“Less hostile” and “downbeat” don’t cut it. Assad’s speech was plain dumb. But what else did we expect? He is a hopeless case. A really hopeless case. There is nothing more that can be said about that, except to remind that when such people are in charge of anything, they are bound to fuck it up. Start counting the days towards disaster. We have a leader who courts them, many people who support him, and a whole population that stands idly by as if the whole thing does not concern them.