In a letter being circulated by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, conservative foreign policy experts, including Bill Kristol and Lee Smith, urge President Obama take a series of actions that will hasten the fall of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. The letter follows President Obama's statement yesterday that "the time has come for [Syrian] President Assad to step aside.”Read more
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s confirmation hearing of Robert S. Ford, a first rate foreign service officer now serving as ambassador to Syria under a recess appointment, was held Tuesday, August 2nd. If the United States is to have an ambassador in Damascus, Ford is an excellent man for that post. But the senators should use the confirmation process to extract a far better understanding of U.S. policy toward Syria. Because most of the Senate left town immediately after the debt limit vote, only one actually attended the Ford hearing—meaning that it was not a serious examination of American policy toward Syria and Ford's role in it.Read more
There’s no blast wall around the Syrian embassy in Washington. Nor is the wrought iron gate crowned with barbed wire. During a handful of peaceful protests outside the embassy in the Kalorama neighborhood in recent months, no one threw tomatoes or attempted to scale the fence. The embassy and its staff are safe here, no matter how much most Americans might detest a government that has helped kill American troops in Iraq, while supporting attacks against U.S. allies in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s latest outrage against the United States was the assault on the U.S. embassy in Damascus on July 11.Read more
Yesterday, Claire Berlinski wrote about meeting a couple of Syrians from the city of Hama, which was leveled by Hafez al-Assad in 1982 and is now again threatened by Hafez’s scion, Bashar al-Assad. Today, Berlinski explains why events in Syria matter to the U.S., from Ambassador Robert Ford’s trip to Hama last Friday to yesterday’s attack on the American embassy in Damascus.Read more
Syrian protestors greet US ambassador Robert Ford with roses as his car entered Hama this afternoon during the midst of more Friday protests against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Ford wished to show his solidarity with the opposition, but is he also signaling a change in American policy?Read more
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