The Independent has a story out today detailing what the UK is sending to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels in Syria.
When they read The Independent article, supporters of the revolution won’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Here is my assessment, based on what has been reported in the article:
Five 4×4 vehicles with ballistic protection – one convoy for a FSA general they like Six 4×4 SUVs – one convoy for a FSA general they don’t like
20 sets of body armour – 20 rebels are going to feel like they won the lottery
Four trucks (three 25 tonne, one 20 tonne) – to carry the bodies of those who didn’t win the body armor
Five non-armoured pick-ups – for retreating when you realize the UK didn’t send you any weapons or ammunition
One recovery vehicle – a tow truck to haul back the destroyed wrecks of the 4x4s and trucks that were sent
Four fork-lifts – to unload the weapons and ammunition that wasn’t sent
Three advanced “resilience kits” for region hubs, designed to rescue people in emergencies – is three enough to rescue 20 million Syrians?
130 solar powered batteries – because the environment is the top priority
Around 400 radios – rebels can use these to desperately call for the weapons and ammunition that wasn’t sent
Water purification – there’s chemical weapons in the air, but at least the water will be clean
Rubbish collection kits – it won’t be a good war for television if there’s rubbish everywhere
Laptops and VSATs (small satellite systems for data communications) – so the rebels can read on the internet how the international press has labeled them all extremists
Printers – to print a sign saying “great, now please send us the weapons and ammunition we need to win this war.”
“In addition, funds have been allocated for civic society projects such as inter-community dialogue” – dialogue has worked so well in this conflict so far
“and gathering evidence of human rights abuses” – documenting and complaining about human rights abuses is far easier than international intervention to stop them from happening in the first place
“The last “gift” to the opposition, announced by William Hague last week, is that £555,000 worth of counter-chemical warfare equipment is on standby… Even the chemical equipment may not be of much use without adequate training. Potential users need the ability to assess threats and calculate the correct dosage for medication, along with an appreciation of differing field conditions…” – Perhaps it is better this way, since the pain of burning eyes and skin will at least be a distraction from the pain of feeling abandoned by the world.
Jolly good show, mates.