The government of the United States wishes to send Arab governments a message: it’s business as usual in Washington, D.C. The bribes will keep being paid.
Thomas Jefferson stopped paying bribes to the Barbary pirates in the first decade of the nineteenth century. But Washington thinks it knows better. “Please be nice. Please love us. Please protect our embassies. So, just to show good faith, we will continue to pay tribute money.”
That is what foreign aid is. Tribute money. “We need your support. If you will keep being our ally, we will grease your palm. We will borrow money in the name of the American taxpayers in order to pay to you, Mr. Dictator. It’s the American way.”
The public knows it is payoff money to dictators and basket case regimes that offer nothing in return. But Congress keeps passing bills, and Presidents keep signing them.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to pay $130 million a month to buy off the Egyptian government. The House does not want to indicate that it is in any way upset with the lack of protection given by the government to protect American soil — our embassy — inside Egypt.
Obama’s Press Secretary assured the government of Egypt that there are no hard feelings. After all, if the Obama Administration’s official agent, the Ambassador, refused to let the Marines carry ammunition or load their weapons. I mean, why blame the government of Egypt? It makes sense to me. Mr. Carney said: “We’re continuing to work with (Congress) on ways to support a stable, democratic transition in Egypt that is important for defeating extremism of the very kind that we just recently saw.”
A democratic transition. I understand. It’s not there yet, but we are hopeful. Anyway, Obama is hopeful. So is Congress.
Don’t call this groveling. Don’t call this begging for forgiveness. Call it enlightened self-interest. And you, Mr. Taxpayer, will pay the bill.
Yes, it is true that there were a few men in Congress who protested. Extremists, obviously. Just like the vast majority of voters who think it’s a bad idea for the federal government to borrow money in order to pay baksheesh to Arab regimes. Extremism must be fought, the Obama Administration says. So does the bipartisan leadership in Congress. “There’s more where that came from!”
Next time, the demonstrators may take hostages. What will Congress do then? Up the ante? Pay the Arab politicians to increase security, just in case it happens again?
Dan Burton of Indiana protested. “I want to know if any of it is going to Libya or Egypt,” Burton said. “Our embassies have been attacked. An ambassador has been killed. The Muslim Brotherhood runs Egypt — and we’re going to give them money? I would like to have an answer.” Well, he did not get an answer, except a majority vote to continue to send bribes.
Egypt gets $1.5 billion a year. But Egypt must meet stringent conditions laid down by Congress. These standards apparently do not include include requiring protestors to use blank ammunition, so as not to embarrass our Marine defenders at the embassy.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, has the authority to waive such congressional conditions placed on aid if it would be in the United States’ national security interest. She issued such a waiver in March.
“The incidents of the past week highlight how important our work is. The United States must and will remain strongly engaged in the world. … The United States must be a force for peace and progress,” Clinton said Tuesday. “That is worth striving and sacrificing for and nothing that happened last week changes that fundamental fact.”
The military aid is supposed to be spent in the USA. This is Congress’s not so foreign aid to domestic weapons manufacturers. Voters would not want to see the military-industrial-Congressional complex broken. No, no, no.
So, the foreign aid continues to flow. It’s the American way of life, as interpreted by Congress.