Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Time to Recall the U.S. Ambassador to Syria

Bin Laden’s death may be the story of the year (or decade) but the world still turns. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown continues with hardly a word from the administration. If Obama treated Assad more like Qaddafi, and treated the Hamas leadership in Damascus more like he treated Bin Laden, he actually might do more to enable a lasting Middle East peace than he does by embracing the fiction of diplomacy when Arab states prefer to fulfill demands by terror. That’s an opportunity Obama will never create, but it doesn’t follow that he should not hold Assad to account. A bit over a week ago, an American diplomat stationed in Damascus was detained and roughed up by masked Syrian security forces.

I happen to know this diplomat, and consider him perhaps the most talented diplomat and linguist in the Foreign Service. It took the State Department days to react, and when they did, they merely filed a formal protest with the Syrian Ambassador to the United States. That’s not nearly good enough. Obama sent Robert Ford, a talented diplomat and an honorable man, to Damascus over Congressional objections as a recess appointment in order to catalyze engagement and encourage Syrian moderation. It certainly hasn’t work. Syrian behavior has worsened, and the harassment of an American diplomat should be the last straw. Responsible states deserve U.S. ambassadors, but Syria is not a responsible state. Keep the embassy open with a skeleton staff, but let’s not legitimize Assad.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.