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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Actions don't have consequences

I know. You guys all grew up believing - as I did - that actions have consequences. It's what my parents taught me and it's a lesson that I have carried throughout life. But to every rule, there is an exception. So here's an exception: Actions don't have consequences when you're a non-Westerner and you defy the Obama administration.

Egypt is holding Sam Lahood, the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, in jail, along with 15 other Americans, for promoting democracy, and has dared the United States to cut their aid. What does Obama do? He agrees to give them the same $1.55 billion that they got last year.

The 'Palestinians' refuse to even come to the table to talk to Israel, and instead negotiate a reconciliation agreement with the Hamas terror organization, and they get their budget cut from $545 million to $440 million - admittedly a real cut to a budget with little or no accountability - but then that cut is explained away as being due to changed circumstances and one-time items.
Egypt, which has arrested several US citizens who work for NGOs promoting democracy, is slated to receive $1.3 billion for military assistance under the plan and $250 million for economic assistance, as was also approved for 2012.

“Our goal is to provide the necessary funds. It’s obviously clear to all of us that we have issues we need to work through, and we’re working very aggressively to do so,” said Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides after the budget plan was released. “But this budget reflects our commitment and our desire to fully fund this initiative.”

He said the administration would be consulting with Congress, several members of which have said the detentions could cause the US to withhold money from Cairo.

The Palestinians will see a slight roll back in economic aid from $395m. in 2012 to $370m. in 2013 as well as cut back in police training from $150m. to $70m.

An administration official explained the first reduction as stemming from an improved economic situation in the Palestinian territories and the second as due to the curtailment of US provision of equipment for police officers as those supplies have already been delivered.

He said when it comes to the role of Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, and its role in the Palestinian government, the administration would revisit the issue in 2013 when the money was actually due to be allocated.
In other words, Obama is now going to lead from behind domestically as well, and make Congress be the fall guy for the real cuts or suspension in aid that needs to take place in order for the Egyptians and the 'Palestinian Authority' to get the message that enough is enough.

What could go wrong?

There's a separate issue with Israel with which I will deal in a separate post.

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