Actually the news is from last night, during Mary Kissel's discussion with John Batchelor about Russians in the U.K. She may have said, "the Assad government" rather than "Syria's government." Anyhow I was so surprised to hear a Wall Street Journal reporter refer to the government of Syria as a government I might have fallen down if I hadn't been sitting down. As everyone who reads the WSJ knows, Syria has a regime, not anything that could be called a government.
So what could prompt a loyal WSJ employee to substitute the word "government" for "regime?" Was it tiredness due to the time difference between New York and London? (Mary was reporting from London.) Was she perhaps tipsy?
Another possibility is that Mary is being polite because her bosses at WSJ heard of the tack Israel's defense chief had taken recently. He made an offer that Assad is not supposed to refuse: Get rid of the Iranians and "maybe it will be possible to have a different kind of life.”
That isn't quite as thuggish as it sounds. The Israeli leadership accepted a deal when Saudi and Emirati rulers made them an offer they couldn't refuse. I'd venture Israel's defense chief doesn't see why Assad shouldn't take the same kind of deal.
Is this the defense chief who said he preferred Islamic State running Syria instead of Assad? I don't remember. The years run together, the names change. All that stays constant is the valiant stand of Bashar al-Assad against armies of demons.