Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Syrian President's Ignominious Speech

As I was searching for words to express my outrage at the president's speech, I came across Hashashji's post that perfectly encapsulates the speech's message (below is my translation):

- ما رح يتغير شي…الاصلاح مبلش من عشر سنين بس عادة التغييرات بدها عشرين سنة لتظهر و يعم الرخاء…
- الحكومة كان مقرر تسريحها اساسا…يعني مو لانو حدا تظاهر…
- لن يتم التساهل مع اي تظاهرة او متظاهر…
- اما معي….او ضد سوريا
- انا سوريا و سوريا انا….
- انا ما فهمتكون و ما شكلي رح افهمكون…صحي شو بدكون؟
- الاعلام السوري هو المرجعية الاعلامية لا العقل و الكومن سينس او اليوتوب
- انو معتقلين سياسيين؟
- انا الامل
- شعب متلكون بيستاهل واحد متلي
مبروك علينا الوطن…

  • I will not change anything... The reforms started ten years but the amendments will take another twenty years before they are applied and spread prosperity
  • The government was slated to resign anyway... it was not because of the demonstrations
  • There will be no compromise with any demonstration or demonstrator
  • You are with me... or you are against Syria
  • I am Syria and Syria is me...
  • I do not understand you and it appears that I never will... what do you really want?
  • Syria's government media is the primary reference, not critical thought or common sense or YouTube
  • What political prisoners? 
  • I am hope
  • A people like you deserves someone like me

The speech was dripping with arrogance and hubris.  Even worse than the speech itself were the cheers of the sycophants in the parliament who, on cue, chanted their allegiance to the president.  How much longer do the Syrian people have to be subjected to such nauseating and humiliating spectacles. It was not the cabinet  of technocrats that should have resigned but rather this collection of useless ass-kissers.  The president's speech contained not a word of compassion or regret for those who died at the hands of his government's security forces and no recognition of any of the long list of legitimate demands put forth by the demonstrators. The statement that this was the work of conspirators intending to harm Syria, essentially delegitimizes every demonstration that started on March 15th and makes every demonstrator a traitor. The consequences for those who oppose his valiant effort to safeguard the patrimony didn't have to be spelled out; the Syrian people understood.  However, this is not Syria of 1982, 2000 or 2010, the people will not go gently into the night. Not only have they lost their fear of those in power, they have the moral backing of millions of other Arabs who have shed the albatross of fear from around their neck .

If the president thinks that his hardline will somehow extricate him from the present impasse, he is wrong.  He has undoubtedly lost significant popular support for his handling of the demonstrations. Many of the ever optimistic "give Bashar a chance" crowd buoyed by the promise of some grand announcement of reforms, will finally abandon him as well.  Bashar Assad could have made history today as a real reformer, regained his people's trust and secured Syria's stability and security.  Instead, he has chosen confrontation and suppression of dissent insuring Syria's progressive instability and insecurity.

I fear what is coming next; God help the people of Syria.

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