Bashar Assad’s bloody crackdown against protesters continues apace, leading to at least 150 deaths this week from an armored assault against the civilian population of the restless city of Hama. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton figured the overall death toll at “more than 2,000 people of all ages” – a very conservative estimate – and finally got around to declaring that Assad had “lost his legitimacy” as the ruler of Syria.
The “world community” has also had enough of Assad. The BBC reports on the diplomatic fallout:
President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, long an ally of Syria, said Mr Assad would “face a sad fate” unless he urgently carried out reforms and reconciled with the opposition.
And EU states extended their sanctions against Syria, adding more names to a list including President Assad and 34 other people as well as firms linked to the military. They stopped short of targeting the oil industry and banks, however.
Meanwhile, the U.N. bureaucracy issued a memo in late July, obtained by Fox News, guaranteeing that Assad’s global welfare checks from UNICEF would keep rolling in. Among the programs designated for extension are “the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and a mixed bag of development assistance programs known as the U.N. Development Assistance Framework, or UNDAF.”
Even as the air of Hama is filled with exploding artillery shells, the air of Turtle Bay is filled with globo-bureaucrat gobbledygook:
A UNDP spokesman confirmed the program renewal “to avoid operational vacuum,” while future programming was deferred to ensure that it “best meet the evolving needs of the Syrian people.”
The spokesman took issue with the “presumption” that UNDP’s future programming “was deferred to reflect reforms initiated by the Syrian government,” which he termed “incorrect.”
“UNDP is not examining current reforms with a view to incorporate them in any program,” he said. “Nor are we working with the government on their reform plans.”
Well, that’s a relief. It’s bad enough that the U.N. is subsidizing the Assad regime. I’d hate to think they had representatives sitting at the table when the “murder thousands of innocent people” phase of the Assad “reform plan” was drafted.
U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon claims he didn’t know about these extended aid programs, but instead has been spending his days calling for “reform” in Syria. A good sign of diseased bureaucracy is when the top guy thinks it’s a defense of his competence to claim he doesn’t know what his bloated billion-dollar organization is doing.
The ostensible reasons for continuing aid to Syria are to ease the burdens upon the Syrian, while encouraging Assad to keep up with those laughable “reforms.” Level-headed global observers denounce this as balderdash:
“It is incredible to see UN agencies referring to ‘reforms initiated’ by the Syrian government in 2011,” commented Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a deputy national security adviser for the region during the Bush administration. “The only actions the Assad regime has actually initiated this year have been aimed at killing unarmed civilians and crushing demands for freedom.”
Abrams has publicly advocated greater U.S. pressure to oust Assad entirely.
“U.S. policy should be that all U.N. activity in Syria cease, except for purely humanitarian programs carried out in entirely non-political terms,” added former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, who is a Fox News contributor. “Continued, visible U.N. cooperation with the Assad regime strengthens Assad and delegitimizes the U.N.”
Money is fungible. Every dollar poured into feeding a captive people frees up a dollar for the dictator to spend on bullets. The U.N. provides welfare for other states it routinely condemns, such as North Korea. You may have noticed that none of them are toppling, or “reforming” very much.
Making the legitimate duties of an “illegitimate” tyrant easier frees him up to concentrate on oppression. A far-beyond-bankrupt West has no money to fund these absurdities anyway. The Super Commisssion designated to cook up another $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction for the United States had better take a long, hard look at the lion’s share of U.N. funding provided by American taxpayers. It would be an outrage to slash our military while pouring money into regimes that are far better at killing their people than feeding them.