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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Attack on US embassy in Damascus not the first

In a posting from Sunday (at 7:10 am but that may have been US Eastern time rather than Syrian time) on the Facebook page of the US embassy in Damascus, US ambassador Robert Ford writes that the embassy has been attacked. And that apparently happened more than once on Saturday and Sunday. Obviously Monday's attack was not the first (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Outside the Embassy demonstrators complained about U.S. policy towards the Syrian government and my trip to Hama.

As I have said before, we respect the right of all Syrians – and people in all countries - to express their opinions freely and in a climate of mutual respect. We wish the Syrian government would do the same – and stop beating and shooting peaceful demonstrators. I have not seen the police assault a “mnhebak” demonstration yet. I am glad – I want all Syrians to enjoy the right to demonstrate peacefully. On July 9 a “mnhebak” group threw rocks at our embassy, causing some damage. They resorted to violence, unlike the people in Hama, who have stayed peaceful. Go look at the Ba’ath or police headquarters in Hama – no damage that I saw.

Other protesters threw eggs and tomatoes at our embassy. If they cared about their fellow Syrians the protesters would stop throwing this food at us and donate it to those Syrians who don’t have enough to eat. And how 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.
Either the US embassy has been attacked before (and again, there may have been other attacks between the time that Ford's post was written on Sunday and the major attack on Monday) or the Obama administration has adopted the 'Palestinian' definition of 'non-violent,' which includes stone throwing.

This post was written earlier in the evening and queued. While it was waiting in the queue, Jennifer Rubin reported that the State Department has confirmed that the US embassy was also attacked over the weekend - and much more severely than appears in Ford's Facebook page.
A senior State Department official confirmed the weekend attacks on our embassy in Damascus, “The protest lasted 31 hours across Friday and Saturday with protesters calling for the ambassador to leave. Protesters eventually threw tomatoes, eggs, and later glass and rocks at the Embassy. Two Embassy employees were struck by food.” What did we do? We registered a complaint. No, I am serious. The official recounted, “Ambassador Ford registered U.S. displeasure with these events in an already scheduled July 10 meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister [Walid al-] Muallim. The meeting was requested by the U.S. Embassy in Damascus and had been scheduled since last Thursday. . . . In the same meeting, Ambassador Ford made clear that Syrian government incitement of Syrians against the United States, including through aggressive protesters in front of the Embassy, must stop, and the Syrian government must not use his visit to Hama — meant only to gather information and support freedom of expression — as propaganda.”
Read the whole thing.

Over the weekend, food, glass and rocks were thrown at the US embassy in Damascus. On Monday, the 'protesters' broke in. What will happen on Tuesday? What could go wrong?

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At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Obama has done his best to triple down on Carter's worst instincts. Maybe he can get his own embassy hostage crises.


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