The White House yawned at Syrian President Bashir al-Assad's rambling, delusional hourlong address at Damascus University today, saying the dictator must embrace a transition to democracy "or get out of the way."
"There needs to be concrete action. There needs to be, first and foremost, a cessation of violence against innocent Syrians. There needs to be actual action towards political dialogue so that this transition to a more democratic Syria can take place," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
"What's required in Syria is action, not words, not promises that reform will come in some period in the future, or that dialogue will happen after some review... Hey, look, I'm not saying that words are meaningless, but he needs to act on them. He needs to actually do something to fulfill the sentiment expressed in the desire for dialogue because that needs to happen. But first he needs to stop the violence," Carney added.
Assad promised amnesty, reforms and general good times ahead in a speech that prompted critics to describe the devious despot as delusional, out of touch and merciless.
"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," Assad said.
"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," Assad said.
Critics everywhere shook their heads at the tone-deaf butcher Assad, who ordered the crackdown that has led to an estimated 1,300 death and sent 10,000 refugees to the Turkish border, all but ending an alliance between the Syrian and Turkish governments.
"Assad should clearly and precisely say: 'Everything has changed. We're transforming the system into a multi-party one. Everything will be organised according to the Syrian's people will, and I will be carrying out this process'," Turkish President Abdullah Gul said.
Others were not as polite.
"He’s trying to contain the situation, but it’s helpless," Yoni Ben-Menahem, Israel Radio director and chief editor, told The Jerusalem Post. "No one believes him anymore. He’s slaughtering his people, more than 10,000 refugees – and the massacres are continuing."