Syrians want the security services to stop oppressing them. They want the emergency law lifted. They want their property rights respected. They want freedom of speech. They want.....
Throughout the forty years since the Ba'th Party seized power in Syria in March 8, 1963, Hafez's rule has looked unshakable. Syrians have always seen him as a committed, albeit cautious, reformer. But how do they see him today?
Opposition parties are banned in Syria and scores of political prisoners languish behind bars! Even though a few thousand protesters in the towns of Daraa and Latakia are not a proxy for a country of millions, it is the beginning of a new hope.
President Bashar Assad, during the early days of the Tunisia revolt, was quick to say that such people power would never occur in his country because "Syria is stable."
He told The Wall Street Journal, "If you have stagnant water, you will have pollution and microbes." -- "You cannot reform your society or institution without opening your mind"
Assad says he will not reform as a result of what happened in Tunisia and Egypt because "it is going to be a reaction, not an action; and as long as what you are doing is a reaction you are going to fail." Translation: "If protests were to spread to Aleppo or Damascus, there will be blood."
Well, Assad, an ophthalmologist by training, is talking about microbes and pollution!!! as if Syria were somehow immune to infection!