Show Politics June 22, 2011
Syria Promises "Democracy"

Well, who knows what this means but today Syria promised "an unprecedented example of democracy" within three months. Syria's foreign minister said "there will be social justice, equality before the law and accountability."

That's a pretty big statement. But a couple of things worth noting. He didn't say "democracy." He said "example of democracy," which is not the same as sweeping change. Plus, with words such as democracy and social justice, it's all relative. The Syrian government has been a ruthless, authoritarian regime for 40 years. nd it has spent the past few months crushing the opposition movement, killing as many as 1,400 people and arresting 10,000.

So, when Syria talks about "democracy," it doesn't exactly evoke images of The Statue of Liberty or The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The foreign minister also called for the opposition to enter into political talks. And he called on Syrians who've left the country to come home, saying that "even the harshest opponent" of the regime will not be arrested.

The opposition says it only wants one thing: the end of President Bashar Assad's government.

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