So the Bush administration has announced $5 million in support for Syria's opposition forces. What an odd number. Seems to me that while $5 million would go a long way towards fixing the damage to my basement caused by a cracked sewer pipe, it is a miniscule amount to actually have any impact on Syrian politics. (Remember Clinton's $97 million for the Iraqi opposition, widely ridiculed as evidence of his fecklessness and lack of seriousness? And that was in 1998 dollars!) Wouldn't the main effect of publicly announcing aid of such a small amount be to publicly stigmatize the Syrian opposition and help Bashar al-Asad tar them as American agents, without giving them any concrete material benefit?
Josh Landis is in favor of the program, but I'm skeptical. Sounds to me like a policy designed for Washington consumption without given much thought to how it would actually play in the region. Wasn't that the sort of thing that Karen Hughes was supposed to weigh in on?