Apparently Assad can’t kill fast enough to stop the opposition in Syria. Despite the murder of more than 100 of “his” people on Sunday, the Syrian dictator doubled down yesterday, with security forces raiding mosques, bombing crowds that had gathered to protest his rule during the holy month of Ramadan, and killing another two dozen Syrians.
Meanwhile, back in the capital of the free world, the Obama administration appears to be stirring ever so slightly from its policy of indifference. Today, SecState Hillary Clinton is meeting with members of the Syrian opposition after having refused to do so for the last few months. The administration has also again promised to take a good, hard look at new sanctions, after promising last month to take a good, hard look at new sanctions and doing nothing.
Most notably, we will have an opportunity to ourselves take a good, hard look at the administration’s non-policy with today’s confirmation hearing for U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. (Ford was recess appointed last year after senators objected to the administration’s attempted warm up with Damascus.) Ford, who is caught between a Congress that is demanding the United States do more and an administration that prefers to do less, is the man in the middle. He has done more than his boss, Clinton, and traveled to Hama in early July to stand with the opposition. But presumably he was also the man who informed both the president and Clinton’s view that Assad could be a “reformer,” as the president so memorably suggested. No matter what, he will have the opportunity to defend both his own record and the administration’s increasingly unpopular stand. And then the Senate will have the chance to decide whether or not we should have an ambassador in Damascus.