[Mewnews, July 27 ] A Syrian friend writes:
In Syria now there are literally severe shortages in electricity, drinking water, and cooking gas.
All the Syrian people are suffering.
Some of the shortages may be related to the harvest shortfall, caused by a severe drought.
However, the shortage of fuel may be related to problems in the Syrian and Iranian oil industries. Syria has to export as much as possible, to help pay for the MiG-31 jets and other goodies it has purchased from Russia.
Help is on the way however, to allow Mr. Assad to continue to spend money on his arsenal. The UN agency IFAD will spend $120 million on aid projects in Syria this year. A $58 million project will correct water shortages in northern provinces, of which $20 million will be an IFAD loand and $17 million will be an OPEC loan. That will free up some badly needed cash to finance guerrilla operations in Iraq and buy all that nice Russian military equipment. Money, as James Baker III famously remarked, is fungible.
The Marshall plan was a fine idea, but it was begun in Germany after the war was won, not during the war.