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?