"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Friday, December 31, 2010

Obama Sneaks in Envoy to Syria with Recess Appointment


Just to show that the Obama administration thinks murderous, saber-rattling regimes aren't so bad and can be reasoned with...


"Republicans lashed out at the White House for making a recess appointment of Robert Ford as US ambassador to Syria Wednesday after efforts to have him confirmed by the Senate stalled.

"Ford will be the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005, when the US ambassador then in place was recalled by the Bush administration following the assassination of the anti-Syrian Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri, widely suspected to have been done with the help of Damascus.

[...]

"'Congress is not typically happy or pleased about recess appointments. It makes it very difficult for these people to be reconfirmed, so it's a one-year appointment,' explained Syria expert David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"He said the decision to return an ambassador to Damascus showed that the Obama administration hadn't decided to change its engagement policy with Syria despite its role in transferring serious weaponry to Hizbullah and its unwillingness to comply with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency about its suspected nuclear site.

"He added that the Obama administration was also eager to have an emissary in place before the UN tribunal handed down indictments in Hariri's murder, which are expected to be issued in the coming weeks against members of Hizbullah and could implicate Syria as well.

"'They think this will help to calm or constrain Syrian behavior,' Schenker said.

"But he questioned how much the US had to gain from having an ambassador on the ground, given the intensive outreach from senior officials who have traveled to Damascus to communicate the American perspective.

"'I'm not optimistic it will have any type of positive impact,' Schenker said."

What's not to be optimistic about? Talking to our enemies gives them a whole new venue to spread misinformation and distraction. What could go wrong?

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