US Embassy in Syria Attacked
I first saw Michelle Malkin’s coverage of this, but she refers readers to far more thorough and frequent updates at Mere Rhetoric.
The latter has a comment on this business worth repeating:
Which got us thinking: the US has an embassy in Damascus? The US doesn’t have an embassy in Jerusalem, and they have an embassy in Damascus?
When possible, the US prefers to place embassies where they can be evacuated by sea if necessary. The US embassy in Israel is not just in Tel Aviv. It is on Yarkon street, which is a stone’s throw from the shore.
Syria has a little bit of coast, but it is at the very north of the country, whereas Damascus is at the very south. It would be impractical for the US embassy to be over ten hours’ drive from the capital.
The same, by the way, is true of Iran. Because Iran has such a tiny coast, which is so far from the capital, the US embassy was placed in landlocked Tehran. That enabled the revolutionary Iranian government to take the people there hostage.
Ori, seriously, come on. The US has the embassy in Tel Aviv for the same reason every other country has the embassy in Tel Aviv – because they don’t recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Having embassies next to the sea is nice and all, but embassies go in a country’s capital (as an example of this, see every other country on the planet).
The way you can tell that this is true specifically in Israel’s case is that every once in a while Congress tells the President to move the embassy, but always gives him an option to refuse on ground of national interest or security or some phrase that they use every time they want to pass a symbolic resolution that they know the President will not implement. And US Presidents, in their turn, promise Israeli Prime Ministers that if they get the Palestinians to stop killing them long enough to declare peace, the US will recognize West J’lem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there.
The official reason the embassy is not in J’lem is because the US (and the EU and every other country on the planet) claim that they don’t want to prejudice final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. It has nothing to do with the coast.