Tony Badran of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies writes:
Earlier this week, a group of Syrian dissidents were allowed to hold a meeting at the Semiramis Hotel in Damascus. The US Department of State made a point to praise the conference as a "move in the right direction," and flaunted it as an example of why the US needs an ambassador in Syria. In fact, the Obama administration is playing right into Bashar al-Assad's hands.
Read the rest for the details, but the short version is that the "national dialogue" that US Ambassador Robert Ford is cluelessly cheering on is in fact a sham meant to portray the opposition as divided -- so that Assad can claim that his regime is the only bulwark against chaos. "The Obama administration's refusal to declare Assad illegitimate is one thing," writes Badran. "But to have the US ambassador effectively shore up the Syrian dictator's agitprop and practically facilitate his maneuvers is another thing entirely." Indeed.
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