Bashar's Fateful Decision

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s speech to the nation on March 30, 2011, his first to address the protests in Syria that intensified following the debacle in Deraa in mid-March, was a seminal moment in modern Syrian history. The whole country, it seemed, supporters and opposition, waited with bated breath to hear what he had to say, after hearing barely a peep from him in the two weeks since the incidents at Deraa. His speech, given in front of a crowd of adulating supporters in the National Assembly, is now famous for having offered very few concessions to meet the protestors’ demands; on the contrary, it was a defiant speech, blaming the Uprising on the insidious actions of terrorists and armed groups supported by Syria’s external enemies in the region and internationally. Asad was taken to task in the international media for what was viewed as a blatant attempt to divert attention from the real socio-economic and political factors that laid the foundation for the unrest … either this or he and his inner circle were blind to the real causes of the protests. Certainly, the protesters were immensely disappointed, but so were many of Asad’s supporters in and outside of the Syrian government.




Raymond Hinnebusch




9781138310544 & 9781138500501

Publication Information

The Syrian Uprising: Domestic Origins and Early Trajectory