Powered by WebAds

Thursday, May 18, 2006

US foreign aid to Egypt

One week ago tonight I blogged a Max Boot article from the Los Angeles Times, in which Boot argued (and I agreed) that the US ought to re-assess its foreign aid package to Egypt because it's spending a lot of money and getting very little in return. From reading this dispatch from al-Reuters, it sounds like everyone outside the State Department and the Bush administration agrees with that assessment. You have to wonder why the President is willing to spend political capital to support a repressive regime that doesn't share America's values and doesn't stand by America's side in international organizations and the like.
California Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, has called for an urgent review of that assistance.

His latest call coincided with a report last week by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, which said the state and defense departments had not properly assessed how aid to Egypt helped U.S. security goals.

Senior State Department official Michael Coulter conceded a more "qualitative" approach was needed toward Egypt and that better benchmarks should be used in aid.

But Coulter said military aid, which accounts for more than half of total assistance, had paid "high dividends" in many areas, including Egypt's commitment to trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jon Alterman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said conditionality of aid to Egypt would not work. "We need to revisit the aid relationship but the idea that we can change Egypt is wishful thinking," he said.
I think we could do with a bit less of Egypt's 'assistance' in trying to resolve the 'Israeli-Palestinian' conflict. Especially when it comes to things like threatening Israel over its alleged nuclear weapons, trying to develop nuclear weapons itself, executing military exercises that clearly presume that Israel will be the target, putting anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American programming on government television and in government-sponsored newspapers, acting as if it is at war with Israel
, and funding terror organizations. Neither does Egypt's alleged assistance in the resolution of a conflict that the Arab world - including Egypt - perpetuates justify repressing free expression by its own citizens.

If Egypt can't change, maybe it's time for America to bid Egypt good-bye.

Update 8:15 PM

Egyptian riot police beat demonstrators who were marching in support of two judges facing disciplinary charge for charging publicly that parliamentary elections were fixed.


Post a Comment

<< Home