In a speech to the Syrian nation today, President Bashar al-Assad said foreign conspiracies, media distortions and the hand of Israel are to blame for uprisings in his country. The Syrian protests have resulted in at least 60 deaths, according to human rights groups. In his speech Assad didn’t offer to repeal emergency laws that have kept his regime in power since 1963. But he did say reforms are necessary while offering no specifics about how to enact those reforms. Joshua Landis, author of the blog “Syria Comment” and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma joins us to talk about the speech and the ongoing political unrest in Syria.