Ford Made Ambassador to Syria in Recess Appointment

Ford was appointed as US ambassador to Syria. Washington Post. Sana

President Obama, using his authority to bypass Congress, has named four ambassadors and the No. 2 person at the Justice Department as recess appointments, allowing them to serve through most of next year without Senate confirmation. The appointments Wednesday included career diplomat Robert S. Ford as the first ambassador to Syria since 2005 and Francis Ricciardone Jr. as ambassador to Turkey.

In a statement to CNN, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), soon to be head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said she was “deeply disappointed that the president decided to make such a major concession to the Syrian regime.” Such a move tells the Syrian government it can continue its “dangerous agenda” without facing consequences, she said

Robert Ford told US senators at a confirmation hearing on his nomination as the next US ambassador to Syria that the US would not relax sanctions on Damascus as long as the government continues to support Islamic militant groups. “We will maintain sanctions on Syria as long as it supports terrorist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He also argued that directly conveying America’s perspective to Syria was important to advancing US interests, and said, “Unfiltered straight talk with the Syrian government will be my mission priority.” He then enumerated a number of issues he would be addressing with the Syrian regime upon confirmation, including its relations with Iran, Lebanese sovereignty and the importance of restarting peace talks with Israel.

Senior Syrian official Issa Darwish told the German Press Agency dpa that the move would help Damascus convey its political positions better. “Syria has proven, as President Bashar al-Assad has, that it is for peace,” said Darwish, who is former assistant foreign minister and a senior member of the ruling Baath Party.

“And experience has proven, over the past four decades, that Syria is an important player in the region and it is in Washington’s interest to have an ambassador in Damascus to understand the political position of Syria,” he added.

Comments (19)


1. Atassi said:

Happy new year to all…..

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December 30th, 2010, 3:46 pm

 

2. Ziad said:

I just wish that Bashar had the spine to do what Hugo did

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December 30th, 2010, 4:31 pm

 

3. Akbar Palace said:

The Hugo Syndrome

I just wish that Bashar had the spine to do what Hugo did

Ziad,

If you’re upset with Bashar, try voting for someone who will take a tougher stance when the next election comes.

From Wiki:

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈuɣo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβes ˈfɾi.as]; born July 28, 1954) is the President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1998.

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December 30th, 2010, 6:50 pm

 

4. Norman said:

It is good that the US appointed an Ambassador to Syria , but let us not be very optimistic as the US policy of blind support to Israel is still there and that if the US wants anything done in the Mideast it has to force Israel into fulfilling it’s obligations and return the Golan heights and agree to a just solution for the Palestinians , until then the Syrians ,Israeli and the American can continue to dream , the solution is not hard to reach for courageous people but i doubt that these people are available in the US or Israel , I know they are there in Syria,

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December 30th, 2010, 8:43 pm

 

5. Akbar Palace said:

“Courageous People” w/o a Voice NewZ

Norman,

A “just solution” includes peace. That means dropping allies like the terror-supporting regime of Iran.

Just MHO.

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December 30th, 2010, 11:09 pm

 

6. idit said:

A White House clueless on Syria

http://nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=226551

Happy new year to all.

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December 31st, 2010, 2:50 am

 

7. Norman said:

5. Akbar Palace said:

“Courageous People” w/o a Voice NewZ

Norman,

A “just solution” includes peace. That means dropping allies like the terror-supporting regime of Iran.

Just MHO.

AP ,Syria met all Israeli needs for security in 2000 it was a matter of few meters on the Tabaria lake , with the return of the Golan and just peace for the Palestinians Syria will not help or facilitate the effort of the enemies of Israel , and will help secure Israel future in the region , the Israeli leaders do not seem to get it,

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December 31st, 2010, 8:12 am

 

8. Shai said:

Akbar,

1. Germany has full diplomatic and economic relations with Iran. Why doesn’t the United States immediately return its ambassador to Berlin, in protest? Why does the United States have good relations with others that support Iran?

2. You STILL did not answer my question about Netanyahu’s actions qualifying him for your “a very silly man” title. Can you please take a minute or two of your time to answer that question?

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December 31st, 2010, 9:02 am

 

9. Ghat Albird said:

Of corruption, spines and how to establish a state using Stern Gang,and Ergun Zvai lLumi methods…….the ex-vice president of the USA charged with bribery ( is that like corruption? )….whatever happened to the investigation of Olmert ( was tha a case of corruption or rape? )…..and what about the corruption of Congress by AIPAC ?….is Hamas using Zvai Lumi or Stern Gang methods?….. Come to think of it when was the last time Iranians flew into Dubai to assassinate an Israeli?

And speaking of courageous people who would not be courageous with the backing of $4 billion dollars a year in cash plus the latest military hardwarefrom America?

And as a parting shot what kind of people would demand by force the creation of a state simply on the basis of their own religion in the 20th Century and then criticise other societies for being racists.

HAPPY NEW YEAR U ALL.

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December 31st, 2010, 9:05 am

 

10. Shai said:

Ghat,

Although I do sincerely wish you a Happy New Year, I hope that next year you will also use the SC platform to criticize Arab regimes for at least some, if not most, of your claims against Israel. Racism is not new to the region, nor is acquisition and rule by power, or the use of religion as a powerful tool to rally people and nations behind you.

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December 31st, 2010, 10:05 am

 

11. Shai said:

Ghat,

Btw, re: your comment about rape charges against the former Israeli president.

While it was indeed (another) dark day for Israel yesterday, after the court ruling was heard and echoed nation- and world-wide, it was also a day of victory and hope. Justice was done, and the Israeli court system demonstrated that no man in Israel is above the law.

A Court presided over by an Arab Christian Judge, and 2 female senior Judges, convicted an ex-President, of rape and other charges. His sentencing is expected to be double-digit years in Jail. In our region of the world, that is impressive by all standards.

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December 31st, 2010, 10:18 am

 

12. Ziad said:

Akbar
Thank you for teaching me how to pronounce Hugo Chavez in perfect castillano. Btw I will vote for Bashar in the next election and in the one after as long as he does not enter the club of the “moderate” Arab leaders.
AP, I truly enjoy reading your comments, because no one else does a better job in exposing the mindset and the methods of the Zionists. Limitless arrogance and claim of exceptionalim, changing the subject when losing an argument, generous usage of attributes like Baathist supporter, terrorist, anti-Semite.., and frequent links to totally irrelevant citations.
You are Israel’s worst defender. Sometimes I suspect that you are being paid by the Syrian hasbara, but I doubt that they are that mart.

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December 31st, 2010, 10:43 am

 

13. Akbar Palace said:

Fanning the Flames of Peaceful Coexistence

Germany has full diplomatic and economic relations with Iran.

Shai,

Maybe because there are too many BMW owners in the US. But just because Germany has full diplomatic relations with Iran, doesn’t mean Germany is happy with Iran as the link below shows. Germany also has very good relations with Israel, unfortunately for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German%E2%80%93Iranian_relations

Why doesn’t the United States immediately return its ambassador to Berlin, in protest?

I don’t know, maybe the US should pressure Germany more. But then again, Iran has diplomatic relations with 99 countries. I guess the point is, probably most of these 99 countries have diplomatic relations with Israel and are not supplying terrorists with weapons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Iran#Europe

Why does the United States have good relations with others that support Iran?

Probably because these countries have full diplomatic relations with Israel and are not supplying terrorists with weapons. Just my guess.

AP ,Syria met all Israeli needs for security in 2000

Norman,

No agreement was signed. No party met each other’s needs.

Shai,

I agree with your posts to Ghat, and I am also pleased with the Israeli judiciary system. Something to be proud of. Not proud of Israeli pols.

Btw I will vote for Bashar in the next election and in the one after as long as he does not enter the club of the “moderate” Arab leaders.

Ziad,

Glad to be of service. But I have to disagree. Syria has been pretty moderate. Not even a stone comes across the Syrian/Israeli border. It’s very peaceful, thanks to your Baathist president-for-life Dr. Bashar. But if for some small reason, he doesn’t meet your expectations, who would be your second “choice” in the next election?

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December 31st, 2010, 1:18 pm

 

14. Ziad said:

Never again? Elderly Palestinian women called “whores” on Yad Vashem tour, while racism explodes across Israel

http://maxblumenthal.com/

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December 31st, 2010, 2:14 pm

 

15. Ghat Albird said:

Syria has been pretty moderate. Not even a stone comes across the Syrian/Israeli border. It’s very peaceful.

So has Israel been pretty moderate. Not even one stone comes across the border. The daily flights of Israeli war planes over Lebanon is done because Israel has too much fuel in its inventory and who knows if another forest fire will happen or not.

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December 31st, 2010, 2:17 pm

 

16. Shai said:

Akbar,

You didn’t get my point about U.S.-Germany-Iran. The point was, that if Germany, and Italy, and Russian, and China, and a whole slew of other U.S. allies, have good relations with Iran, then a new Israeli ally – Syria – could also. When Egypt and Israel signed a peace agreement, Israel did not demand of Egypt to sever its relationship with anyone! Not with Syria, not with Libya, not with Iraq, not with any of Israel’s enemies. Egypt did not “support terrorism” (Fedayyin attacks, for instance) after a peace agreement, as it did before. It makes absolutely no sense that Syria would continue to allow Iranian weapons through its territory to Hezbollah, after it signs a peace treaty with Israel.

You still didn’t answer my question about Netanyahu… :-)

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December 31st, 2010, 2:18 pm

 

17. Akbar Palace said:

You didn’t get my point about U.S.-Germany-Iran.

Shai,

No, you just didn’t comprehend my answer.

As far as your question about BB, which post no. was that?

Anyway, Happy New Year to you Shai, and perhaps you will turn a new leaf and not blame Israel as the sole reason why there isn’t peace in the Middle East. There will never be a more liberal, less aggresive administration as BO’s, and even they can’t seem to single-out Israel for the current impasse.

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December 31st, 2010, 2:52 pm

 

18. Shai said:

Akbar,

After you answer the question about Netanyahu, I’d love to also hear your thoughts on three more crazy “liberal leftist wannabes” – current COGS (Head of the IDF) Gabi Ashkenazi, ex-Head of Mossad Meir Dagan, and ex-Head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin. For some odd reason, they too seem to support peace with Syria (Crazy them! Can’t they see the danger with Iran?!?) Your thoughts please… (after Netanyahu)

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/ashkenazi-s-ladder-to-the-top-1.334468

Akbar,

Since I now saw your last comment, I’ll respond here.

Firstly, Happy New Year to you too! And I hope that turning a leaf is something that all of us should do this year. Not only “silly liberal leftists”… :-)

As for my questions about Netanyahu, they were about his qualification for “very silly man” based on actions described in my comment Nr. 41 in the previous thread. I listed quite a few actions Netanyahu took, and takes, and asked your thoughts on the matter.

The way to move forward is not by continuing to ruthlessly defend your side, but rather to begin criticizing it when and where needed. Each side should do this, in order to begin building trust. It is the byproduct of Empathy, a much needed and missing element in the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Note I said “empathy”, and not “sympathy”.

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December 31st, 2010, 2:53 pm

 

19. Akbar Palace said:

Shai’s Gift to Arabia; Happy New Year!

Shai,

I found your Post 41. Here it is :

Compared to your Neoconish views of Life, I’m sure my ideas seems “silly” to you. Funny, however, how you don’t call Netanyahu “silly”, when he publicly opposes Lieberman, when he sends his representatives to work out an apology with Turkey, when he accepts The Oslo Agreement (remember? or did you erase that from your memory?), when he kissed Arafat on the cheek, and referred to him as “a friend”, when he sent Ron Lauder in 1996 to offer Hafez Assad terms for a withdrawal from the Golan, and all these other little things one could only call “Leftist” in nature.

Do you think Netanyahu was “a silly man” when he did all these things?

By the way, I’m for returning fire when a Qassam rocket hits any inch of Israeli territory. Quite a few Qassams have been launched since Netanyahu became PM. Why are you not angry at him for not launching a 2nd Operation Cast Lead? Why is it that Centrists (Olmert) and Leftists (Barak) go on a killing spree in Gaza, but your Rightist Netanyahu doesn’t??? Doesn’t HE at least deserve the title “silly”, no less than me?

My answers:

1.) Lieberman is still FM and minor issue.

2.) No apology to Turkey (I agree with that).

3.) Too strong of a gesture toward Arafat. Minor issue IMO.

4.) I am not against peace talks with anyone including Assad.

Taking part in peace talks is not “Leftist” IMO. Blaming Israel for everything is. A bad agreement like Oslo is “Leftist”.

I am glad you are “for returning fire when a Qassam rocket hits any inch of Israeli territory”. I think it is up to the IDF when another major operation is due. Here’s an article I found on the subject. Apparently the rocket fire from Gaza is down 90% since the operation.

http://warsclerotic.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/security-and-defense-avoiding-cast-lead-ii/

From the MFA:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Palestinian_ceasefire_violations_since_end_Operation_Cast_Lead.htm

In short, whatever the IDF decides, including anthor major operation, is well within their right.

I am not angry at BB, because a major operation always includes a high political cost from countries that apply a higher standard on Israel than themselves. This is just the reality.

Rightist (the Likud) go on “killing sprees” (aka “fighting terrorism”) just the same. I think the Likud was in power when the IDF entered Lebanon to deal with the PLO. No?

Keep the Likud in power a little longer, and I’m sure they’ll be on another “killing spree”.

Overall I am pleased with BB’s current job a PM. And no, “silly” is still the best adjective to describe your philosophy here as the “Token, Jihadist Feel-Good, Israel Liberal”.

Today’s terror news: 21 Christians murdered in Egypt:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110101/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt_church_attack

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January 1st, 2011, 11:28 am

 

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