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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Imad Moustapha
GET OUT OF SYRIA
The United States and Syria this week engaged in a diplomatic showdown that resulted in Washington and Damascus recalling their ambassadors, as tensions increased over Syria's bloody assault on unarmed demonstrators.
The Obama administration pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns, blaming President Bashar Assad's regime for the threats that made it no longer safe for Robert Ford to remain. The Syrian government quickly ordered home its envoy to the United States, raising the diplomatic stakes.
Pro-government thugs in Syria attacked U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford in Damascus last week, and Syrian television recorded the assault in a news clip widely circulated over the Internet.
The State Department is investigating charges that Syrian diplomats are spying on Syrian anti-government demonstrators in Washington and other U.S. cities in order to intimidate their relatives in the restive Middle Eastern nation.
On his blog Monday, he said he is "reinvigorated" by the challenge of learning Mandarin and understanding Chinese culture.
"No government in the world, including the United states, would tolerate an armed insurrection, regardless of the motive," Mr. Moustapha said.