This week, United States Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford participated in a tour sponsored by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in the Northwest province of Idlib. The propaganda tour was organized to show the devastation caused by what government officials described as foreign outlaws and radical Islamists. The excursion included Syrian officials who explained to Ford that Islamic extremists were responsible for the more than 1,500 deaths that have occurred since anti-government protests began on March 15. Government officials also told Ford that there have been no peaceful freedom marches, as has been reported by the international media, only foreign radicals looking to destabilize Syria. Ambassador Ford dutifully attended the government’s tour but has since failed to respond or react.
Ford’s silence dramatically contrasts with his tough talk during his confirmation hearing in March 2010 when he told Senators, “Unfiltered straight talk with the Syrian government will be my mission priority.” We can only hope Ford’s public silence means he has been giving it to Assad privately. But unfortunately there are press reports indicating that Ford hasn’t been able to schedule a private meeting with any senior government officials. So the U.S. Ambassador to Syria just sits and waits. … Continue Reading