On Saturday, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley briefed the press on the appointment of Robert Ford as the ambassador to Syria. His explanation of the decision was far from consistent. If the matter has nothing to do with "placing ambassadors in countries with which Washington has significant disagreements", why is there no ambassador to Tehran or an attempt to build official dialogue with Hamas-ruled Gaza? Why just Damascus?
The answer? Washington wants to assign "a constructive role" to Syria, such as dealing with the "Hezbollah concern" in Lebanon and in the region.