Marco Rubio to Obama: Can we recall our ambassador to Syria now?

posted at 9:13 pm on April 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

It’s the least we can do, Barry. Literally.

Clearly, we should be on the side of the Syrian people longing for freedom and challenging the regime’s corrupt and repressive rule. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s hesitancy to weigh in has been mistaken for indecision at best and indifference at worst. The president needs to speak directly to the Syrian people to communicate American support for their legitimate demands, condemn Assad’s murderous campaign against innocent civilians, and sternly warn Assad and his cohorts that they cannot continue grossly violating human rights, supporting terrorism, and sowing instability among Syria’s neighbors.

But his words must be backed by clear, firm actions. As ill-advised as it was to restore diplomatic relations with Syria by sending an American ambassador to Damascus last year, we should now sever ties and recall the ambassador at once. While Syria is already under heavy U.S. sanctions as a designated state sponsor of terror, we should expand sanctions to include persons identified as authorizing, planning, or participating in deplorable human rights violations against unarmed civilians. Our partners in Europe, Turkey, and the Arab Gulf share many of our interests in Syria and play a large role in that country, and the president must put the full diplomatic weight of the United States behind an effort to convince them to adopt meaningful economic and diplomatic sanctions targeting Assad and his enablers in the regime.

Sanctions won’t do anything to stop Assad, but since we have no other options — and since regime change would be a total crapshoot, capable in theory of destabilizing the entire region (the Muslim Brotherhood’s already pretty excited) — they’re the obvious way of expressing moral disapproval. Analyst Marc Lynch argues that recalling the ambassador is actually a grievous mistake since it would close off a channel of communication not only to Assad but to Syrian protesters. Is that channel doing us any good, though, as our rhetoric against Syria turns harsher (as Lynch recommends) and/or new sanctions are imposed? To Obama’s credit, the U.S. is already actively working to deny Syria a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, even though it’s had to water down the language of its draft resolution to make it more palatable to Assad’s cronies. Is the regime going to overlook all that and keep taking our calls but then turn around and refuse to engage if we take the additional step of yanking our ambassador from Damascus? Seems hard to believe.

Keeping the ambassador in place to communicate with dissidents makes more sense, but the way things are going, we might have to start pulling him and the rest of the American team out sooner rather than later anyway. Syrian army units have reportedly started fighting each other in Deraa, the city at the heart of the protests, which portends a Libya-like escalation of defections and ultimately civil war. One way or another, we’re inching towards the lifeboats. Exit question: Anyone know if Rand Paul has weighed in yet on Syria? I can’t find anything after some quickie googling and I’m curious to see where he lands on the spectrum between Rubio and, say, his dad in terms of pressuring monstrous regimes. A Rubio/Paul tea-party rivalry, at least on foreign policy, isn’t as unlikely as it may initially seem.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

engagement apparently never means having to condemn massacres.

rob verdi on April 28, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Well, that’s a … great expression on Rubio’s face. Really… really great.

Jeddite on April 28, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Call him out.

SouthernGent on April 28, 2011 at 9:17 PM

He can’t withdraw the ambassador, that would be admitting an error in judgement. It’s beneath him, and frankly, impossible for a man of his obvious superior intellect.

BKeyser on April 28, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Analyst Marc Lynch argues that recalling the ambassador is actually a grievous mistake since it would close off a channel of communication not only to Assad but to Syrian protesters.

Huh? They’re ignoring the channel as it is. So closing off that channel would, what? Just make it official. He’s just making excuses for incompetence.

amerpundit on April 28, 2011 at 9:20 PM

We have one there??????????

BallisticBob on April 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM

This guy has twice the brains of President Soetoro.

Then again, I think my Shi Tzu does.

Star20 on April 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Wait a sec, didn’t dear leader just pop the ambassador back in that country this year?
Epic fail!

cmsinaz on April 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM

This guy has twice the brains of President Soetoro.

Star20 on April 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I’ll go ahead and throw my money down on the table: future POTUS. Not “future candidate”. Future POTUS.

Maybe the first Latin president, even.

Vyce on April 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I’ll go ahead and throw my money down on the table: future POTUS. Not “future candidate”. Future POTUS.

Maybe the first Latin president, even.

Vyce on April 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Now you’re talking.

Rush said this week that there’s no time to groom somebody for the job – we need a staunch conservative to step up NOW and take the POTUS. Go Marco.

fossten on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Am I the only one who is more afraid of Obama’s eventual reaction to the crisis than him not reacting at all?

Bee on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Perhaps Obama could think of Syria as an American ally? At least then he’d feel free to criticize its actions forcefully.

Fred 2 on April 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

It’s the least we can do, Barry.

Is that any way to speak to the President of the United States of Ameria, Allah?
/sarc

steebo77 on April 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

“Put the Ambassador off shore on a ferry in case we need him…

… but by all means, continue the Foreign Aid. – President Obowma”

Seven Percent Solution on April 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM

engagement apparently never means having to condemn massacres.

rob verdi on April 28, 2011 at 9:15 PM

-
Nope… NO preconditions.
-

RalphyBoy on April 28, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Barry will do what Barry does best. Nothing. And hope the whole issue just goes away.

GarandFan on April 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM

BallisticBob on April 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Surprised me to! What do you think he does?

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM

We have one there??????????

BallisticBob on April 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Yes. Bush recalled him, Obama sent him back.

Troika37 on April 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s hesitancy to weigh in has been mistaken for indecision at best and indifference at worst.

Who says conservatives can’t be kind?

PersonFromPorlock on April 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

“Analyst Marc Lynch argues that recalling the ambassador is actually a grievous mistake since it would close off a channel of communication not only to Assad but to Syrian protesters.”

Please. That’s like advocating to keep using carrier pigeons, hollow logs, smoke signals, or something. We’re in the 21st century, for god’s sake. The least effective tool and probably the most dangerous for communicating with the protesters is via the embassy.

Dusty on April 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Wait a sec, didn’t dear leader just pop the ambassador back in that country this year?
Epic fail!

cmsinaz on April 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Yep. Barry did that to put another thumb in the eye of the former Bush administration and to demonstrate how much better his “smart power” is. Go figure why the Dems have been so enamored with honeymooning Syria.

Where is Hillary? Haven’t the bruises from her facelift healed yet?

onlineanalyst on April 28, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Oh my… Rubio might as well not turn in his resume for the GOP LOSERSHIP. He’s actually taking on Obama, rather than focusing on pointing out the clowns in the GOP LOSERSHIP.

drfredc on April 28, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Me thinks,Hopey is an Agent of Kaos!

Doesn’t appear that he is helpful,in any
M.E. Flare-Up,in the last few months!!

And he contradicts himself by the day,er hour!!!!!!

canopfor on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 PM

But his words must be backed by clear, firm actions. As ill-advised as it was to restore diplomatic relations with Syria by sending an American ambassador to Damascus last year, we should now sever ties and recall the ambassador at once. While Syria is already under heavy U.S. sanctions as a designated state sponsor of terror,
=====================================

It seems Hopey has his own little plans,and I don`t think
it includes Israel!(sarc).

canopfor on April 28, 2011 at 10:03 PM

At least the Brits have come to their senses!
===============================================

Syrian ambassador’s invitation to the British Royal Wedding is withdrawn
April 29th, 2011
********************

The ambassador of Syria, Dr Sami Khiyami has been removed from the Royal Wedding guest list. The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague advised the royal family to withdraw his invitation because of the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators that in Syria in recent weeks.

The Telegraph reports that a statement was released from the Foreign Office : “In the light of this week’s attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces, which we have condemned, the Foreign Secretary has decided that the presence of the Syrian Ambassador at the Royal Wedding would be unacceptable and that he should not attend.”
(More…………..)

http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/thesocial/2011/04/29/syrian-ambassadors-invitation-to-the-british-royal-wedding-is-withdrawn/

canopfor on April 28, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I keep wanting Rubio/West!!!!! Can you just see the dems killing themselves with that duo? That at least would bring a lot of Hispanics to the ticket. How could the dems call “racist” with those two. Oh, please, please, please!

Bambi on April 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM

The ambassador is a figurehead who has no authority or standing with anyone other than Assad and damned little with him.
Withdraw the symp Obamaite ambassador and let the CIA station chief do what he can.

Considering the castration the cia/dia/nsa have suffered under “the One” what they can do will range from minimal to nothing but it is better than anything that this ambassador can/will do to the “reformist” Assad regime.

MaaddMaaxx on April 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM

But I thought that Assad was a Reformer???

PatriotRider on April 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

recalling the ambassador is actually a grievous mistake since it would close off a channel of communication not only to Assad but to Syrian protesters

That’s insanely stupid.
Recall the ambassador ASAP and leave some embassy personnel who can be “lesser” channels. There is nothing lost. Nothing. That is, except, the risk of insulting a murderous dictator. Smart power my asss.

G. Charles on April 28, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Why do we pussyfoot with these people? Oh … that’s right … the O’pussyfooter is in command.

Get some guts gang!

ORrighty on April 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

The only thing Obama recalls is his golf schedule.

Oh, wait, and his vacation schedule!

profitsbeard on April 29, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Maybe the first Latin best American president, even.

Vyce on April 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM
Rubio considers him self American, no hyphenated citizen. He is all American, his heritage does not change this.

IowaWoman on April 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM