Assad offers reforms - opposition unimpressed

Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared on TV yesterday and pledged political reforms, but refused to be specific. As the loyalty of the army is now being questioned, Assad has little choice but to try and stop the protests that have rocked his regime, or end up like other dictators who hang on too long. Los Angeles Times: Syrian President Bashar Assad, facing international and domestic pressure for rapid change, promised to open the country's political system and allow for a change of the constitution but unveiled no concrete new reforms and continued to blame unspecified foreign conspiracies for the violence perpetrated by his security forces in his first public address in over two months. But the speech fell far short of Syrian and international demands for a dramatic opening up of one of the world's most tightly controlled police states. They said the vision he outlined ultimately failed to include concrete steps toward the democracy the protesters demand. Though Assad insisted...(Read Full Post)