The movie of the life of US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford is going to be great. I just hope it ends well.
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have thrown tomatoes and eggs at US ambassador Robert Ford as he met an opposition figure in Damascus.
Veteran politician Hassan Abdul Azim said about 100 protesters tried to get into his office as Mr Ford arrived and then surrounded it, trapping them both.
US officials said the “mob was violent” and seriously damaged embassy vehicles, but that Mr Ford was unharmed.
Ford has been a real hero in all of this. He has set foot in some of the most besieged cities in the country, spoken out for freedom of assembly and civil rights, and as you see here, risked personal safety in service of these principles. At first he was decried by neocons and Republicans for, well, being a Barack Obama appointee. Conservatives believed that simply having an ambassador in Syria was a gift to the Assad government, and they blocked Ford’s appointment. But Ford has now changed the minds of even the most ardent conservatives.
“I really changed my mind on this,” said Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“He has done some things that are just really impressive. He’s gone to places where the protesters are. He’s been roughed up a few times. I had the impression that he wouldn’t be quite strong enough, and I’ve been proven wrong.”
Ford’s recess appointment expires at the end of the year, and some ardent conservatives still may block him. They would be silencing the most important voice on the side of the protest movement and against the repression of the Assad regime. In the meantime, Ford is going about his dangerous work, and while the regime-supporting mob didn’t physically harm him this time, next time Ford may not be so lucky.
The UN Security Council votes today on a resolution calling for an end to violence in Syria.