Monday, March 26, 2012
to Egyptian Military Dictatorship
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
So much for revolution, and so much for the United States being absolutely and completely broke. Since I wrote the article “Egypt: what revolution?” in July of last year, very little progress has been made.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will be giving military aid to Egypt even though there are “concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition,” according to Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency.
I believe that this is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the democratic transition has yet to occur and, like Libya, the people of Egypt are in many ways worse off than they were before.
Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is being ruled by a military dictatorship, Clinton waived all of the conditions placed by Congress on the $1.3 billion in aid.
According to Haaretz, Clinton simply claimed that giving the aid was in the national interest of the United States. As per usual, she didn’t bother to justify it beyond that or actually explain why this was at all in our interests.
As Americans, we are simply expected to believe whatever the government tells us without question. After all, our so-called government thinks they do not even need to tell us why they think it is legal to murder us.
If they don’t feel the need to explain that, I seriously doubt they will actually justify $1.3 billion of our non-existent taxpayer dollars.
“These decisions reflect America’s over-arching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Once again, this explains very little about why exactly the American people should be put up as collateral against spending to support a military dictatorship.
In an attempt to support her statements, Nuland pointed to progress in elections, yet she had to acknowledge the significant concerns the U.S. has about how non-governmental organizations are treated, among other issues.
“Egypt’s transition to democracy is not yet complete, and more work remains to protect universal rights and freedoms. The Egyptian people themselves have made this clear to their own leaders,” she added.
However, giving these corrupt leaders more money to stay is just about the worst way to push them to reform and change their actions.
Late last year, Congress passed a law which required that the Egyptian military junta to hold elections, support the transition to actual civilian rule, and protect religious freedoms before receiving U.S. aid.
Yet the State Department, under Clinton’s guidance, decided to throw this out entirely.
Senator Patrick Leahy seems to be disappointed by the State Department decision, although he has yet to actually do anything to oppose or change it beyond hollow rhetoric.
“Waiving the new conditions on democracy and human rights is regrettable, and handing over the entire 1.3 billion dollars at once to the Egyptian military compounds the mistake by dissipating our future leverage,” Leahy said.
I very much agree with his point that all leverage is lost when we hand over all of the aid at once. There is absolutely no incentive for the military dictatorship to give up any power or implement reforms now that they have the money.
“Using this waiver authority, at this time, sends a contradictory message. The Egyptian military should be defending fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, not harassing and arresting those who are working for democracy,” Leahy added.
While the U.S. Congress has supposedly increased pressure on Cairo after offices of U.S. non-governmental organizations along with other groups were raided, this pressure does not seem to be materializing in any visible way.
I’m not quite sure how rewarding the military dictatorship with $1.3 billion can be construed as pressure but then again the last thing that Clinton and the rest of the corrupt individuals in Washington care about is freedom.
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