Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

US postpones sending an ambassador to Syria; UPDATE: Obama pressing on


Haaretz reports that the United States has postponed 'until further notice' the appointment of an ambassador to Syria.
According to the Kuwaiti newspaper, the decision to postpone the appointment was made following the transfer of truckloads of scud missiles from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, in a shipment sanctioned by the Syrian government. The report is based on quotes from American sources who spoke with Al-Rai Al-Aam's Washington reporter.

The report added that Syria trained Hezbollah fighters in the use of Scud missiles and advanced anti-aircraft missiles last summer, on its soil. The exact type of Scud missile was not specified.

Scud B missiles have a range of up to 300 kilometers, which means they can reach most of Israel. Scud C and D missiles can reach as far south as Eilat.

The report says that Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, passed the Syrian leadership a message from the U.S. administration when he visited Damascus earlier this month. Kerry asked for explanations about the relationship between Syria and Hezbollah, and voiced reservations over Syrian support for the Shi'ite organization.

The American source told the reporter the kind of weapons transported to Hezbollah could start a new war with Israel.
Another great accomplishment for Barack Obama's 'engagement' with Syria.

What could go wrong?


The Wall Street Journal reports on the Syrian scuds being sent to Hezbullah here (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). They also report that the White House is 'pressing ahead' with the appointment of an ambassador to Syria, contrary to what I reported above (which has also been reported elsewhere).
Congressional officials said Republicans were now seeking to place a hold on Mr. Ford's confirmation, which was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a voice vote Tuesday with three Republicans dissenting. They expect the fight to continue on the Senate floor.

U.S. officials stressed Tuesday that the White House wasn't second-guessing its strategy and was pushing ahead with Mr. Ford's nomination. "Sending an ambassador to Syria who can press the Syrian government in a firm and coordinated fashion...is part of our strategy to achieve comprehensive peace in the region," a White House statement said.
The Journal also reports that the scuds have a longer range than what is reported above (435 miles v. 300 kilometers). Some of you may recall that during the Second Lebanon War, Hezbullah had Zelzal-3 rockets with a 200-kilometer range, which would have been enough to hit Tel Aviv (but probably not Jerusalem). The IDF destroyed those rockets on the ground.

But get a load of the Syrian excuse for slapping Obama and his 'engagement' effort in the face:
Syrian officials also have voiced frustration with the pace of the U.S. rapprochement. Some have said they believed sanctions could be removed quicker. They also said Washington appeared unable to extract from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a meaningful commitment to negotiations aimed at reverting the Golan Heights region to Syrian sovereignty.
They sound just like the 'Palestinians.' They have no concept of what it means to build and maintain trust. They act like a bunch of spoiled children who want their toys NOW.

But the Obama administration doesn't know how to take 'no' for an answer.
White House supporters replied that the U.S. needs close engagement with Syria all the more because of provocations like the Scud surprise, in order to be better placed to sway Syria.

"If anything, we need (an ambassador) in Damascus full time just to ensure that reality gets its day in court now and then," a senior administration official said.
A civilized country should maintain diplomatic relations with civilized countries - not with warmongers. The US should no more maintain diplomatic relations with Syria than it should with Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba. Ooops - those are exactly the countries Obama wants to 'engage.'

What could go wrong?


At 10:00 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

All that "engagement" with Syria has backfired.

What could go wrong indeed for an Administration that spent so much time and effort wooing Damascus?


At 10:18 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

Well actually what can go wrong did go wrong. Syria is not getting their ambassador.

Maybe the fact the US reached out and Syria spit in their face is not a bad lesson for either side.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

Engagement never backfired Norman.

Why do so many people assume that Obama's administration are such idiots, so consistently? Get it right, Obama is not naive, he is much worse: an enemy.


Post a Comment

<< Home