What is amazing about Bashshar Al-Asad is the extent to which he is missing. He has time to hold long meetings with insignificant Lebanese pro-Syrian regime politicians but has no time to address the Syrian people. He either does not care or has become politically insignificant--from what I hear. He has become a puppet of the Russian government which now runs the show. My mother (who supports the regime) commented to me about the press conference of Jihad Maqdisi (the spokesperson of the Syrian Foreign Ministry): she normally is impressed with the language skills of Maqdisi but told me that he was very unconvincing in his explanations about the Hula massacre and that he failed to provide any evidence. One Lebanese politician who supports the regime told me in a phone call a few months ago that he could not believe that Bashshar would not bother to address the Syrian people about what is happening.