Thursday, October 4, 2012

Is financial aid to Egypt a good idea anymore?

A debate is going on in congress around the awarding of $450 Million in emergency financial aid to Egypt. The aid, designed to assist the emerging 'democracies' from the Arab Spring is being revisited in light of the recent attacks on US embassies after the anti-Muslim video.

Perhaps it's time to reconsider all this aid to countries that are becoming stridently anti-American. We provide $1.3 Billion to the Egyptian military every year. True, most of it comes back in weapons purchases but is that smart? Why are we arming countries run by people who consider the US their worst enemy. They despise our values and live to eradicate Israel. We've been doing this in many other countries with similar values: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Jordan to name a few. Only the aid to Israel seems to be fostering a democracy and values similar to our own.

During the days of the cold war, we were in a financial arms race with the Soviet Union, providing aid to 'our' countries while they supported 'theirs'. But with the cold war over, what are we doing arming countries that seek our destruction?

Egypt threatens to relook at the Camp David treaty with Israel every time we threaten to cut off aid. But that's just blackmail. I really don't see the Egyptian army having any success against Israel. It's time to call that bluff.

Financial aid should be directed towards the building of schools and infrastructure, not the buying of weapons. Right now, the split is $1.30 Billion to the military and $0.25 Billion to other purposes. I'd prefer to see a Greg Mortenson-type using the aid to make real progress in these countries. Educate the women and change the country for the better for good.

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