Friday, February 11, 2011

Following the Money

As embattled Egyptian President Mubarak continues to defy the masses of Egyptians demonstrating for his removal, the military today announces its support for his decision. This could bring devastating affect to peace and stability in Egypt...and throughout the region. As we ask the question "why" these people will not relinquish their position over night, I think you will find the answer by "following the money".

Just doing a little digging of public information, it is easy to see the USA government's complicity in facilitating this situation. According to this Washington Post source...

Since the Camp David peace accords more than three decades ago, the United States and Egypt have had an unspoken bargain in terms of the roughly $2 billion in aid given each year to Cairo: The Egyptian government had veto power over which nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) could receive the money. This deal meant that funds labeled by Washington as promoting democracy often ended up being used for other projects, such as sludge removal or to bolster the very judicial institutions used to jail democracy advocates.

Meanwhile, the largest chunk of the annual largess, about $1.3 billion, was given to Egypt's military and security forces. The security forces have been repeatedly cited in the State Department's human rights report for torture, prolonged detentions without charge and other abuses. While overall aid to Egypt has declined in recent years, the budget for the security forces and the military has remained mostly intact. 

Should we then be surprised that the military would support this beleaguered President in Egypt? I can imagine them all now in back rooms of government offices cutting deals and dividing the spoils before leaving power. A couple million for this general, a few hundred thousand for the Chief of Police...and of course no one will probably ever know how much Mubarak himself has pilfered away in secret accounts and holdings. Much of this thanks to the USA taxpayers contributions ANNUALLY for almost 30 years of $2 billion with a B.  Now we really understand the reluctance to give up power in the world...and the double standard the USA government once again demonstrates in supporting, and next day withdrawing, from world tyrants and dictators.

I just hope before they finally get Mubarack out of there that some funds are still left to rebuild the country with. I can see it now..."New appropriations bill before Congress promising $2 Trillion in funding to restore confidence in Egypt".

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Pretty sickening state of affairs, isn't it ? And we citizens of the U.S. are really powerless to change how our money is spent. Sure , we can vote, but the system is already in place and entrenched. No matter what individual of whatever party is elected, these foreign affairs policies are not going to change. And, campaigns in the U.S. are not going to focus on foreign affairs issues, either. They cater to the lowest common denominator and what makes good sound bites and issues like this do not go over well on TV.