Sunday, March 3, 2013

John Kerry's Handling of Syria and Egypt's Rebels

Nadene Goldfoot
Elections are planned for Syria in 2014.  President Bashar Assad might run again.  Why not?  His father held the post for his life-time.  How could he possibly get re-elected?  He's already killed over 70,000 of his people who wouldn't vote for him, that's how.  He's got the support of Iran as well.  That's how they do things.

Both Iran and Syria's Assad condemn the US plan to help the fighting rebels fight against Assad.  The regime's military is regaining control of the northern supply route that connects Hama with Aleppo's international airport.

Syrian rebels are angry that they are not getting heavier arms to help them battle against Assad's better-equipped military.  We're all afraid to send weapons that could fall into extremists hands that are gaining influence.  Rebels are not all of the same mind.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the Obama administration is giving $60 million to provide nonlethal aid for the rebels.  I hope he tells them that we're already in the sequestration mode and are tightening our belts as it is.  In fact, we had to borrow the $60 million in order to loan it out to them.  They're also getting intelligence and communication assistance which Assad feels is very lethal.

Kerry is also giving Egypt's Morsi $190 million to stay in power.  Strings are attached to another advance.    "Additional money would require that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi move quickly to resolve the country’s differences with the International Monetary Fund, reform its security services and take steps to provide equal rights for women and religious minorities. There are activists protesting Morsi's position."  One protester was just crushed to death by an armed vehicle.  Violence is rampant in two other cities while Kerry was in Cairo. Kerry is urging some liberals and secularists to take part in next month's parliamentary elections and see US support for the vote backing the Muslim Brotherhood party!  5 out of 11 opposition figures declined an invitation to meet with Kerry at the UN Embassy.  They are trying to bring down Morsi, instead.  Protesters have even stormed the city's old police headquarters in Mansoura.

Update 3/4/13:  Today's newspaper tells us a different story.  Yesterday Kerry released $250 million for Egypt to be used for economic assistance along with telling the different politcal groups that they must make economic and political reforms to qualify for additional support.  The UKS aid includes $190 million from a sum of $450 million that had been frozen, plus $60 million for a program to boost economic development.  Evidently Morsi sees the visit as a good-faith effort to ease the political impasse between the ruling Islamists and the secular opposition.  So why are we backing the Muslim Brotherhood whose charter states that their goal is to destroy Israel?

70,000 rebels and Syrian military have already died in this Syrian population of 22,505,000 which is a lot of people.   They've got a sure 22,435,000 left to vote for Assad again, which is most likely how they see things.

Kerry is not making the rebels of either Egypt or Syria happy.  Whereas the Syrian rebels get American dollars but wants arms instead, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government gets the money.  There is no end to the complications in the Middle East.

Resource: Oregonian newspaper 3/3/13 page A8,  Violence in Egypt, and A9 Syria, Iran denounce US for aid to anti-Assad rebels by Albert Aji and Zeina Karam AP
Update:  Oregonian newspaper 3/4/13 page  A4 Kerry links aid to Egyptian reform

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