Evolution of Egypt aid
A letter in The Times (03-02-11) stated that we haven’t heard much squawking “about us giving Egypt $1.3 billion per year in aid.” This is not the kind of thing our government advertises in the paper. It’s likely most people didn’t know about it before the protesting erupted in Egypt.
Ever since Israel’s creation, they had been “at war” with Egypt. In 1978, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accord. This brought about a peace treaty that has lasted up until this time. However, in 1981 Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Not wanting to re-create how Jimmy Carter single-handedly brought back the radical Muslim presence in Iran (which spread throughout the middle east), the U.S. wanted to keep the peace between Egypt and Israel. Like always, the plan was to throw money at it. The total aid was closer to $2 billion/yr. with $1.3 billion going to the military.
While the military funding has remained intact over the years, aid to the people has been in decline. Sadat’s successor Hosni Mubarak, has not been an ideal example of humanitarianism toward his people. President Bush tried to correct this by direct funding for civil society groups and democracy building programs through non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). It was having an effect until...
Barack Obama immediately cut funding for democracy promotion by 50% civil society funding by 70% and eliminated money given directly to civil society groups altogether.
What effect did that have? If you remember, the protests started out because the people wanted food. The protests were quickly ratcheted up into riots by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. How were they able to mobilize so quickly?
After six days in office, Obama gave his first interview to Al Arabiya, starting out by saying “...all too often the United States starts by dictating.” He went on to say that his job “...is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people.” Then said “We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.” He also said “...America was not born as a colonial power...”
What he was saying was, as bumbling fools, America really should stop harassing warm and fuzzy Muslims—you have our permission to do whatever you want.
Five months later, Obama was off to Cairo where he addressed the Muslim world. He insisted that 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood be in attendance. I guess it figures that our community agitator, would also want to surround himself with terrorists when going global.
You can make your determinations about what they discussed privately. I think it’s pretty evident. Maybe the U.S. didn’t keep a good “handle” on how our money was being used in Egypt. Maybe Mubarak wasn’t the best leader for their country. At least there was peace. Now that Mubarak is gone, it is unsure who will eventually come to power. What does Obama want to do? He wants to give them more money.
Neil A. Davis, Gothenburg
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