The Dictator’s Speech


Bonus points to embattled dictator-of-the-moment Bashar al-Assad for rhetorical clarity (versus Gaddafi’s garble), visual techniques and production value during his speech on Wednesday to the Syrian people.

Cameras panned with near-staged perfection to the MPs in parliament seated around him as they offered poetic lip service and emotionally-charged outbursts of support for Assad at fittingly melodramatic moments.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But I’d say insanity is Arab autocrats delivering nearly the same speech over and over again and expecting revolutionary protesters to feel content.

Like other dictators before him, Bashar:

☑Blames Israel for everything
☑Promises to appoint new cabinet
☑Says vague foreign conspiracies are attempting to destabilize country
☑Supports resistance for the Palestinians
☑Lets out sporadic, nervous laughter
☑Boasts about reform without elaborating
☑Blames previous lack of reform on plots against security and stability of state
☑Says satellite news channels are bad
☑Alludes to the Internet being evil

My favorite part of the speech, was when Assad said that the reforms he’s planning on enacting are not the result of any kind of pressure from the demonstrations that were held across the country. No, reforms were coming at just this exact time anyway.

Ahead of the curve — that’s so hipster of you, Bashar. But haven’t you heard?

Everyone hates hipsters.


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