President Bush is upping the stakes in the Levant:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush plans to call home the U.S. ambassador in Syria, Margaret Scobey, for consultations following the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
The move was a further sign of U.S. displeasure over Syria’s military presence in Lebanon, which the White House cited on Monday in condemning the assassination of Hariri.
The White House said it was consulting with the U.N. Security Council about taking punitive measures against those responsible for the killing in Beirut.
“We are constantly reviewing all our diplomatic options across the board, including further sanctions under the Syria Accountability Act,” a senior administration official said.
I’m always amused when anyone claims an amsbassador is being recalled for “consultations.” C’mon now. We’ve got the internet, secure phones, teleconferencing, fiber optics, etc. Withdrawing an ambassador for “consultations” is just a way to publically humiliate another country without them losing face. Except everyone knows that’s what it is, so no face is actually saved.
Anyway, Syria just lost a little face — but it’s not like the assassins, occupiers, and thugs who make up the government in Damascus had any face to lose, anyway.
Silly, silly games.