State Dept to Saudi Arabia: Congrats on recalling your ambassador to Syria, but …

posted at 9:25 am on August 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, the UN, with the blessing of the US, mustered up a strongly-worded statement condemning Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on unarmed dissidents in Syria, but still refused to demand Assad’s resignation.  Barack Obama still has yet to call for Assad’s removal after five months of murderous Syrian response, despite demanding the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt after eight days of protests without the kind of brutal crackdown seen from Assad.  Even the Saudis have had enough (via Jennifer Rubin):

Saudi Arabia has said it is recalling its ambassador from Damascus in protest against Syria’s deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

A statement from King Abdullah said the violence was “unacceptable” and called for it to stop before it was too late.

It came hours after the Arab League issued its first official statement, strongly condemning the violence.

On Sunday, more than 80 people died as the army launched assaults in eastern and central Syria, activists said.

How about the Obama administration?  According to the State Department’s response, they think that Saudi Arabia’s decision “clearly sends a message” to Assad’s government.  And, of course, we won’t send the same message, as The Cable deduces:

The State Department welcomes the announcement by Saudi Arabia that it is recalling its ambassador from Syria, but the U.S. has no plans to do so. “This is a choice by any sovereign nation whether to recall its ambassador. It clearly sends a message to the government,” said Toner. “For our part, we’ve talked about this last week and continue to believe that Ambassador Ford is playing an important role on the ground, bearing witness to what’s going on in Syria.”

Ahhh, I see.  Ford is a witness!  I suppose the thousands of Syrians getting attacked won’t do in that role.  As for Ford, he wants us all to know that what’s going on is, er, pretty bad, or something:

U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford condemned the Syrian military crackdown against a civilian uprising in the city of Hama, calling the violence there “grotesque” and “abhorrent.” As international condemnation grows, he said the United States would “try to ratchet up the pressure” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including through new sanctions.

“The violence that the Syrian government is inflicting on Syrian protesters, from our point of view, is grotesque. It’s abhorrent,” Ford told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour in a U.S. exclusive. “So we are looking at additional unilateral measures, but also measures that we can work with partners to get the Syrian government to stop shooting protesters, to release political prisoners and to stop these arrest campaigns.”

It’s grotesque and abhorrent, but not enough to cut off diplomatic ties or to treat Assad, a clear antagonist towards the US and the West, with anything approaching the treatment we gave Mubarak, our nominal ally in the region.  Instead of showing any consistency, we’re going to keep jollying along this supposed “reformer” and desperately look for others in the region with more muscle to get Assad to kindly, pretty please, stop massacring his own people.  That must be what Obama means by “smart power,” huh?

It’s a sad day indeed when the Saudis are more concerned with human-rights violations than the United States, especially in a place like Syria.  One might even call it “grotesque” and “abhorrent.”

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Syria is an enemy of Israel. Just sayin’.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Syria is an enemy of Israel. Just sayin’.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM

That is saying a lot.

antisocial on August 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Smart Power at work again… Is it November 2012 yat?

Khun Joe on August 9, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Syria is an enemy of Israel. Just sayin’.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM


AH_C on August 9, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Syria is also a satellite of Iran. Which probably partly explains State Department’s ‘reasoning’ but makes their stance even worse.

ProfessorMiao on August 9, 2011 at 9:46 AM

PBHO will attempt to defuse this crisis by demanding that Israel cede the Golan Heights back to Syria.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Love that smart power

Miss me yet?

cmsinaz on August 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM

This photo depicts El Stupido bowing before the regime that funded his edumacation.

Key West Reader on August 9, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Foreign leaders must be laughing their heads off about how we suck.

President Plague-on-America smiles on an “manages” our decline.

11/6/12………VH Day! (Victory for Hobbits Day)!

PappyD61 on August 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

This is what it looks like when a country is run by a leftist with no guts or principles, in case you have wondered what that would be like.

Jaibones on August 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

So shameful. I’ve never been ashamed of my country until the last few years. This administration was silent during most of the Iranian protests too. It is “grotesque” and “abhorrent.”

scalleywag on August 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM

IMHO the rebelling Muslims of Syria, Libya, Egypt & the rest of North Africa are NOT our friends and these dumb-to-be-Muslim Arabs will never be. The Arab world is composed mostly of Death-to-America & Israel Muslims and to spend lives & treasure to rescue them from their dictators is pure folly. Better the devils you know than the Islamists you don’t. For instance, I think Gaddafi, actually a very non-traditional Muslim, better for us than the Muslim Brotherhood and I think Obama’s making the US Air Force the rebel’s air force was stupid. Obama, an Islam loving internationalist, just can’t look after America’s well being as his only job ( I doubt he even likes America).

Chessplayer on August 9, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Syria is an enemy of Israel. Just sayin’.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM

So is Libya

a capella on August 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Syria is an enemy of Israel. Just sayin’.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM

So is this administration.

SouthernGent on August 9, 2011 at 11:18 AM

It’s a sad day indeed when the Saudis are more concerned with human-rights violations than the United States, especially in a place like Syria. One might even call it “grotesque” and “abhorrent.”

Meanwhile, Obama and his minions are watching video after video of the violence and taking notes. How else can Obama learn how to do it, when the time comes?

capejasmine on August 9, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Oh-oh, the Arab League is getting involved. That will shake up Baby Bashir for sure.

slickwillie2001 on August 9, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Nominal ally, not sponsoring terrorism, not threatening Israel – you will be replaced, hopefully with the Muslim Brotherhood so we can get a new supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Radical Islamist sponsoring terrorism, threatening Israel – Please crack down as hard as you want on your own people to stay in power.

See the pattern?

And yes, it applies to Libya too. You see the leadership of the rebels changing constantly. The current administration would LOVE to see somebody even worse than Gaddafi when it comes to terrorism.

Killing Bin Laden, still in Iraq and Afghanistan, all only for political reasons, not his ideology.

PastorJon on August 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Higher pay and better equipment often works wonders on rentable Muslims they say. It is how Bush had 8 solid years of victory over the extremist teeny tiny fringe.

BL@KBIRD on August 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM