In the Middle East.
For example, yesterday's Washington Post editorial reports that Egypt is taking U.S. money and running with $1.3 billion
It's been five weeks since the Obama administration granted Egypt its full $1.3 billion in annual military aid despite its government’s failure to meet conditions set by Congress for advancing democracy. In granting a waiver on national security grounds, administration officials argued that continuing the funding was more likely to encourage cooperation with the United States and progress on human rights than a cutoff would.Ah,"National Security"--that's the ticket!
Of course, the reality is the exact opposite of what the Obama administration is claiming. The Washington Post editorial goes on to point out how democracy has deteriorated in Egypt since the waiver. Among the examples: a new law is in the works to stop all foreign funding of Egyptian NGOs--closing some and forbidding others to operate in connection with democratic politics.
If the US is willing to give away a billion's worth of continuing military aid to a country going through massive upheaval, allowing it to fall into the hands of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, where else can US taxpayer money be poured?
There's always the Palestinian Authority, well known for its corruption, incompetence--and human rights violations. Then again, what is $192 million compared to $1.3 billion?
In writing about Abbas's Police State, Jonathan Schanzer writes:
According to al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, "It is difficult to know exactly how many people have been detained in violation of the right to freedom of expression because victims, in many cases, are charged with or accused of penal offenses to mask the political motivation behind their arrest." In some cases, arrests appear to be roundups of Hamas supporters. In others, they appear to be aimed at non-violent political opponents or critics of the Abbas regime.The crackdown applies also to external news services such as Al-Jazeera.
Free speech as well as free press is being stifled.
And what is Obama's reaction to the Abbas crackdown and the human rights violations?
He signs a waiver in order to reward Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
The message will not be lost on other Muslim regimes.
In fact, we see signs that the lesson is being learned rather quickly--take Afghanistan, for example: Afghan President Karzai wants 'at least $2 billion' a year from US
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said he wanted "at least $2 billion" a year from the United States after it withdraws its troops in 2014.Hey, at least he gave the US a choice!
Karzai said the US should specify in a partnership agreement to be signed between his country and the US how much money it will give to Afghanistan after they leave.
"They (US) say we will give you money, but will not specify the amount. We say give us less, but write it down," Karzai told a group of university professors and students in Kabul.
"We want them to write down that America will give for Afghanistan's security $2 billion a year -- or at least two billion a year", he said. "If they want to give us more, they are welcome."
There have been accusations that Obamacare has been used to pay off friends and allies.
Have Middle East despots come to expect the same?
Maybe. But if Egypt is any example, this may be a case of "You scratch my back, I stab yours."
Technorati Tag: Middle East and Egypt and Afghanistan and Obama.