Jan 7, 2013
Defiant Assad Says Syria ‘Accepts Advice but Not Orders’
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.