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After the UN reports more than 60,000 dead in Syrian conflict, President Bashar al-Assad declares:

"We won't stop as long as there is one terrorist in Syria"
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In his first major speech in six months, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad had no vision of Syria's future that didn't include him.

Assad doesn't recognize the people trying to overthrow him as a legitimate Syrian opposition. They are foreign back terrorists and Assad said he doesn't talk to the slave, only the master.

He demanded that the opposition lay down arms first, only then would he stop shelling bread lines and throwing cluster bombs on neighborhoods.

The only transition he is talking about is a transition from instability to the "stability" that existed before the uprising. Then they can schedule free and fair elections in which Assad will get 97% of the vote, as before the uprising.

Assad's speech today gave the people who have been fighting for 22 months to put an end to the 40 year Assad dictatorship only one option - fight on to complete victory.

78% of Syria experienced an Internet blackout during Assad's speech,

The BBC is reporting:

Syria's Assad denounces 'puppet' opponents in TV address
6 January 2013 Last updated at 12:23 ET
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has delivered a rare TV address, denouncing his opponents as "enemies of God and puppets of the West".

He lamented the suffering of the people in the civil war, saying a "black cloud" of pain engulfed every corner.

Mr Assad also set out a plan involving a national dialogue conference and a referendum on a national charter.

The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011.

'No place for joy'

The speech was Mr Assad's first public address since June.

He rejected the Syrian opposition movement as puppets fabricated by the West, and said that Syria wanted to negotiate with the "master not the servants".

Mr Assad said Syria had not rejected diplomatic moves but insisted it would not negotiate with people with "terrorist" ideas.

He said: "There are those who seek to partition Syria and weaken it. But Syria is stronger... and will remain sovereign... and this is what upsets the West."

His speech was interspersed with applause and chants from defiant supporters in the opera house in central Damascus, and at the end he was mobbed on the stage. More...

The NY Times has this report:
Assad, in Speech, Says Syria ‘Accepts Advice but Not Orders’

By ANNE BARNARD
Published: January 6, 2013
BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, sounding defiant, confident and, to critics, out of touch with the magnitude of his people’s grievances, proposed Sunday what he called a plan to resolve the country’s 21-month uprising with a new constitution and cabinet.

But he offered no new acknowledgment of the gains by the rebels fighting against him, the excesses of his government or the aspirations of the Syrian people. Mr. Assad also ruled out talks with the armed opposition and pointedly ignored its central demand that he step down, instead using much of a nearly hourlong speech to justify his harsh military crackdown.  More...

Bashar Al-Assad's full speech | 6 Jan 2013
Anti-Assad demonstration in Qadam Neighborhood, Damascus | 6 Jan 2013

Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria

Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 8:11 PM PT:
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