Monday, June 20, 2011

Assad's full speech

From the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA):

Peace be upon you, upon all those who are protecting this dear and precious homeland. Peace be upon the people, the army, the security forces and all those who have been working to insure the prevention of sedition; burying it in the detestable snake holes where it belongs. Peace be upon every mother who has lost a dear son, on every child who lost a father, on every family that lost a beloved one. Peace be upon the souls of our martyrs whose blood has grown into chrysanthemum in the spring and summer when the seasons of flowering and fruition have been replaced by seasons of conspiracy and killing. But even season of conspiracy gives flowers in Syria. They bloom into pride and impregnability.

Today, and through you, I address every Syrian citizen throughout the homeland. I wanted to speak to you directly in order to strengthen the interaction and spontaneity that have characterized our relationship for years. I wish I had the chance meet every Syrian citizen in person, but I am convinced that meeting some of you on any occasion makes me feel that I am reaching out to all of you.




Accomplishing security is our starting point; and the people are the most capable to be entrusted with maintaining security and protecting the homeland. I am saying this based on experience and reality, not out of courtesy. Those who protected the country through hard times, and those who protected it today are the people, the young people who confronted dangers, made initiatives and implemented things on the ground, forming popular committees and youth groups, making personal initiatives which kept the country’s name high and reflected its spirit and the pulse of its youth and people.

The power of the state is derived from the power of the people whose power is derived from their dignity, which in turn is derived from their freedom, which is again derived from the power of their state. So, let the people embrace the sate and let the army, the security personnel, the police and the people work hand in hand to prevent sedition, protect the homeland and ensure its supremacy.

Syria’s destiny is to face crises; but it is also its destiny to be proud, strong, resistant and victorious. Its destiny is to come out of crises stronger thanks to the solidarity and cohesion of its society, its deeply rooted values and the determination of its people who are endowed with intelligence, civilization and openness.

It is you who prevented the confusion between the greed and designs of superpowers, on the one hand, and people’s desire for reform and change on the other. It is you who protected the flower of youth from being sacrificed to the greed of international powers. It is you who prevented all attempts of sectarian sedition scrambling at the gates of the homeland and cut off the head of the snake before it could bite the Syrian body and kill it.

I say that as long as you enjoy this great spirit and this deep sense of identity, Syria is fine and safe.
Unlike Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, I have not seen protests in Syria on a scale that they would indicate that more Syrian oppose Assad in power than support him.

The armed opposition to Assad clearly has outside - meaning American, Israeli and Saudi - support, but Assad's regime has a large home-field advantage. It would be very difficult for Assad to be dislodged in the short or medium term.

Turkish officials are being quoted in Western news media making statements that could be worrying to Syria, but it is not clear if the quotes are being filtered fairly, it is not clear that Turkey would want to harm Syria and it is not clear that Turkey could harm Syria if it wanted to.

After the crisis dies down, Syria does have to address the anomaly that it is the dictatorship in the independence camp of the Middle East.

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