I never thought I would see this scene in Syria, not at least in Hama which was a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold; the American ambassador Robert Ford was greeted with flowers by the protesters yesterday when he visited the city. The French ambassador visited the city too.
Obviously, the Syrian people are not usually fond of American officials, but this scene just shows how desperate the people are. They welcome any ‘connection’ with the outside world, especially when it’s a strong connection as this: an American. Something was not allowed in general to happen, since the start of the uprising in Syria in March 2011.
I am sure Ambassador Robert Ford knows this, he served as an advisor in Iraq in 2004 – for 2 years. He knows when people greet you, that doesn’t mean they are inviting you in! although they welcome some ‘help’. This is another sign that the ‘ideology’ driving the Arab Spring is the thirst for real freedom, rather than an Islamist or leftist ideologies. Freedom is the father of the Arab Spring (in Syria), after more than 40 years of a different wooden rhetoric.
The Ambassador was reportedly handed over a letter and 4 DVDs which contained ‘evidences’ of the regime crimes against humanity.
This visit caused a row between Syria and the American diplomacy on the basis that Ford’s visit was bold, and without permission. Syria accused Ford of inciting protests (as if he needs to be physically there to do that), and part of the continuing conspiracy on Syria.
The American State Department was ‘surprised’ by the Syrian reaction (later, a Spokesman said the Syrian accusations as ‘rubbish’, and that they informed them of the visit). Personally, I am finding hard to believe that the American ambassador Robert Ford risked his life to go without permission, risked being slammed by the regime which is expected, and was not physically stopped all the way to Hama from Damascus. We all know that a fly can’t get to Hama or any other city without bypassing the security checkpoints, or without being ‘followed’ by the regime ‘eyes and ears’.
This means there was an implied approval by the regime. But why they slammed Ford then? Because they are not going to tell their people they allowed him to go, and they want to discredit the American administration, and accuse it of being part of the conspiracy. And this is exactly what happened.
Do you remember what happened with the fake Syrian Ambassador phone interview (through the official Embassy press office phone number) with France24? I can see a trend of an old trick here!