Yesterday the Obama administration called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. It was the administration's strongest statement since the Syrian uprising began. "For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for [Assad] to step aside and leave this transition to Syrians themselves," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. The U.S. is united with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and a host of European nations in pushing Assad to step down, and that international coalition may prove strong enough in the long term to force the Syrian leader out. How loudly will the American government's words echo, as Assad struggles to hold on to power?
We're speaking with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the blog Syria Comment, and Amer Al Sadeq, a leading activist for the opposition.