Syrians have accused Al Jazeera of seeking to foment unrest in the country, and at least one media outlet even accused the Qatar-based broadcaster of setting up film studios to stage some of the uprising. It comes as no surprise, then, that some might seize on the latest leaked cables as a way to discredit the news organization as simply being a mouthpiece for the U.S. government.

Ambassador Ford and other Embassy staff regularly post notes and interact with others on Facebook. The Ambassador believes it is important to use social media to get out the message that the United States wholly supports the Syrian people’s universal rights to freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly.

U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who has made a name for himself in recent weeks for his risky visits to remote cities where a popular anti-government uprising has grown violent and deadly, posted a message on Facebook late Thursday...

September 1, 2011

Those who follow attitudes toward the West on the Arab street need to make room these days for nuance. As the daily televised drama of revolt in Libya and Syria makes plain, the desperate internal struggles, unleashed during the Arab Spring, still command center stage.

Turkey’s attitude towards the Syrian crisis, as it has thus far unfolded, makes it clear that the years ahead will likely see a more liberal imprint on Turkish foreign policy. Not only Turkish rulers will give more attention to what Turkish public opinion think....

Why is it that Obama has become the United States’ public diplomacy messenger at this critical time? The election of Barack Obama in November 2008 had marked a change in perceptions of U.S. public diplomacy in the Middle East, as it came to be defined by the persona of Obama himself.

The move has been closely coordinated with European, Turkish and Arab allies and would come one day after al-Assad told the head of the United Nations that military and police operations against anti-government protesters have stopped...

The policies Clinton is defending (at least publicly; I bet privately she’s not so happy with the administration’s direction) could more accurately be described as the “lead from behind” doctrine rather than “smart power.”