Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bashar al-Asad, December 2010--irony intended

Remarks in Damascus to visiting faculty and students from Univ. of California-Berkeley:

“I do not know if people would call me a dictator,” Assad said, when asked to comment on his
leadership style. “Go out into the streets and ask the people if I am their dictator."

“I appreciate different points of view in my government,” he said, in response to an inquiry about his early push for progressive reform in Syria, a push that came to a curious halt a number of years ago. The question suggested that perhaps Assad is contending with beneficiaries of the status quo. “I’m concerned with how to bring the whole society to the [political] middle or left,” he said. “And yes, not everyone agrees with me.”

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