President Assad: Speech #3, (Monday 20 June 2011) “We Control Events, rathern than Events Control Us”
Posted by Joshua on Monday, June 20th, 2011
He reiterated Monday that Syria’s option is to look forward into the future and to control the events rather than to be led by them.
In a speech to the citizens at Damascus University Auditorium, President al-Assad said “Credibility has formed the basis of the relation between the People and me, the credibility which has been built on deeds and not words, on substance and not on form,” describing today’s meeting as coming in a decisive moment in the history of Syria as to separate a yesterday, burdened with confusion, pain, and innocent blood, and tomorrow filled with hope.
President al-Assad added that Syria has witnessed ‘difficult days’ during which a big price from our security, stability and growth was paid because of killing operations, and terrifying the citizens, destroying public and private properties, which took place during popular protests in which scores of citizens, security forces, policemen and armed forces were martyred or wounded; ” this is a big loss for their families, Syria, and a heavy loss for me personally.”
President al-Assad prayed to God to grant all martyrs mercy and forgiveness, offering their families and relatives heartfelt condolences.
“Our only option is looking towards the future… we possess this option when we decide to make the future rather than have events make it… when we control it rather than it controls us… we lead rather than it leads us,” President al-Assad said, noting that this requires building upon a rich experience that showed shortcomings and a deep analysis.
President al-Assad asserted that Syria, throughout all of its history has been facing conspiracies against it for several reasons, some of which are linked to Syria’s important geographic and political status and others are linked to its political stances committed to its principles and interests.
“Conspiracies are like germs which increase every moment,” said President Al-Assad asserting that the solution is to enforce the immunity of our bodies investigating the domestic points of weakness as to repair them and that the solution is to sort our problems out by ourselves.
President al-Assad classified the components of what is going on in the street into three categories: the first who have a need, a demand from the State, which is the duty of the Stat to meet, the second is a number of breakers of law and wanted for justice, and the third is those who have an extremist thinking.
”What is going on in the street has three components the first one people who have needs and they want the state to fulfill them, the second component is represented through the outlaws and the wanted due to different criminal cases and they found that state institutions are a target for them because these institutions stand in the face of their interests and because they were dismissed from them so chaos for them a golden chance that they should seize to remain free and boost their illegal acts,” added President al-Assad.
“The third component is the most dangerous despite of being small and it is represented through those who have the Takfiri extremist ideology which we have experience for decades when it tried to sneak to Syria and it could get rid of it due to its people’s awareness and wisdom.”….
“What we need to think about is more important than analysis regarding the conspiracy, …
He said that saboteurs are a small but effective group that attempted to exploit others and took advantage of the good majority of the Syrian people to achieve several goals, stressing the importance of distinguishing between the two groups, noting that the first group is national and all the demands they relayed to him gave the homeland’s interest priority, saying “they want participation, not to be marginalized, and justice.”
President al-Assad pointed out that the recent pardon was the most comprehensive one for 23 years, with the last similar pardon being in1988, and that despite that there is desire for pardon to be more comprehensive, adding that pardon doesn’t take names into consideration but rather standards, pardoning everyone except crimes related to drugs, terrorism, armed insurgence and moral issues and similar crimes…..
…..”The question may be the number of these people… personally, I was surprised by this number as I had beloved it to be a few thousands before… at the beginning of the crisis, the number was over 64,000… imagine this number of wanted people for various cases whose sentences range from a few months in prison to execution, and they are loose,” President al-Assad said, noting that the current number is now a little less than 63,000 as some of them turned themselves in…..
….”I want to stress that the reform process is a complete and absolute conviction for us because it represent the interest of the country and the people’s desire… No sane person can stand against the interests of the country or the people”,President al-Assad stressed…..
President al-Assad considered the forming of a committee to set new parties law as basic step in the field of the political development and expanding the democratic life, adding that a new law for parties will enrich the partial plurality and open space for wider participation for the part of the different political parties…..
“As for the constitution for example… Should we amend some of its articles including the 8th article, or it will be better if we changed all the constitution…
“It’s very important that we all work on restoring trust to the Syrian economy… This is the most dangerous thing that we will face in the coming stage.”….
Fawaz Gerges on the President’s Speech in Arabic BBC. He says this speech is radically different from the first two because the Pres. spoke to the youth of Syria and said he was personally determined to reform.
Assad Acknowledges Threats Posed by Syrian Unrest
By ANTHONY SHADID, Published: June 20, 2011, NYTimes
BEIRUT, Lebanon — In his first address in two months, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria promised on Monday not to bow to pressure from what he called “saboteurs,” but offered a national dialogue that he said could bring change to a country where the ruling party and a single family have monopolized power for more than four decades.
For days, the speech had been anticipated as a crucial look into the leadership’s willingness to reform in the face of a three-month uprising and mounting pressure from Turkey, the United States and the European Union. In rhetoric at least, Mr. Assad offered a path for change, even if the speech lacked specifics and delivered somewhat vague deadlines.
But the sincerity of Mr. Assad’s leadership in surrendering real power remained a key question, and some opposition figures insisted that while some of his proposals had merit, the speech itself fell short of an ambitious program for far-reaching change in Syria.
“The speech was built on promises, and the street doesn’t trust the government to accept these promises,” said Louay Hussein, a prominent opposition figure in Damascus, the capital.
Shortly after the address, activists reported protests erupting around Syria, including in the suburbs of Damascus.
Mr. Assad’s speech was different in tone from his first address after the uprising erupted in mid-March, when he called the demonstrations a conspiracy fomented by foreign enemies. He deployed some of the same language in Monday’s address — describing some of the trouble in Syria as “germs” that had infected the body politic — but acknowledged the depth of the gravest challenge to his 11 years in power.
He warned that the Syrian economy was reeling from the unrest and urged thousands of displaced to leave the Turkish border and return to their homes.
“There are those who give them the impression that the state will exact revenge,” he said in a speech that lasted more than an hour. “I affirm that is not true.”
Since the start of the uprising, Mr. Assad has offered occasional reforms that his opponents have derided as either too little or too late. In April, he lifted draconian emergency law, but largely unaccountable security forces have persisted in a ferocious crackdown that activists say has killed more than 1,400 people and led to more than 10,000 arrests. The government says armed insurgents are to blame for much of the violence and says hundreds of its security forces have been killed in attacks.
Some of the reforms he offered Monday have been on the table since 2005 — including a new law that would make possible parties other than the Baath Party, the instrument of Mr. Assad’s power whose pre-eminence is enshrined in the constitution.
But the speech seemed to suggest a different inflection to the government’s long-standing message. For weeks, it has offered a mantra that has underlined its many years in power: either us or chaos, a compelling point in a county shadowed by tension between its Sunni Muslim majority and a heterodox Muslim sect known as Alawites, from which Mr. Assad’s family hails. In his speech at Damascus University, Mr. Assad appeared to offer himself as the best means to bring about a change in one of the region’s most authoritarian states. Rather than us or chaos, his message was that he alone could deliver.
Flanked by a row of six Syrian flags, Mr. Assad said the state made a distinction between protesters with legitimate demands “and the saboteurs who represent a small group which has tried to exploit the good will of the Syrian people for its own ends.”
He added: “There can be no development without stability.”….