2118 GMT: The cynics said that the Syrian President was trying to buy time when he signed a deal two days ago with the Arab League. Today, the Syrian people tested the claims made by the regime, taking to the streets in nearly every major city and in every region across the country.
And now we have our answer from the regime: as many as 25 civilians are dead.
For two days, the video evidence, verified by shots of newspapers, protest signs, landmarks, and comparison against eyewitness accounts, has pointed towards a single conclusion. The Syrian military regime, led by Bashar al Assad, has no interest in negotiating, reforming, or ceding power. Today the regime sent two messages, as it showed that if you surrender then you may be spared, but if you continue to resist, we will shoot.
The first message was sent via State TV (SANA), but the regime has so little credibility that the US State Department advised Syrians not to take up Assad's offer of amnesty. The second message was sent with weapons, troops and tanks --- the instruments that the regime has used all along.
So, we have a return to a tag line we've written many times since March. The protesters, undeterred by violence, refuse to give in, the people want the "fall of the regime," and the regime, thus far, refuses to fall. So...what happens next?