House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia Chairman Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY) published a strong op-ed in Foreign Policy that pushes back against the Republican Party’s baseless partisan attacks on President Barack Obama for appointing an ambassador to Syria.
Ackerman called for a “reality check” against the “overheated rhetoric” that has dominated this serious foreign policy discussion. Specifically, Ackerman cites the “appeasement” comparison that completely misinterprets and distorts the true historical definition of appeasement, pointing out that the “charge is offensive and absurd, but as was typical of the previous administration’s outlook, it ignores entirely what’s really important to the United States in favor of ideological purity.”
Ackerman also outlined several situations in which an ambassador to Syria might have made a difference in keeping Syria from engaging in its long string of provocative actions since 2005 (the year when President George W. Bush withdrew the last U.S. Ambassador to Syria).
Ackerman concluded his piece:
“The Obama administration’s foreign-policy recalibration is the consequence of having inherited a total collapse of U.S. credibility in the region. Sending an ambassador back to Syria will not solve our problems. It will allow us to gather better information about Syrian thinking and deliver messages to the Syrians more effectively. What matters is what we do with that information, what messages we choose to send, and what means we contemplate to back those messages up.”
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