OK

Follow clayclai on Twitter

At first I couldn't believe the tweets I was seeing. I mean, you can say anything on twitter. You can say aliens have just landed. Don't make it true.

The very idea that the United Nations was planning to give to the government of Syria, and you know who that means, over $500 million dollars with no real control, meaning really no strings attached, was to me so incredible that at first I didn't believe it.

I have been saying for a long time that that world body, and even the United States, was in reality in Assad's corner, but this bold contribution to his war effort surprised even me. I had to read it for myself in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humantarian Affairs [OCHA] Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria (1 January - 30 June 2013)

All humanitarian assistance is, and will continue to be, delivered with full respect to the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic during the implementation of this Response Plan.  
...
This Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan aims at supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.  It will cover the period from 1 January 2013 until the end of June 2013.  The financial requirements amount to $519,627,047
Now of course, the "Syrian government" is suppose to use this money for "humanitarian relief" while its still bombarding neighborhoods, and they are suppose to distributed it fairly, even to the hospitals that they are blowing up. And I suppose if Bashar al-Assad violates these rules, fails to stay in power, and finds himself in the Hague, they can add misappropriation of funds to the other charges he'll be facing such as mass murder, genocide and wanton destruction of many world heritage sites.

Other than that, its all good. Once these 500 clams are in his pocket, he can do with them pretty much as he likes. I mean, he has already shown how easily and throughly he can bully the UN on the ground.

And in case you think this money will find its way to NGOs that really are government independent in Syria, the International NGO Training and Research Centre has produced a 12 page report The NGO sector in Syria - an overview that you should take a look at:

"NGOs in Syria are required by law to register with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MOSAL)."
This "normalization of relations" with a government that is daily slaughtering its own people is a very dangerous thing for all of us!

The Syrian Institute for Progress (SIP) is asking you to petition President Barack Obama to:

Stop the U.N. from using the Syrian Government to hypocritically manage the Assistance Plan for Syria.

Press Release about the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria 19 January 2013

The Syrian Coalition (SC) appreciates all efforts to provide aid and assistance to the needy of the Syrian people, especially in the difficult times they are experiencing for nearly two years now. The decision to allocate the amount of $ 519 million for Syrians inside Syria, as part of the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan launched by the United Nations on 19 December 2012, is one the most important of those efforts; however, the coalition expresses its deep concern about the management of this aid, or whether it reaches the real needy inside Syria.

The plan* states that it aims at "supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations," and that a “Steering Committee” will be “chaired by the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates (or whomever he delegates)" and that “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates is the [Syrian] Government focal point in charge of the supervision of implementation of humanitarian projects" in addition to other administrative and logistical tasks!

The SC sees a clear contradiction in dealing with the Syrian regime as a legitimate government doing its job like any other government, at the same time that the United Nations and its various institutions issues reports holding the regime responsible for the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, including the current government that was assigned by the head of the regime based on his interests! The SC wonders how it can be committed to neutrality if it doesn’t have an independent decision? Is it logical to provide aid to a regime responsible for destroying cities, bombing hospitals and bakeries and displacing population, so it can fix the dire situation it had created!

Moreover, preliminary results of the assessment conducted by the Aid Coordinating Unit (ACU) last weeks show an almost complete inability to deliver the aid provided by the United Nations or other international organizations to the northern regions through Damascus. What was delivered hardly covers ten percent of the original need, taking in consideration that more than ten million people live in those areas, ie. nearly half the population of Syria.

The ACU of the Syrian Coalition is working on providing aid to all Syrian people without distinction or discrimination, and confirms its commitment to humanitarian laws and international conventions in this regard. The SC expects to receive the help and support pledged by the States that have recognized it, and fulfil their promises through supporting the ACU to assist it in assuming the tasks expected from it.

The SC also demands that the humanitarian aid to the widows and orphans, the hungry, wounded and displaced in Syria, should not be delivered to them through the same party that caused their suffering and pain, for it would be an added humiliation and degradation.

For further information contact the Media Office at media@etilaf.org

Please Sign the Petition

Tue Jan 22, 2013 at  8:19 PM PT: The Syrian National Coalition is against the UN grant:

Syrian opposition against UN aid for regime

22 Jan 2013 - 02:41pm
The opposition Syrian National Coalition says it would pressure the UN to stop the delivery of any form of aid to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

'The participants decided to form a committee to move diplomatically and pressure the United Nations to stop delivery of any aid, approved under a plan to respond to Syria humanitarian needs last month, to the official Syrian institutions,' it said following talks in Istanbul on Monday.

The statement came as the UN explored a major humanitarian operation in the war-torn country, with its mission to Syria describing the need as 'enormous', having found people in dire need of medical and food aid.

During a two-day general assembly meeting in the Turkish capital, attended by over 60 delegates, the Syrian National Coalition was briefed by Free Syrian Army chief of staff General Salim Idris on developments on the ground.

Committees were formed to tackle a number of pressing issues, including ongoing hostilities between Kurdish residents of Ras Al-Ain and Islamist rebels and delivering $US250,000 ($A238,902) in emergency aid to the embattled town of Daraya.

Other committees are to focus on refugees from the conflict, rehabilitation for the wounded and border security.

The general assembly, which meets on a monthly basis, said it would act soon on a decision to form an interim government to manage areas 'liberated' by rebel fighters.

The Coalition will 'form a committee to communicate with political and revolutionary forces inside Syria, and with international organisations and governments to assure support for the interim government', it said, adding that a final decision would be taken in 10 days.

Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria

Wed Jan 23, 2013 at  7:05 AM PT: I'm with this side. Some here are with the other side. I think that explains the controversy:


EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.