Sunday, July 17, 2011

The clumsy move of the US and French ambassadors visiting a demonstration, of course, backfires

Sometimes one wonders if the US' entire Middle East strategy is run by heavily armed and well financed seven year old children. Publicly sending Ambassadors to observe anti-government protests in a secondary city of Syria was probably the most senseless US policy activity since the airstrikes on Libya. Here is the result.
BEIRUT (AP) — A witness in Syria's capital says security guards at the French Embassy have fired into the air to drive back protesters taking part in two-pronged demonstrations outside the French and American embassies in Damascus.

The protests Monday come days after the U.S. and French ambassadors visited the opposition stronghold of Hama in central Syria. The witness says crowds were not allowed to get near the U.S. Embassy.

The witness, Hiam al-Hassan, says about 300 people had gathered outside the French Embassy. Hundreds others were at the American diplomatic compound.
The fundamentals in Syria remain. Unless a national consensus develops that Assad must leave immediately, as developed in Egypt, Assad can't be forced out of power. And it is very unlikely at this point that such a consensus can emerge.

But other than the US and French ambassadors, there is likely no significant constituency in Syria who would want to see the country go to civil war like we see in Libya to remove Assad.

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