Jeffrey Feltman is the new Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, and recently went to Damascus to resume U.S. contacts with Syria. He is also playing a key role in support of the Mitchell mission. I said on January 26, "Feltman is a gutsy guy who did an impressive job as Ambassador to Lebanon, and is clear-eyed about Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran."

Exactly for this reason, he is now under attack from the goons of the left, like Jim Lobe and W. Patrick Lang. They are particularly upset about a speech Feltman gave in January 2008, at the end of his tour as U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, when he expressed "disgust at the ongoing shameless attacks on Lebanon's democratic institutions by those seeking to restore decision-making to Damascus and its allies...An Iranian-Syrian conspiracy [is seeking] to undermine Lebanon's democracy and change forever the character of [its] constitutional institutions...An Iranian-funded state-within-a-state has total control over questions of war and peace and refuses all attempts at public accountability and transparency. Hizballah demands the right to veto all decisions by [Lebanon's democratic] institutions ...yet Hizballah refuses to give up its right of unilateral action." (Bear in mind that Patrick Lang registered as a foreign agent for Fouad Makhzoumi, a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician, in 2002, after 9/11 and during the run-up to the Iraq war. See pages 170 and Appendix B-18 here.)

The appointment of Feltman is a credit to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton