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Executive Summary for the Week of 16/5/2012 – 23/5/2012
All of the Think Tanks summarized below hold very different viewpoints concerning the same issue, the Egyptian elections; although, there are some statements that hold true throughout all of the think tanks. All believe that this is a very important time for Egypt and that the outcome of this election is very detrimental, possibly even predictive of the future of Egypt. The pieces primarily examine parliament and the role of the Islamists in Egypt. The Brookings Institution conducted a poll that is telling of what Egyptians want and see in their future, which shown alongside the Gallup poll can be disconcerting. The Gallup poll shows a more pessimistic view of the current political climate, whereas The Brookings Institution is more optimistic, this however can be attributed to the types of questions asked, as well as the depth of the questions. Both the Center for American Progress and Washington Institute for Near East Policy examined the role America can play in the transition process. The Center for American Progress, being more progressive, took a centrist approach to reinstating ties with the new Egyptian government; it was also the only report to provide more detailed background knowledge about the candidates. In contrast, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, under the guise of fostering stability, took a very American Exceptionalist approach to the elections, assuming the worst and even regretting the inability for the Obama administration to get involved. The second report from WINEP also indicates concern with the ability of Egyptians to monitor the elections for fairness and vote rigging. The Plofchan report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, although not the first to talk about the Salafis and The Muslim Brotherhood, it was the first to chronicle, however briefly, the beginnings of the split between the two groups, as well as state some of the differences in beliefs amongst the two. Lastly, the Council on Foreign Relations report was the only report to put a face to a people, speaking of the obstacles Egypt may face and providing a more in depth look at what many Egyptians may be feeling.
Think Tank: Brookings Institution
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Shibley Telhami
Title: What Do Egyptians Want? Key Findings from the Egyptian Public Opinion Poll
The Brookings Institution has conducted a poll surveying the Egyptian public about political preferences, leaders and regional issues, during May 4-10, 2012 in light of the first presidential election. The Brookings Institution places great emphasis on the importance of the inaccuracies of probable predictions, as there is no analytical model of voting behaviour as of yet. Egyptian voters have also shown a difference in criteria by which they judge parliamentary and presidential candidates.
- Abul-Fotouh led the polls with 32%, followed by Mousa (28%) then Shafiq (14%), Morsi and Sabahi at (8%).
- In parliamentary elections, 24% a favoured political party determined their vote, whereas in presidential elections, personal trust is a determining factor for 31%.
- Christians supported Mousa the most, with 43%, as well as voters outside of cities with 31% of the vote.
- Abul-Fotouh led among university graduates with 35% and among youth, under age 25, with 36%.
- 54% believe Turkey to be the model reflection in terms of Islam in politics, followed by Saudi Arabia with 32%
- A majority of those polled hold very unfavourable views of the U.S., with 68% and 73% support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.
- 66% of Egyptians support Sharia as the basis of Egyptian law, but 83% believe Sharia should be adapted to modern times.
- A majority of Egyptians admired the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, with 63%. When asked to include Egyptian leaders, Erdogan fell to 15%, with Sadat at 35% and Abdel Nasser at 26%.
- Brokering Middle East peace and establishing a Palestinian State ranked highest (66%) in regards improving U.S. favourability, followed by stopping military and economic aid to Israel as 46%.
- While 55% believe there will be no lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis, 46% would like to maintain the peace treaty with Israel and 44% would like to see it cancelled.
- The two countries that pose the biggest nuclear threat are Israel (97%) and the U.S. (80%).
- Egyptians have been in support of the rebels against Assad and the Syrian government, but only 18% wish to see external military interventions, 15% support a Turkish Arab military intervention and 43% wish to see no military intervention.
Think Tank: Center for American Progress
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Brian Katulis
Title: Previewing Egypt’s 2012 Presidential Elections
This report by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank dedicated to public policy research, provides a brief description of Egypt’s first democratic presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, as well as recommendations for the American government to restore and reinforce ties with the new Egyptian government. In addition, the brief lists and describes the presidential candidates.
According to the report, it is believed that “no candidate will receive more than 50% of the vote,” which would lead to run-off elections in mid-June between the two top candidates. By June’s end a new president will be sworn in for a four-year term and military rulers will hand over power to the new government. However, the transition is still incomplete as a new constitution is to be written and their remains questions over:
- The economy- Candidates have addressed unemployment and inflation, but have yet to address public-sector debt, the currency crisis, and energy and food subsidies.
- Security, Law and Order- The drafting of the new constitution has been halted due to Egypt’s disunities over the identity of their new political system; ie. The role of Islam in the government and legislation.
The drafting of the constitution is set to take six-months to draft, although it could take longer to get approved and gain public support. The new constitution may also address a checks and balances system, as well as the role of parliament. The role Egypt is to take in the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional security is also a source of debate amongst the candidates.
The report suggests that the American government conduct a “major interagency review of its Egypt policy.” This review will prepare the U.S. administration for dialogue with the new Egyptian administration later this year. The dialogue should consist of:
- A renegotiation of “basic terms of the relationship.”
- Enhance bilateral relationship through common interests.
- “Build a more stable foundation for U.S.-Egyptian bilateral ties.”
Results of these dialogues would redefine ties and include more parts of the Egyptian government that were not included in past years.
Egypt Presidential Candidate Profiles
- Amr Moussa- He served under the Mubarak regime as Egypt’s Foreign minister, as well as the secretary general of the Arab League. His platform consists of a centrist political strategy. He has been labelled as a remnant of the Mubarak regime. He is known for his anti-Israel and America statements and has campaigned as the “alternative to Islamist candidates.”
- Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh- His candidacy is opposed by the Muslim Brotherhood. He is an Islamist activist and “would implement Sharia as a formal legal code.” His platforms are “populist economics and “people first” economics.” He served on the Muslim Brotherhoods decision-making council for twenty-two years. He has the support of leaders from the Salafi Nour Party.
- Ahmad Shafiq- He has served as prime minister, and air force commander under Mubarak, causing him speculation amongst “revolution minded voters.” His platform is to “restore law and order within 30 days of being elected.” Public perception of him has been negative. He is running as an “alternative to Islamist candidates. “
- Hamdeen Sabbahi- He has nationalist ideologies, basing his campaign on criticism of the U.S. and Israel. He founded social and political organizations and worked as a journalist, in which he was arrested for his “public confrontation” with former President Sadat concerning “rising food prices.” He did not serve under the Mubarak regime and is not an Islamist. He has proposed an alliance with Iran and Turkey and severing ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
- Muhammad Mursi- He is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party Leader. He has served in Egypt’s Parliament and is the Brotherhood’s leading spokesman. He plans to amend the peace treaty with Israel “to create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and have Israel recognize the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.”
Think Tank: Council on Foreign Relations
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh
Type: Expert Brief
Title: A New Presidential Authority in Egypt
This brief takes a more optimistic approach to the Egyptian elections, summarizing the possible obstacles for the newly elected official, obstacles pertaining to religion in politics, and while also providing a look at the voters’ demands and desire for dignity.
While Egypt has witnessed violence, protests and authority turnover in the last sixteen months, it has empowered Egyptians to take part in their political system. Current polls show “a clear majority of Egyptians continue to hold the military in high regard,” although not nearly as many Egyptians “support a military-dominated political system.” The SCAF has been contested by the public for the “Selmi principles,” granting “autonomy from elected civilian officials,” as well as for their “application of the State of Emergency.”
The Muslim Brotherhood votes are split between two candidates, Aboul Fotouh, who was expelled from the Brotherhood, and Morsi, who has been behind in the polls. Despite the parliament being a Brotherhood majority, the Brotherhood is not leading in the presidential polls, possibly due to a Brotherhood announcement against running in the presidential race, that was later followed by Morsi’s presidential bid.
Egyptians demand more accountability of politicians. Although economic strife “helped create an environment of misery,” in years prior to the uprising, “Egyptians were demanding freedom, justice, and dignity when they brought Hosni Mubarak down.”
One thing that may delay the transition process will be the role of Islam in politics. Within that lies the issue of whether the Salafis or the Islamists are to speak for Islam. It is anticipated that whomever wins the election must negotiate between different religious groups. If the organised labour parties can emerge in large-scale, they can be very influential in the economic and social policymaking.
Think Tank: Gallup World via The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Mohamed Younis and Ahmed Younis
Title: Support for Islamists Declines as Egypt’s Election Nears
According to the Gallup poll, spanning from July 2011 until April 2012 the Islamists have seen a steady increase, followed by a sharp decline in overall support as well as in the areas of prime minister appointment and constitution drafting.
- July 2011 saw Muslim Brotherhood support at 17%, steadily increasing and peaking at 63% in February, then sharply declining to 42% in April.
- In July 2011 Salafi support was at 5%, steadily increasing and peaking at 37% in February, then sharply declining to 25% in April.
- The Nour Party saw 5% support in July, peaking at 40% in February and declining to 30% in April.
- The Freedom and Justice Party saw 15% support in July, peaking at 67% in February and declining to 43% in April.
- In February 2012, 62% of Egyptians felt comfortable with parliament writing the constitution, in April 2012 that percentage fell to 44.
- In February 2012, 46% of Egyptians believed the party that wins the most seats in the parliament should appoint the prime ministers. Egyptians supporting the newly elected president appointing the prime minister next summer was 27%.
- In April 2012, 27% of Egyptians believed the party that wins the most seats in the parliament should appoint the prime ministers. Egyptians supporting the newly elected president appointing the prime minister next summer was 44%.
- In February 2012, 62% of Egyptians thought a parliament influenced by the Brotherhood was a good thing; 27% thought it was a bad thing.
- In April 2012, 36% of Egyptians thought a parliament influenced by the Brotherhood was a good thing; 47% thought it was a bad thing.
This dissatisfaction can be attributed to the economic decline and bouts of violence. The transition has been twisted by power struggles within parliament, as opposed to reversing “financial decline and working to hold former regime members accountable.”
Think Tank: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Eric Trager
Type: Policy Analysis
Title: Presidential Elections Will Not End Egyptian Instability
This WINEP analysis focuses on American interests within the Egyptian elections and states that given the economic situation of Egypt and the lack of clarity in the role of a new president, the elections will not provide stability in Egypt, but could further instability. Trager states that Sabahi is considered a favourite amongst expatriate voters, and while Mousa appears to be leading in the polls, there is no anticipated winner. With 75% of the parliament being Islamists, “ongoing instability has damaged the Islamists’ popularity and raised the profile of former regime candidates,” such as Shafiq, who has sought the votes of former Mubarak supporters.
The analysis concentrates on the shift from an American friendly regime to the current stance of the candidates that express anti-Western platforms, with the exception of Shafiq who is the only candidate who is not anti-Western or pro-Sharia.
Fair elections will not likely cause stability as the parameters of the role of the newly elected president are undefined, as the new constitution has not been drafted. The proposals to allow the SCAF “to retain absolute powers in reviewing its internal affairs, including its budget,” and the ability of the president’s power to dissolve parliament, are likely to “ignite a severe confrontation between the military and the Islamists.”
The Obama administration has not declared support for any candidate. Washington should insist the SCAF conduct the elections fairly and to “follow a credible constitutional process,” otherwise mass protests could occur. Such protests could suppress stability restoration. Concerned that Islamists may play a role in an uprising against the SCAF, Washington should “use its $1.3 billion in military aid as leverage,” to ensure proper SCAF administration.
Think Tank: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: David Schenker
Type: Policy Analysis
Title: Egyptian Elections: Beyond Winning
This policy analysis of the Egyptian elections by WINEP, often criticised for being pro-Israel, discusses the credibility and speculation surrounding the actual voting process in Egypt. Concern is raised over an Islamist sweep within the new government, as Islamists are the majority of the new parliament. WINEP believes that regardless of the election process, a group of Egyptians may not accept the results if their candidate does not win.
Egyptians have been to the voting polls four times in fifteen months, causing concern that Egyptians may be losing their enthusiasm to vote. The constitutional referendum in March 2011 saw 41.2% of eligible voters vote, but Shura Council elections in January and February 2012 saw only 6.5% of voters in the first round and 12.2% voters in the second. About 54% of voters cast their ballots for the People’s Assembly elections. The high turn out rate is thought to be because some Egyptians believed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would fine them for not voting. The threat of SCAF imposing an “interim constitution” could discourage voters or encourage voters to vote.
The Carter Center, the only American based democracy promotion organisation currently in Egypt “will not be allowed to observe any single polling station for more than thirty minutes.” Thousands of Egyptians have volunteered to monitor the polling stations.
WINEP believes that in the event Shafiq or Mousa win, there may be “claims of SCAF fraud,” accompanied by mass protests. The key to stabilizing Egypt is in the credibility of the voting process.
Think Tank: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Topic: Egyptian Elections
Author: Thomas K. Plofchan III
Title: Egypt’s Islamists: A Growing Divide
This report chronicles and examines the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi rivalry from the fall of Hosni Mubarak until more recently into the elections. The two organisations originally held similar positions on issues after the fall of Mubarak, although began to divide mid-2011.
Three Salafi organisations, The Nour Party, being the biggest, joined the Brotherhood led Democratic Alliance that soon dissolved afterwards. The Salafis then formed the Islamic Bloc that won approximately 27% of the parliament vote, despite political inexperience. “The Nour Party won 111 of the 508 parliamentary seats, making it the second largest part in the People’s Assembly, the lower house of parliament.” The Brotherhood won 40% of the vote. Both parties have stated little interest in forming an Islamist alliance in the parliament.
The media has recently depicted the Brotherhood in a negative light due to entering the presidential candidacy after stating they wouldn’t. The Salafi party supports Aboul Fotouh, an expelled Brotherhood leader, while the Brotherhood’s Morsi is behind in the polls.
Salafis “oppose the use of alcohol and exposure of women’s bodies,” in regards to tourism standards; The Nour Party encourages cultural tourism contrasting to resort tourism and the Brotherhood “have distinguished between Egyptians and foreigners traveling in the country.” The biggest contrast deals with the role of Sharia in the new political system. The Brotherhood supports the principles of Sharia in legislation, whereas the Salafis support Sharia judgment.
So I just found out that NJ is cutting off my food stamps because I’m considered able-bodied. Food stamps has literally been the only thing feeding my family right now and the only way for me to continue getting food stamps is if I go to a 20 hour a week work program. I tried to go to the program and had to make an appointment for orientation months ago and they were so mean and dismissive of me. They wanted me to miss my doctor appointment to go to their orientation and I told them I couldn’t miss it. I was sick, I needed to see a doctor. So they wouldn’t schedule me for another day and that was that.
I can get out of the requirement if I’m caring for someone in my family, which I am, my mother who has been unwell. But why is she unwell, because without warning her health insurance was terminated because she was deemed to make too much money. My mom makes $800 a month from alimony payments. That’s it! How is that too much money? Because she doesn’t have health insurance, she can’t afford her meds and hence has not been the greatest lately. The only way to prove that I’m caring for my mother is if she gets evaluated by a doctor and deemed disabled. Again, something we cannot afford. And if she never had her insurance terminated to begin with, she’d have her meds and she wouldn’t need someone to look after her. It’s a flawed system and I’m so embarrassed and sad and scared. I don’t know how to feed my family.
I’ve been trying to get a job for a year and a half now with no luck. I have a BA and two MAs. I’m clearly educated and should be capable of getting a job but no one wants to give me a chance despite my 10 years of experience. I really don’t know what to do. I really hate to ask, but I need help. I haven’t paid my credit cards off, we’re charging everything on credit and I’ve reached my credit limit. We’re not using the heat even though it’s so cold, bc we can’t afford to make the payment. I don’t have a cell phone line because we can’t afford it. How is my family going to eat? What am I supposed to do? Like we can’t even afford to pay rent this month. Literally, I have no idea what to do or how to keep us from being hungry and homeless. And I could kick myself for ending up in this situation.
I keep trying to crawl us out of this hole, but I keep failing.
This is so embarrassing, but I need help and I don’t know where to turn. I’m so embarrassed to ask and hate myself for getting to this point. If you could spare anything, even just $1, I would appreciate it so much. https://www.paypal.me/hebavsreason I swear, I’ll never forget your generosity and 100% promise to pay it forward. I’m just so scared and so unsure of how to make ends meet. I’m so embarrassed and I’m so sorry for asking. Maybe you could pass this around, reblog it. Any help would be so important and I’d be so thankful.
Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.
Some of the worst things I’ve read include:
Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.
Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.
Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.
Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.
Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.
Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.
Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.
Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.
Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this
Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.
My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.
Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.
And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.
Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.
All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.
Wow. Last night, 20,000 38 Degrees members sent emails to their Conservative MPs – just before they all faced George Osborne for a late-night crisis meeting about cuts to tax credits. Here’s what happened →
That tweet was sent by a senior journalist at the Telegraph. It proves that our pressure is working.
But it can’t stop here – MPs will be voting on tax credit cuts at lunchtime today. Your MP, , Kevin Foster, has a chance to speak out and derail Osborne’s plan to punish working families. Please can you add to the pressure email him now?:
Here’s yesterday’s email, in case you missed it:
On Tuesday your MP, Kevin Foster, could vote against George Osborne’s cuts to tax credits at an important debate.  He could speak out against taking money away from millions of low-paid families. But he’s unlikely to, unless enough of us email him today.
Some Conservatives are already wavering. Boris Johnson has already spoken out – and behind the scenes others are rumoured to fear the cuts go too far.  So public pressure, from us could tip the balance and get more Conservative MPs to speak out.
Osborne can’t pass a plan with all politicians against it. And tomorrow your MP has a huge chance to speak out. Will you email your MP, Kevin Foster, now, asking him to turn up and vote against cuts to tax credits on Tuesday? It’ll only take a minute:
Slashing tax credits like this is unfair, unjust and unpopular. It’ll punish people who work hard, but still don’t have enough to cover the essentials. 
Just last week, a Conservative voter, Michelle Dorrell, wept on live television as she spoke to energy minister Amber Rudd MP:
“You’re about to cut tax credits after promising you wouIdn’t. I work bloody hard for my money to provide from my children. And you’re going to take it away from me and them … Shame on you!” 
The vote’s likely to be early on Tuesday afternoon. So please send your email before then!
Thanks for being involved,
Stewart, Amy, Sarah, David and the 38 Degrees team
PS: Tuesday’s vote is known as an “Opposition Day Debate”. These votes aren’t binding, but it would be hard for the government to press ahead if the vote went against them. So Tuesday is a real chance to start turning the tide on this cut – please email your MP now:
 Tuesday’s vote is part of an “Opposition Day Debate”. That’s a debate organised by the Official Opposition (currently the Labour party):
 BBC news: Tax credit reforms must protect low earners, Boris Johnson says:
Independent: George Osborne facing pressure from Conservative MPs:
 Mirror: How will the Budget affect my tax credits? Everything you need to know about George Osborne’s raid:
 Guardian: Tory MPs increase pressure on Osborne to soften tax credit cuts:
38 Degrees is funded entirely by donations from thousands of members across the UK. Making a regular donation will mean 38 Degrees can stay independent and plan for future campaigns. Please will you chip in a few pounds a week?
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
March 13, 2015
New Non-Lethal Assistance for the Syrian Opposition
As Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced today at an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Syrian revolution, the U.S. Department of State is working with Congress to provide nearly $70 million in new non-lethal assistance. Deputy Secretary Blinken told Syrian opposition and Syrian-American participants in the event that with this additional funding, the United States will have committed nearly $400 million in assistance that supports the Syrian opposition since the start of the revolution.
This new non-lethal assistance includes: