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America gives $5 million to the anti-Syrian government opposition – who’ll win the prize?

February 19th, 2006 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Washington has earmarked $5 for “accelerating the work of reformers”. They want to give the cash to opposition groups.

But they might have a hard time finding someone who’ll accept their money.

Riad At-Turk (left) has already ruled out working with the Bush government. The Muslim Brotherhood is seen as an Al-Qaida wing by the State Department. It’s unlikely that the founder of the Human Rights Association of Syria, Haythem Al-Maleh, will dance with an administration with a human rights record that includes Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. There’s Kamal Labwani – now, he has met US officials, but criticised foreign intervention in Syria.

But WAIT. What about Farid Ghadry. The man who wont work with other Syrians because – according to them – he “only wanted to be a leader” (that was said by Husam Ad-Dairi). The man who hasn’t been to Syria since he was a child.

He’s the man who approached Riad At-Turk and got a swift rebuke: Turk called Ghadry’s understanding of what opposition means “nonsense” and said that he has “absolutely no support” in Syria. Ghadry’s anger was fired up: he wrote an article in the Washington Times calling Turk – one of Syria’s most liberal politicians – a ‘Stalinist”.

But he is the darling of Washington, and close to Elizabeth Cheney – daughter of the Vice President, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. (Unknown in Syria, hated by Syria’s liberals, wont work with anyone but himself, hasn’t seen Syria since he was in short pants, loved by the State Department – does the name Ahmed Chalabi come to mind?)

Hmm. Let’s think about other people to give the money to. Sa’ad Al-Hariri, I mean, his ancestors were Syrian weren’t they? Write that cheque.

Or maybe Bashar can apply.

Take our money. Please. Someone?


6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Syrian Brit // Feb 19, 2006 at 5.07 pm

    I bet you Khaddam, Shehabi & Co. would snap the $5m should they be offered it!..
    Then again, that sum would be a drop in the ocean of their collective wealth.. They would probably demand £50m.. ‘danger money’, you know..

  • 2 norman // Feb 20, 2006 at 6.07 am

    That money is meant only to take credit for the reform that Syria is in the way to implement.

  • 3 annie // Feb 20, 2006 at 7.21 am

    FYI : A new web-based polling portal for Syrians, named syriapol, has been
    launched –
    Feedback can be sent directly to:, or through his personal

  • 4 norman // Feb 21, 2006 at 10.40 pm

    I have a place for that money with a better way to spend it ,put it in an interest bairing trust which will give schoolarships to qualified Syrians who want to study in the US.that will make Syrians more freindly to the US than anything else.

  • 5 sasa // Feb 21, 2006 at 11.07 pm

    Send your suggestions about where the money should go to:

    Make sure you mention that you are a reform minded Syrian.

  • 6 Anonymous // Feb 24, 2006 at 3.38 am

    It is sickening to see money offered to the next Chalabi in Syria. I salute the Syrian opposition, though I don’t agree with everything they have, for not taking the prize. It is bloody money and will turn Syria into another Iraq.


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