Breaking: Pro-Assad demonstrators attack US, French embassies

posted at 10:00 am on July 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Despite the shooting of hundreds and perhaps thousands of unarmed demonstrators, the Obama administration has refused to call for Syria’s Bashar Assad to resign, as Obama and his team did with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose forces reacted much less violently to protesters.  The Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton, insisted that they see Assad as a “reformer,” an assumption they didn’t bother to extend to those actual US allies in the region.  Today, Assad repaid the Obama administration for its, er, patience:

Witnesses say Syrian pro-government protesters have attacked the U.S. embassy compound in Damascus, causing damage.

The witnesses said the protesters smashed windows and raised a Syrian flag on the compound on Monday. They also wrote anti-US graffiti referring to the U.S. ambassador as a “dog,” the witnesses said.

Attacking embassies is a favorite tactic of Assad.  In 2006, a pro-Assad mob stormed the Danish and Norwegian embassies to protest the publication of the Mohammed cartoons, doing a significant amount of damage.  A few months ago, a Wikileaks release confirmed what everyone already knew, which is that the Assad regime planned and conducted the attack, and then pulled the mob out after their purposes were met.

Why target the US embassy?  Assad needs to divert attention from the growing unrest in his country, and he needs an easy villain for the distraction.  The Obama administration’s weak pressure on Assad to deliver “reform” gets an unmistakable answer at the same time.  It’s a win-win for Assad, and another humiliation for Obama.

Over at the French embassy, the protests got even more serious:

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.

Obama had better act quickly to make clear to Assad that this kind of attack won’t be tolerated.  The last thing Obama needs now is yet another parallel to the Carter administration in a sacking of a Middle East embassy by “students.”  Unfortunately, the White House appears somewhat distracted by yet another effort to push the nominally-US-aligned Saleh out of power:

An aide to President Barack Obama met yesterday with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Saudi Arabia and asked him to fulfill a pledge to step down after more than three decades in power.

Saleh is in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, recovering from injuries sustained during a June 3 attack on his presidential compound in Sanaa, YemenJohn Brennan, Obama’s assistant for counterterrorism and homeland security, urged Saleh “to fulfill expeditiously his pledge to sign the GCC-brokered agreement for peaceful and constitutional political transition in Yemen,” an e-mailed statement from the White House said, referring to a proposal by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Saleh probably needs to go, but his departure will be a blow to our efforts against al-Qaeda.  Meanwhile, Assad is a real threat to the region, especially in Lebanon, thanks to his alliance with Iran and his funding, supply, and direction of Hezbollah.  There seems to be a very misguided prioritization taking place in Obama’s foreign policy, where we have attached ourselves to our enemy and thrown one-time friends under the bus.

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

Targets for bored Marine Embassy Guards.

cartooner on July 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

“. . . misguided prioritization . . .”???

How about a deliberate choice of allies and enemies?

Greyledge Gal on July 11, 2011 at 10:04 AM

There seems to be a very misguided prioritization taking place in Obama’s foreign policy, where we have attached ourselves to our enemy and thrown one-time friends under the bus.

How is this a newsflash? This is par for the course for this administration.

search4truth on July 11, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Leading from behind.

petefrt on July 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Obama had better act quickly to make clear to Assad that this kind of attack won’t be tolerated. The last thing Obama needs now is yet another parallel to the Carter administration in a sacking of a Middle East embassy by “students.”

Odd how there are similiar reactions to a limp wristed liberal President that is doing everything to “help them”…

Lets just call it the “Chamberlin Charm”, being another passivist moron got the ball rolling 40 years before Carter.

Odie1941 on July 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

I suspect when Obama hears this news he’ll demand that Israel stop agitating the situtation with their brand of terrorism in a peace-loving neighborhood. Perhaps a deeper bow to Assad on behalf of that awful Bush administration’s failure to know America’s proper place in world affairs.

Don L on July 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

While everyone in Washington was concentrating on the debt crisis this week, the Obama administration attempted to slip through a questionable arms deal that requires serious scrutiny. Though it got little attention, the Defense Department officially notified Congress on Friday that it was authorizing the sale of 125 M1A1 tanks to Egypt as well as other weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support. While most of the military sales to Egypt have sailed through without objection in the more than 30 years since it signed a peace deal with Israel, this is the first such sale since the fall of the Mubarak regime earlier this year. Which is exactly why the sale ought to be held up until the unsettled situation in the most populous country in the Arab world is better understood.

OMG

J_Crater on July 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

There is no smell that a mob hates as much as the whiff of grapeshot. Give it to them.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

The Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton, insisted that they see Assad as a “reformer…”

Sounds like Assad’s idea of being of “reformer” is to “reform” the U.S. and French embassy buildings into smokey holes in the ground.

pilamaye on July 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

There seems to be a very misguided prioritization taking place in Obama’s foreign policy, where we have attached ourselves to our enemy and thrown one-time friends under the bus.

Welcome to Smart Power!

kingsjester on July 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Obama is so smart that his decisions baffle mere mortals.

If you don’t agree, you are probably a racist.

Mord on July 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Reset!

Cripe….Iran 1979 redux?

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM

On a side note about the worst President in US History, it looks like The Obami has decided to favor Hezoballah over Israel when it comes to their maritime border. Worst.President.Ever.

Lance Murdock on July 11, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Cripe….Iran 1979 redux?

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Possibly worse.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 10:13 AM

*shudder* uncle sn

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 10:16 AM

American Jews yawn.

SouthernGent on July 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM

them embassies must be full of corporate jet owners or something…/

tactics/

ted c on July 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM


The Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton, insisted that they see Assad as a “reformer,”

By that they mean he reforms people’s faces … literally … you can see it on YouTube.

Tony737 on July 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

The reason for the government sponsored protests is because the French and US ambassadors traveled to Hama last week to meet with some of the leaders of peaceful protests. Needless to say the Syrian government is pissed.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Cripe….Iran 1979 redux?

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Possibly worse.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Yes. We need to get our people out of there ASAP.

katy the mean old lady on July 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

There is no smell that a mob hates as much as the whiff of grapeshot. Give it to them.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

heh. ahoy….

ted c on July 11, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I just figured out the one surefire way to make sure Obama loses in 2012, regardless who runs against him………

Make Casey Anthony the new official Obamagirl!

That’ll do it!

pilamaye on July 11, 2011 at 10:20 AM


Obama had better act quickly to make clear to Assad that this kind of attack won’t be tolerated.

B-2 bombers … danger close!

Tony737 on July 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Why isn’t an incident (putting it mildly) like this treated as what it really is…an act of war by a head of state (Assad) on sovereign territory of the United States (embassy)?

JetBoy on July 11, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Where was that one embassy or NGO where a mob killed everyone because those in charge of protecting it ordered everyone not to defend themselves?

Blake on July 11, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Explain to me again why we have an embassy in Syria? GET EVERYONE OUT OF THERE YESTERDAY!

JDH on July 11, 2011 at 10:26 AM

B-2 bombers … danger close!

Tony737 on July 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Beware of the heat flash and shock wave.

NaCly dog on July 11, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Where was that one embassy or NGO where a mob killed everyone because those in charge of protecting it ordered everyone not to defend themselves?

Blake on July 11, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I can’t remember which Religion Of Peace Oasis that was.

Tim Zank on July 11, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Totus is too busy preparing to demonize the Republicans over the debt crap at 11am.
Worst president ever and my coworker still has “Thank you Mr Obama” written on his whiteboard.

ORconservative on July 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM

+1 Orcon

Priorities

cmsinaz on July 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Worst president ever and my coworker still has “Thank you Mr Obama” written on his whiteboard.

ORconservative on July 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I still see people driving around the expressways with OBAMA campaign stickers on their cars……….except these days I am noticing they are getting flipped off by other drivers more frequently. If things get worse, I expect to start seeing them get run off the road.

pilamaye on July 11, 2011 at 10:36 AM

There seems to be a very misguided prioritization taking place in Obama’s foreign policy, where we have attached ourselves to our enemy and thrown one-time friends under the bus.

Not so if, like Obama, you view enemies of America as your friends and its friends as your enemies.

TXUS on July 11, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Possibly worse.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Exactly…throw some nukes into the pot, and GOD help us!

lukespapa on July 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM

The Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton, insisted that they see Assad as a “reformer…”

Other famous “reformers”:

Pol Pot
Lenin
Stalin
Hitler
Mao
Vlad the Impaler
Carter

BobMbx on July 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM

ORconservative on July 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM

The Democrat Party is out date. They really need to change it the new Socialist Party.

Please tell what is the difference between the two parties now?

The problem is that GOP is timdit these days…hence the Tea Party on fiscal issues.

Oil Can on July 11, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Run, Sarah, Run.

davidk on July 11, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I’m sure the following conversation is being had in the White House today:

“Quick, how do we pin this all on Israel?”

Vyce on July 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Obama blames it on Perry in 5, 4, 3 ….

Dusty on July 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Run, Sarah, Run.

davidk on July 11, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I’m not a Sarah fan, but I like to see her in the race. We should want a lot of different people to run.

Oil Can on July 11, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Other famous “reformers”:

Vlad the Impaler

BobMbx on July 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Hey now, give Vlad some respect. I mean, sure, he liked to impale people by the hundreds / thousands, and his bloodthirstyness made him, oddly enough, part of vampiric myth / lore. But, he wasn’t really that fond of Islamic expansion into Europe. And by “not really fond”, I mean, he’d butcher them by the thousands. He even wanted his own brother dead for siding with the Ottoman Turks.

Vyce on July 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Obama blames it on Perry in 5, 4, 3 ….

Dusty on July 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

E.J. Dionne has already started. Oh, and obambi is going to give another speech pretty soon, he’s late as usual.

VegasRick on July 11, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Obama sent Syria a prospective hostage, er, full ambassador. Bush withdrew our ambassador after the Hariri assassination. Anybody up for hostage crisis 2?

theCork on July 11, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Leading Hiding from behind.

petefrt on July 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

FTFY. Where is everybody? Is there a Sarah Palin thread going on? Oh. BTW obambi is 12 minutes late. He really is a egotistical douchebag.

VegasRick on July 11, 2011 at 11:13 AM

“. . . misguided prioritization . . .”???

How about a deliberate choice of allies and enemies?

Greyledge Gal on July 11, 2011 at 10:04 AM

THIS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfL-Oj1rQ-c

tencole on July 11, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Why hasn’t Obama pulled the US ambassador?

Ben Hur on July 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Just another example of all that “Smart Power” coming out of Washington. Maybe Hillary! needs another “reset” button.

GarandFan on July 11, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I don’t think it is “misguided prioritization” as much as a complete lack of prioritization. There is no discernible logic (good or bad).

exhelodrvr on July 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Someone can tell me if I’m being naive and silly here, but if we clamped down on these regimes, and I mean really put force into play here, and demanded all other rational nations to do so as well (or face being ostracized), we could rid the planet of most of these goons easily.

It seems to me, we could do so much if we’d stop being PC and tying our hands behind our backs with weird rules of engagement in battle, weird rules in diplomacy that have us shaking hands with downright terrorist leaders, etc.

Is it not possible that if we said, enough is enough, and got as tough as possible, we could actually turn a lot of these nations around?

TheBlueSite on July 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Obama is the typical bully. He wants to be relevant by pushing around those who are too small or dont care. But those that are a threat he leaves alone.

And the left characterized Bush as being the world’s bully while he responded to the actual threats.

Cowards, all of them.

shick on July 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Is it not possible that if we said, enough is enough, and got as tough as possible, we could actually turn a lot of these nations around?

TheBlueSite on July 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I don’t know for sure what you mean by ‘turn around’…

Quite frankly most of those places have been run by tyrants oppressing the peasants since the Bronze Age, and short of full-scale British colonialism (which we have neither the manpower nor money to do), they’ll do so until the second coming.

What IS possible is to demonstrate that we are not to be messed with. If necessary, by killing off each successive leadership until one emerges that realizes “hey, pissing off the world’s biggest military power is a BAD IDEA. Maybe we shouldn’t do it?”

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 12:53 PM

There seems to be a very misguided prioritization taking place in Obama’s foreign policy, where we have attached ourselves to our enemy and thrown one-time friends under the bus.

Ed, while I don’t like continual rants please take off the gloves and call it like it is. This isn’t misguided, it’s deliberate. America’s friends are not seen by Obama as such and neither are America’s enemies. This administration has no moral compass. We have someone in the WH who wants to impose his own world view on this country.

INC on July 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM

but his departure will be a blow to our efforts against al-Qaeda.

You know, Al-Q is just one Pokemon, if you want to survive you have to catch them all.

BL@KBIRD on July 11, 2011 at 4:05 PM