Syria Embassy Attack: The Last Straw?

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The Syrian government accused the French and Americans of meddling in their internal affairs, and claimed that the visit by Ambassador Ford was a “provocation” and “proof” that the US was trying to undermine the Assad regime. “The presence of the US ambassador in Hama without previous permission is obvious proof of a clear evidence of the United States’ involvement in current events in Syria and its attempt to incite an escalation in the situation,”  the Syrian foreign ministry said. The State Department replied that the embassy had informed the foreign ministry of Ford’s visit, and that “The fundamental intention was to make absolutely clear with his physical presence that we stand with those Syrians who are expressing their right to speak for change,” it said.

The sharp exchanges have now escalated to violence as the Syrian regime has deliberately let loose its hired thugs to intimidate the ambassador and the US government. Ford, writing on the embassy’s Facebook page, asked, “[H]ow ironic that the Syrian Government lets an anti-U.S. demonstration proceed freely while their security thugs beat down olive branch-carrying peaceful protesters elsewhere.”

Monday’s attacks coincided with the first session of a national dialogue that President Assad set up in order to institute “political reforms.” Most major opposition groups boycotted the conference, claiming it was a farce. But 90 Syrians representing civil and religious groups showed up to debate such issues as establishing independent political parties, new election laws, and constitutional reforms. “We hope that at the end of this comprehensive meeting to announce the transition of Syria to a pluralistic democratic nation where all citizens are guided by equality and participate in the modeling of the future of their country,” said Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara.

As he was uttering those platitudes, Syrian tanks were blowing through the streets of Homs, firing machine guns on unarmed civilians, and  killing at least two protestors while wounding dozens. Clashes with protestors were also reported near the Turkish border with activists saying that there was a massive wave of arrests and raids in Jabal al-Zawiya region in Idlib province.

It is impossible to reconcile Assad’s promise of “reforms” with the actions his government is taking to brutally beat down opposition to his rule. Thus, Secretary Clinton’s statement that the US believes Assad has lost his legitimacy to rule in Syria.

One might legitimately ask, “What took so long?” By some estimates, 1400 Syrians have been gunned down, and thousands have been arrested and thrown into prison where torture is the norm. The crackdown has been going on for 4 months, and US policy – until Monday – was to stand behind Assad while asking him to reform.

Now, like Egypt’s President Mubarak, the administration has apparently decided that Assad must go. Not for killing civilians in cold blood but because the dictator loosed his thugs on our embassy. What does that say about this administration’s commitment to the Syrian people? Hardly a word in support of the Syrians’ desire for a nation with a government that won’t murder them for disagreeing with it, and that will recognize basic human rights.

The arc of our relations with Syria since Barack Obama took office has been marked by amateurish attempts to wean Assad from Iran’s embrace, engaging in a fruitless “dialogue” that did not advance peace with Israel and elicited nothing but contempt from both Syria and Iran, and now the failure to dissuade Assad from a bloody crackdown that has made him and his regime pariahs in the world. At every turn, the administration has been wrong about Assad and the state he leads.

Now, with relations at the lowest ebb they have been in decades, the scales have fallen from their eyes and they have decided to back his ouster. What happened to Hillary Clinton’s “partner in peace?” Someone should probably ask the president that question.

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  • al Kidya

    Syria…the new emerging Iran.

  • Viking

    Practically the same thing happened in 2006. The Norwegian and Danish embassies were attacked by a large mob and torched while the police were nowhere to be seen. And it took until now and 1400 dead to figure this guy out? I am impressed.

  • John

    Well this is clearly a declaration of war on the U.S.A…

  • Chezwick_mac

    Worst thing is, the Syrians were on the ropes when Obama took over. They were economically and diplomatically isolated…and had watched wistfully as Lebanon had pulled out of their orbit. Obama's overtures reversed all that; their proxies in Lebanon were emboldened and eventually took over, France back-tracked on its adversarial policy towards them, and – as they say – the rest is history.

    Now, Barry is reaping what he sowed.

  • jacob

    Americans should lose no sleep over this piece of work GOD only knows why was
    this "parachutist" made President, whose only credit was to shout "HERE" every
    time a rol call was made in the Senate, to take action for what ASSAD did to his

    So far (and I dare bet it is as far as he will go) he has only demanded "compensation" for the damages to the buildings but from there to tell ASSAD that he either leaves or
    be kicked out by American forces, it will call for him to be reborn..

    So he has been trying to wean ASSAD away from the SINISTER MIDGET's regime ???

    Wouldn't you say that his knowledge of international politics is limited to try to force
    ISRAEL to commit suicide ????

    I guess we would all be better off if he would dedicate himself exclusively to perfect
    his golf play and forget about governing…

    And still has the gall to prtend to run for a second term ???

  • AntiSharia

    This never would have happened if we had a real President. Obama is weak, and the rest of the word knows it. He can't make up his mind and form a coherent, consistent, foreign policy. That's why were involved in Libya but not Syria. Attacking an embassy is an attack on national soil and must be considered, by even this administration, to be an act of war. But don't hold your breath on President Obama actually fighting to defend the United States. The only way force is justified for him is when America's interests are not involved.

    • Jim_C

      Right. And killing bin Ladin, Somali pirates, Taliban and Al Qaeda militants doesn't count.

      • coyote3

        Actually no. Therer are legitimate questions regarding the activities you mentioned, but the invasion of the U.S. by Iran, and now Syria, is about as egregious an act of war as you can get.

      • Wesley69

        -Killing bin Laden – good, but doesn't make a foreign policy.
        -Taking on the Somail pirates – if they defeat us, we ARE in big trouble. Oil has to flow.
        -Killing Taliban – good. but we are negotiating with them to leave their country. The Taliban can wait us out until we withdraw, then retake Afghanistan.
        -Killing Al Qaeda militants – Bush did it, but he captured many and put them in Gitmo and interrogated them, getting information that saved American lives. How much information have we got from using the Army Field Manual? Why, instead of capture, are we killing militants????

  • coyote3

    Indeed, this is not a "declaration" this is an act of war, period. It is, in fact, an invasion of another country, i.e., the U.S., by Syria, if the Syrian government, in fact, sponsored this. On the other hand, Iran invaded the U.S. and there has been no response to that invasion, by successive Democrat and Republican administrations, so this is not unprecedented. An invasion of a U.S. embassy is just as much an attack on the U.S. as attacking a state.

  • samsgran1948

    The Syrians' attack on our embassy kind of reminds me of the Unions' attacks on Wisconsin's State House: Bus in "rent-a-thugs", make sure the local police won't interfere, then riot to your heart's content. Who says the Syrians haven't created a US-style democracy?

  • Jim_C

    If Reagan were president, maybe he'd see this as the perfect opportunity to sell arms to Syria, just as he did with Iran?

  • BLJ

    What is the point of having embassy guards who are not allowed to shoot scumbags like these? Blow off a couple of heads and maybe these goat smellers will get the message.

    Better yet turn the place into the world's biggest parking lot.

    Oops…….I forgot…….these people are Comrade Obama's friends. My bad.

    • coyote

      Invading another country's embassy "is" invading that country. The embassy is soverign soid, just as much any other. We would be justified in attacking, turning Iran and/or Syria into a green glass table top.

      • Jim_C

        It wouldn't be the worst thing if a few of our bombs just happened to fall off a few of our planes onto their govt buildings.

  • Ghostwriter

    Once again,President Obama is shown to be a fool. The whole world knows he's a fool and a lot of nations hope that he's voted out soon.

  • Lightning Jack

    I can't believe that we don't have a cruise missile with Assad's address.

  • Jeamar37

    So "you don't bus thugs [aka 'protestors'] into Damascus. . . Busing protestors into others cities and states is used in the US frequently. Ask people in Az. or Wisconsin, etc. about having "protestors" bused into their areas.

  • Wesley69

    So Obama's attempt at APPEASEMENT has failed again. What does he do besides make bloviations condemning the attack on the US embassy? Weakness and failure to use power only brings contempt for the one in charge. Obama has not learned this lesson.

    If there was a war to fight, or an intervention to save the lives of a people from their murderous overlord, this would be the one.

  • kafir4life

    I've been to that site before. What I've gathered from it, boiled down, islam is a gutter cult invented by a pedophilic madman named mohamat, whose very shiiting method is followed by the 1.5 billion in the world today. Dog shiite is also very popular with flies, so they must be right too.
    allahu snackbar!

  • Spider

    We already are in a depression – and it is only getting worse !