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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Matthew Bryza
Thousands of demonstrators in Yemen on Tuesday demanded the expulsion of U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, accusing him of encouraging a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Armenian-Americans are organizing for a second time to stop the appointment of career diplomat Matthew Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan, where he is serving in a temporary position.
Matthew Bryza's supporters cheered this week when President Obama ignored Senate opposition and appointed the career diplomat to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan. They also accused two senators who had blocked his nomination of abusing their power.
President Obama is sidestepping the Senate to directly fill the No. 2 position at the Justice Department and appoint four U.S. ambassadors whose nominations had been stalled or blocked by lawmakers for months.
Even with Congress on recess and his ambassadorial appointment in limbo, Matthew Bryza remains a political football in one of the most protracted and controversial diplomatic disputes ever in Washington.
As a former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, I have great regard for the group Reporters Without Borders. Unfortunately, the article co-written by its president, Jean-Francois Julliard ("Emissary entanglements," Opinion, Aug. 12) is not up to the organization's usually high standards.
Last month, Washington Times reporter James Morrison wrote an item in his Embassy Row column about the nomination of Matthew Bryza as U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan. As Mr. Morrison noted, several human rights groups had previously questioned Mr. Bryza's close ties to Azerbaijani leadership, and tough questions about his possible bias again surfaced during his recent confirmation hearing.
"If I were an Armenian, I would support my candidacy," he told the Azerbaijan Press Agency.
During the hearings, Mr. Bryza stated: "If confirmed, I will continue to encourage the government of Azerbaijan to move forward on key issues such as media freedom, freedom of expression, political pluralism, rule of law and civic participation."