiled one.
The applause was spontaneous at least on two occasions. When he spoke about himself and his family and when he spoke about the connection between the people of Syria, a connection he felt during his many meetings with people from across the country.
Some would say that there was nothing new. I would say that this speech was intended internally. What we saw today is Bashar delivering in a very somber mood (he cracked only one joke) a realistic assessment of the situation and the steps that has been taken and will be undertaken in the future to remedy the situation. This speech was in no way intended for the people who are calling him to step down.
This is significant because it means that the regime stands united. Either they survive together or they are going down together. I would say that there is a real connection there between the prsesident and his men. The people who are betting on cracks in the regime stand no chance to seeing any cracks soon.
I think the speech was measured and grave but the only thing that worries me is that Bashar seemed uneasy and unassuming again as during his first years in office. He appeared more than ever as the face of the regime. But the people who are directing their anger against him are hitting the wrong target. It doesn't mean that he is powerless, it doesn't diminish him, it means that he took this responsibility against his will and that he will assume it until the end" All this means also that if he is to step down, nothing will change. But if it is the entire regime the Syrian revolution 2011 want to bring down, then my understanding is that they will bring down the whole country and we will have an Iraq like scenario. So either the people behind the Syrian revolution 2011 are naive or they are deceiving us. Increasingly Bashar El Assad and his family are becoming the scapegoats for the discontent with the regime. And the plan is 'sacrifice the scapegoat' and everything will turn out to be fine. This is a bad plan for Syria. This regime has been part of Syria for the last 40 years, so either the regime and those who want change (the real revolutionaries, not The Syrian Revolution 2011) work out something together or things will turn bad. The second option seems to be the goal of the Syrian revolution 2011.