The U.S. Gift to Syrian Opposition Forces. What’s the Agenda?

Secretary of State John Kerry

Image: PublicDomain CCO

Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Obama administration will be giving $60 million in non-lethal aid to the Syrian Opposition. The aid will be in the form of medical supplies and food for the forces struggling to oust the Bashar al-Assad regime. This remark was made in the shadow of the looming financial “tumble,” as phrased by President Barack Obama, threatens the nation.

Kerry made the statement while attending conferences on Syria in Rome with other European Nations. Along with his statement, several other nations also pledged their assistance to the opposition, according to the Associated Press. Aid will not only be used to help the resistance fighters but also to bring relief to areas which have been liberated by the Syrian Rebels. Kerry said that it is necessary to help put pressure on the al-Assad Regime and help Syria make steps towards creating a democracy.

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom and several Gulf Nations including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar had pledged £1.5 billion to help the United Nations to assist nations with a constantly growing population of Syrian Refugees. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that it has received nothing to date while the U.N.’s Refugee Agency says that it has only received 30% of the $496,000,000 pledged, according to The Guardian.

Several questions come to mind in respects to our current financial situation:

  • Where is the money coming from?
  • What about the relief for Americans?
  • What has happened with the aid to Hurricane Sandy victims? One individual who reported that he had over $100,000 worth of damage to his home and has only received a check for $10,000 after seeing his home being used as a back drop for his insurance company’s television ad stating how they are taking care of the victims.
  • Why is the priority on Syria when we are having this threat of sequestration budget cuts on our own horizon—due to go into effect 1 March 2013?

I understand that the Syrians are going through some horrific times. In Damascus there are several explosion and people are being killed every day. Estimated death tolls are in the tens of thousands. However, why are we not taking care of the situation at home? Why are the taxpayers being burdened with yet another aid package on top of having various services their tax dollars are paying for being cut? Why is there only this interest in Syria after the grade of its oil has been upgraded? Why aren’t the corporations that will most likely benefit the most from the Syrian Opposition toppling the al-Assad Regime contributing the aid packet? Or is all of this another attempt to justify the fiscal agenda of our government?