Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To Aid OR Not To Aid...

Egypt, and several large portions of the mid-east (Ahem, IRAN), are becoming increasingly confounding places. So there was this "Arab Spring" and now the Muslim Brotherhood is rising to power in Egypt. The Arab Spring was supposed to be about democracy. That's a good thing but what we're seeing isn't like the brand of democracy we have here in the good ol' U.S.A. (Where we call each other names, yell, turn red in the face and then compromise to accomplish something productive). In Egypt, there is yelling and red-faced-ness but not so much productivity at the moment. Rather, it seems we're hearing threats of war.

Egypt gets over $1 Billion in aid from the U.S. each year. In addition, non-governmental organizations (NGO's) spend millions of additional dollars advancing human rights and basic concepts of civilization. Egypt hates this so they recently decided to put a bunch of Americans on trial and accuse them of insurrection (basically, saying that these Americans sowed revolt and discontent against the powers that be). This is strange in away because the Arab Spring was essentially revolt and discontent in action... against the powers that be... but with violence. The ever present fear of U.S. interventionism in Egypt has now grown to a fervor among the local population and the Muslim Brotherhood is capitalizing on it. They are attempting to play both sides of the fence when it comes to foreign aid. They want the aid but none of the concepts that facilitate the aid. The official policy reads something like this, get the money, use it however you please, then score political points by saying Americans are too involved in middle eastern affairs.

So, in response, some U.S. legislators recently decided that if they don't like our money, or our policies, or our beliefs that women shouldn't be set on fire for going outside... we will withdraw our financial and military aid. The Egyptian response? Fine but we may bomb Israel if you do.

POTUS recently stated that he will continue the aid anyway and actually increase it over the coming years. Not a bad idea in relation to countries who are moving toward the 21st Century but probably a bad idea for those countries who plan to use the money against us directly... and in the process attempt to put our citizens in jail (or murder them) for advocating basic civil rights and theories of fair democracy. Egypt would be wise to learn from the women in Afghanistan. Before fundamentalist law, they flourished (even more so than their European counterparts). After Sharia law, they were forced into illiteracy and home-bound confinement.

Also, Egypt is still torturing Coptic Christians for being Christians.

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