Syrian reforms are coming
"[M]y judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it," - Sen. John Kerry, speech at the Carnegie Endowment for international Peace, March 16, 2011.
Demonstrations had already been going on for weeks when Kerry, who was Congress's point man for engaging the Syrian regime and had met with Assad six times over the past two years, made this rosy assessment. The United States has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Syria over the course of this year in response to the regime's brutal crackdowns, and Kerry told Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin in May that Assad is "obviously is not a reformer now." But his vote of confidence in the spirit of governmental reform was a bit misplaced.