When it comes to Republicans, they’re always willing to spend money on war, but never a cent to deal with its consequences. That much was made clear on Friday when it was announced that the Trump administration would be cutting off all funding to the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Syrian Civil Defence units.
The United States has frozen funding to the White Helmets. The sum is a rounding error in the US budget but helps to save many, many lives in Syria. Don't worry, US funding for bombing Syria – far more expensive – is continuing. https://t.co/Xt8h8oyKSl pic.twitter.com/QbzdJ2zbnc
— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) May 3, 2018
They’re known as the White Helmets, the organization of heroic first responders who have reportedly saved over 70,000 lives over the course of the unimaginably brutal seven-year Syrian Civil War, which has killed half a million people and displaced millions more.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 22, 2015
The move came as a stunning blow to the humanitarian group, which just two months ago were being celebrated by the State Department for their actions. The US spends a meager $200 million on support for humanitarian efforts in Syria a year, and all of the critical programs that money funds on top of support for the White Helmets – removing land mines, restoring services and food aid – has been frozen and is likely to be discontinued.
Of course, the funding for the war against ISIS in Syria, which cost $12 million every day at its height, hasn’t seen any cuts – and isn’t likely to, considering that the Pentagon recently convinced the President to keep America’s troops in Syria indefinitely.
Under President Trump, the coalition against ISIS “accidentally” killed at least six thousand innocent people and turned the cities of Raqqa and Mosul into devastated ruins – with no plan or motivation or any intention of helping to rebuild the ancient cities our bombs and missiles turned to rubble.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 2, 2018
— Alwaght (@EnglishAlwaght) April 28, 2018
The White Helmets have remained tirelessly devoted to their mission despite having to weather disgusting smear attacks from Russian and Assadist propaganda outlets, falsely accusing them of being allied with jihadi groups and biased towards the rebels.
The Trump administration long ago made its priorities clear, shedding its election trail non-interventionism almost immediately and bowing to the demands of American empire and espousing endless war – like every administration before it.
But this time, the Trump administration can’t be bothered to show even a cursory respect for human life and the heroism that the men and women of the White Helmets show every day when they run into bombed-out buildings in order to save people from the rubble.