Monday, October 24, 2011

  • Monday, October 24, 2011
  • Elder of Ziyon
In June, I presented one argument to recall Syrian ambassador Robert Ford by Tony Badran:
President Obama already lent American prestige to Assad when he decided to recess appoint Ambassador Ford. Awarding normal diplomatic relations with a superpower to a rogue regime is a legitimating act on its own. If the Obama administration is serious about ratcheting up the pressure against Assad, it should first state publicly that it is done dealing with the Syrian dictator, then follow that with a declaration that it is withdrawing the US ambassador from Damascus.

A few days ago, The New Republic gave the opposing argument:
Since the Syrian people began their uprising against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Americans have been told repeatedly that there is little they can do about the situation. Experts in think tanks, universities, and the halls of U.S. government have been eager to remind us that the conditions in Syria—with its fractured opposition, brutal and loyal military forces, and fragile regional neighborhood—simply didn’t leave much room for Americans to make a difference.

But Robert Ford, our ambassador in Damascus, never seemed to accept this simplistic line of thinking. By bearing witness and speaking out relentlessly from inside the country, Ford has, at great personal risk, kept world attention focused on the crimes of the Syrian government. More so than either President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton, both of whom have been far too tepid in their public pronouncements, Ford has been an exemplary spokesman for liberal values and human rights.

Certainly Ford has not been shy about speaking out against the Assad regime in social media, but that is not the job of an ambassador. An ambassador is supposed to communicate US policy directly to the leaders of his or her host country, and Ford has been unable to meet with anyone important for months.

And the idea that Syrians love Ford may be a bit exaggerated as well:
US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was hit with eggs and tomatoes Friday while he was going to a mosque in the central al-Midan neighbourhood here, Xinhua reported.

The al-Midan neighborhood has witnessed anti-government protests over the past seven months.

Ford has visited many restive areas in Syria in a show of support to anti-government protesters. But the visits have angered many residents as well as the government.

On earlier occasions too, eggs and potatoes have been hurled at Ford.
Well, it looks like that may have been the last straw, as Al Arabiya is reporting:
The United States has pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns that have arisen during a seven-month-old popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Western diplomats said on Monday.

Robert Ford left Syria over the weekend, they told Reuters.

As many as 22 people were killed by the fire of security and military forces across Syria on Sunday, Al Arabiya reported on Monday citing the Syrian Local Coordination Committee, as Damascus welcomed to host national dialogue conference under the sponsorship of the Arab League.

The State Department only commented today about it, and made clear it was not for political reasons:

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was brought back to Washington because of "credible threats against his personal safety in Syria," the State Department announced Monday.

"At this point, we can't say when he will return to Syria," deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said.

"It will depend on our assessment of Syrian regime-led incitement and the security situation on the ground."

By positioning this as a security concern rather than a strong protest against the Syrian regime, and by essentially burying this story, the White House has wasted another opportunity to convey a strong public message to Damascus. And as TNR noted:

Because he was named to his post via recess appointment, Ford will have to give up his ambassadorship if the Senate does not confirm him by December. The GOP line coming from senators like Marco Rubio and Tom Coburn is that we should punish the Assad regime by removing Ford from Damascus.
If this is Obama's plan on how to get Ford out of Damascus permanently - by citing "security concerns" and then relying on him not being confirmed by the end of the year - it is an example of passive-aggressive politics rather than leadership.

UPDATE: Syria pulled their ambassador as well
(h/t jzaik)

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum David Miller Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive