**Posted by Phineas
Since coming into office in 2009, the Obama administration has emphasized a policy of “reaching out” to the Syrian government, sending an ambassador there for the first time in four years. When the “Arab spring” revolts reached Syria and the Assad regime responded by shooting unarmed protesters in the streets, Secretary of State Clinton deployed Smart Power and called Assad a “reformer.” Despite Syria’s status as an Iranian ally and client, despite its support of terror (It’s even on Clinton’s list), and despite its pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Obama administration has shown remarkable restraint. Today, Team Smart Power got their reward.
Our embassy attacked by a mob:
Protesters loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad briefly broke into the U.S. embassy in Damascus on Monday and security guards used live ammunition to prevent them storming the French embassy, diplomats said.
No casualties were reported in the attacks but a U.S. official said Washington condemned Syria’s slow response and its failure to the prevent the assault on its embassy.
The attacks followed a visit by the U.S. and French ambassadors to the city of Hama last week in support of the hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators who have been gathering there despite attacks by Syrian forces.
“We are calling in the Syrian charge (d’affaires) to complain,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We feel they failed (in their responsibility to protect U.S. diplomats). We are going to condemn their slow response.”
Well, that’s showing them. I bet the Syrian charge is even now quaking in his oxfords as he heads for his meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Apologies — quaking from laughter, that is.
And I’m dead serious in the subject line: this attack on our and the French embassies was not a spontaneous expression of outrage on the part of people who just love Boy Assad. Syria attacked our embassy. The country a mafia-ocracy with the Assad clan at the top, and nothing happens without their say-so. You can bet this originated with the Mukhabarat, Syria’s intelligence service, who did the same thing in 2006. Assad was angered by the visit the US ambassador paid to Hama, a center of anti-Assad sentiment (1), and so, just like the little thug he is, he sent his boys around to trash our embassy.
And our response is to stamp our foot and whine “stop it!”
There was a time when this garbage would have been met with a different kind of protest: a warship and a barrage by naval artillery, sending its own message: “Don’t make us angry.”
But that was long ago, before the era of Hope, Change, and Smart Power.
Here’s how a “Phineas administration” would handle it. Since no American lives were lost, we can start with just a nice, little chat: the charge would come into this meeting and sit down before the desk of the Secretary of State. The Secretary would then quietly lay out a series of satellite photos — Mukhabarat headquarters, the Presidential Palace, Assad’s favorite summer home on the Mediterranean coast, you get the idea.
And in case the Syrian diplomat didn’t quite catch the drift, the Secretary would make the implied message clear: “That embassy is sovereign US territory. If this or anything like this ever happens again, I guarantee you President Assad will wake up to something far worse than an angry mob.” To put the punctuation on this, there would be small news items about the redeployment of (cruise missile carrying) US naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean for “exercises.”
And that’s how you deal with
LINKS: More at Hot Air and Legal Insurrection. Bryan Preston at PJM’s The Tatler blog sees the nature of the attack the same way I do and says the 3AM phone is ringing. Moe Lane has advice for Democratic administration appointees. As usual, Barry Rubin has sharp, hard-headed analysis.
(1) The Assads have “a history” with Hama. A bloody one.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)