The PJ Tatler

Muted US response to Assad's attack on the US embassy in Damascus

We should be clear about what today’s attack on the US embassy in Damascus was. Embassies are considered to be the soil of the countries to which they belong, wherever they happen to be. By setting up an embassy in Syria, President Obama extended US soil and sovereignty into that country. Therefore, today’s attack by pro-Assad figures on that embassy in Damascus was an attack on the United States itself. Bashar Assad authorized an attack on the United States.

But thus far, the only reaction we have gotten to this violation of US sovereignty is a facebook statement from Ambassador Robert Ford.

The administration probably wants to play this attack down for two reasons. One, it points up once again the strange choice to intervene in Libya when worse human rights violations occur in Syria as a matter of routine; and while Libya had been relatively tamed over the past decade, Assad has continued his belligerence across the region. And two, a strong US response now might force the administration’s hand toward military intervention in what would be our seventh Middle Eastern country concurrently.

But we cannot allow an attack on our embassy to stand without some kind of response. The French can’t be the only ones who open fire to protect US soil in Syria. It’s 3 am and that crisis phone is ringing again. Will anyone at the Obama White House pick up?

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