Still president of Syria as of June 2013
He argues against (further) U.S. intervention in Syria, despite being anti-Assad.
"A large minority of Syrians—consisting of Alawites, Christians, and members of other minority communities; Baath Party loyalists and government employees; the professional armed forces and security services; and the (largely Sunni) crony capitalist class that the government has nurtured—still cling to the Assad regime. There are certainly dissidents within all of these sectors, but altogether regime supporters number as much as one-third of the population."
"This means...that even large-scale direct foreign intervention will not lead to a quick collapse of the regime."
This discussion reminds me of something I remember from a U.S. history college class. The professor said that in (I think it was) the summer of 1776, as the Declaration of Independence was being signed, colonial-American Whites were divided in opinion, thusly:
A -- One-third supported independence
B -- One-third opposed independence
C -- One-third were either unaware of the independence movement, or were ambivalent about the outcome
[The hard core of group B "walked the walk" and actually fled the newly-created USA when the British abandoned their military effort in the early 1780s. They mostly went to Canada. It's my understanding that these exiles were "the first English-speaking Canadians". Before that wave, English-speakers were few and far between in Canada, though plenty of French-speakers were around. Anglophone Canada is a child of the American Revolutionary War.]