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soulful.terrain
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Obama proposes $800 million to aid 'Arab spring'

 

 

 

Reuters) - The White House announced plans on Monday to help "Arab Spring" countries swept by revolutions with more than $800 million in economic aid, while maintaining U.S. military aid to Egypt.

In his annual budget message to Congress, President Barack Obama asked that military aid to Egypt be kept at the level of recent years -- $1.3 billion -- despite a crisis triggered by an Egyptian probe targeting American democracy activists.

The proposals are part of Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2013, which begins October 1. His requests need the approval of Congress, where some lawmakers want to cut overseas spending to address U.S. budget shortfalls and are particularly angry at Egypt.

Obama proposed $51.6 billion in funding for the U.S. State Department and foreign aid overall, when $8.2 billion in assistance to war zones is included. The "core budget" for the category would increase by 1.6 percent, officials said.

Most of the economic aid for the Arab Spring countries -- $770 million -- would go to establish a new "Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund," the president said in his budget plan.

Analysts said it was difficult to tell how much of the proposal was actually new money.

"As presented it's very difficult to determine if the Arab spring fund is new wine in new bottles or old wine in new bottles," said John Norris, a former U.S. foreign aid worker now at the Center for American Progress.

The Middle East and North Africa Incentive fund "will provide incentives for long-term economic, political, and trade reforms to countries in transition -- and to countries prepared to make reforms proactively," the White House budget document said.

The proposal said this approach "expands our bilateral economic support in countries such as Tunisia and Yemen, where transitions are already underway."

It would also build on other programs for the area, including up to $2 billion in regional Overseas Private Investment Corporation financing, up to $1 billion in debt swaps for Egypt, and approximately $500 million in existing funds re-allocated to respond to the region last year, the budget document said.

It did not say how the Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund would be divided between countries, or give any other details of the plan.

Egypt has long been among the top recipients of U.S. aid, getting about $1.6 billion annually, mostly in military assistance. In fiscal 2012, $250 million of aid approved for Egypt was economic; $1.3 billion was military and there was a $60 million "enterprise fund" approved by Congress.

No U.S. assistance is moving to Egypt at the moment, U.S. lawmakers and their aides said last week. Some legislators favor cutting off aid to Egypt entirely if it does not drop accusations against American democracy activists and lift a travel ban on them.

Obama continued the practice of putting proposed foreign assistance for war zones in a separate account. This account, known as the "Overseas Contingency Operations," includes $8.2 billion for the State Department and foreign aid.

It includes $3.3 billion for Afghanistan, $1 billion for Pakistan, and $4 billion for Iraq, where U.S. troops have left the country but the State Department has picked up some of their functions such as police.

Lamont Sanford
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Sure, why not!  What the

Sure, why not!  What the fuck.  I get nothing.  They get $800 million for crimes against humanity.

Ariel Bitran
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You'd Think

You'd think we'd have learned a lesson after giving 3 billion dollar to Afghanistan during the Mujahideen era that something like this will probably bite us in the ass. but don't say i didn't warn ya.

Lamont Sanford
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You make a good point.

You make a good point. Especially from somebody I would guess was just a kid at the time.  Good job.

soulful.terrain
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Good point!
Ariel Bitran wrote:

You'd think we'd have learned a lesson after giving 3 billion dollar to Afghanistan during the Mujahideen era that something like this will probably bite us in the ass. but don't say i didn't warn ya.

Exactly! That 3 billion given to Afghanistan was a joke! Unfortunately, the joke was on the American taxpayer. Which brings me to another point, during this so-called Arab spring, the radical organization called The Muslim Brotherhood rushed into Egypt to take over, and there was NEVER any question from ANY Obama Administration official; primarily, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, just who and what was behind the 'Arab spring' uprisings. All we heard was over-whelming support for the uprisings from the current Administration.

Funny thing, Wasn't it the liberals that were complaining about George W. Bushs' 'nation building' venture in Iraq? And rightly so in my opinion. So where is the outrage by the liberals for Obama's 'nation building' efforts? Moreover, while the current administration is cutting our military force world-wide, the same administration is empowering our enemies by funding them.

roadster
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Basic economics

Back (many years ago) in a basic economics class we were taught:

1) Don't lend/give away  money you can afford to loose.

2) Don't be a debtor.

3) Control your money, don't let your money control you.

This was taught in an elementary school. It's just common sense. Please excuse my logic, I forgot of whom we were speaking.

soulful.terrain
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If only...
roadster wrote:

Back (many years ago) in a basic economics class we were taught:

1) Don't lend/give away  money you can afford to loose.

2) Don't be a debtor.

3) Control your money, don't let your money control you.

This was taught in an elementary school. It's just common sense. Please excuse my logic, I forgot of whom we were speaking.

Yes. Now if we could get the self-appointed masterminds in government to accept these basic known facts, budgetary issues like spending $2.00 for every $1.00 taken in would not be a factor. Unfortunately, the global social engineers don't give a flying fuck about our collapsing economy and the extraordinary debt thay are incurring.

Remember back in Oct. 2008, it was Obama the wealth re-distributor who stated: 

"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Obama would have certainly made Marx and Engels proud.

Ariel Bitran
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Slightly Related

on the topic of being world nanny/world police, my roommate said he was upset that Obama has not yet sent troops to Syria to stop the violence against civilians there.

as armchair politicians, what course of action would you take? would you step in at this point as the United States, or would you seek allies to help stop the violence but thus risking more civilian deaths as the clock ticks away... 

Lamont Sanford
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It doesn't really matter what

It doesn't really matter what our government states because it will not be an open book no matter who is in office. 

NATO did a good job in Libya without much assistance from the U.S.A.  Let NATO take care of the problem and secure the Mediterranean Sea.  We have the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  In between is Iran.  So we have our own plans right now.

As for internal strife in these countries;  is it really any of our business to intrude on them killing each other?  I say let the invisible hand of supply and demand take care of itself in places like Syria and so forth.  Nevetheless, I would love to be skinny like most of them but without all the death and flies and shit.

soulful.terrain
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a few points..
Ariel Bitran wrote:

on the topic of being world nanny/world police, my roommate said he was upset that Obama has not yet sent troops to Syria to stop the violence against civilians there.

as armchair politicians, what course of action would you take? would you step in at this point as the United States, or would you seek allies to help stop the violence but thus risking more civilian deaths as the clock ticks away... 

 

I agree with Lamont. NATO should intervene if there is to be any action taken against Syria.

A couple of reasons:

1. A formal declaration of war should be declared under the war powers act of the United States Constitution if the U.S. is to intervene. The Constitution does not give the Government the authority to 'police' the world in the name of 'peace keeping.'

2. Muslims are killing Muslims (civilian deaths). They have always been killing each other since the beginning of time, and intervention from the U.S. or any other Country will not make them stop. The muslim religion (Islam) is the foundation for these mideast uprisings and subsequent killings of their own people. If NATO wants to intervene, go ahead.

3. The Obama administration has defunded the military to a point that we cannot fight two wars at the same time if we needed to. ex: Japan and Germany. The Pentagon; for a long time, has employed the strategy of adequately funding the military to fight two wars simultaneously if needed, ie: Japan and Germany. This is only but one example of American exceptionalism when it comes to protecting it's citizens from enemies foreign and domestic, and has set the U.S. apart from other countries. Unfortunately when it comes to cutting government spending, liberals immediately start cutting the military first instead of  the millions upon millions of dollars that fund the ever expanding governmental bureaucracies in our massive, bloated government.

Providing a strong military is the one thing the Government has the authority and responsibility to do for it's citizens. Instead, this administration wants to slash the military, which is a given whenever Democrats are in the White House.

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