Pro-Assad demonstrators attack US, French embassies

Ed Morrissey

Despite the shooting of hundreds and perhaps thousands of unarmed demonstrators, the Obama administration has refused to call for Syria’s Bashar Assad to resign, as Obama and his team did with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose forces reacted much less violently to protesters.  The Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton, insisted that they see Assad as a “reformer,” an assumption they didn’t bother to extend to those actual US allies in the region.  Today, Assad repaid the Obama administration for its, er, patience:

Witnesses say Syrian pro-government protesters have attacked the U.S. embassy compound in Damascus, causing damage.

The witnesses said the protesters smashed windows and raised a Syrian flag on the compound on Monday. They also wrote anti-US graffiti referring to the U.S. ambassador as a “dog,” the witnesses said.

Attacking embassies is a favorite tactic of Assad.  In 2006, a pro-Assad mob stormed the Danish and Norwegian embassies to protest the publication of the Mohammed cartoons, doing a significant amount of damage.  A few months ago, a Wikileaks release confirmed what everyone already knew, which is that the Assad regime planned and conducted the attack, and then pulled the mob out after their purposes were met.

Why target the US embassy?  Assad needs to divert attention from the growing unrest in his country, and he needs an easy villain for the distraction.  The Obama administration’s weak pressure on Assad to deliver “reform” gets an unmistakable answer at the same time.  It’s a win-win for Assad, and another humiliation for Obama…

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