President Obama has called for more transparency in our government.
What, with the whole earmarks hullabaloo (which was bullshit - the earmarks were only 1% of the bill - what should be examined, really, is the whole bill, not the smokescreen of earmarks, but that is another topic...), with our tax money being spent to help out the elite 0.05% of this country, I believe that this is something I can get behind.
So lets have some transparency in our government's spending, shall we?
This article is divided into three main sections:
American foreign aid, focusing on Israel and Egypt and comparing to other countries, indeed, other continents,
The reason WHY we give so much American aid to Egypt,
And finally, what is the Americans' ACTUAL view on our tax money going to these two countries (in this third part is where the bombshell is, I think)
Haaretz, dateline 11/03/2009:
Part One: U.S. official: Obama won't cut military aid to Israel
U.S. President Barack Obama will not cut the billions of dollars in military aid promised to Israel, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday.
The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio.
The increased military aid was promised to outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert by then-under secretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns in August 2007.
I am happy that the USofA has it's priorities straight.
The US census website, Foreign Commerce & Aid: Foreign Aid.
Lets click on the first file, 1257 - U.S. Government Foreign Grants And Credits By Country.
Explanation on the site: this is in millions of dollars (17,858 represents $17,858,000,000). Also, these are grants and credits - which means that this is the totality of our American government's aid monies given to a country (please correct me if I am wrong on this).
So, total net US government aid to all of its recipients for the whole year of 2000 was the above mentioned $17,858 (which means $17,858,000,000 - remember, these are in millions).
How much did Israel get in 2000?
$3,932 (million) or $3,932,000,000.
For a comparison, in 2000, all of Latin America received 1,621 (million), all of Africa 1,058 and all of the Near East and South Asia (think Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey) got 3,304.
Significantly, Egypt received $3,091 (million).
Lets follow the easy to follow document, with our focus on Israel and Egypt, year by year, and some other whole regions added for comparison.
Year......................2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Israel....................3,932 82 3,061 2,761 2,163 4,953 390 2,373
Egypt.....................3,091 1,296 1,689 2,055 2,689 2,827 149 1,761
Pakistan..................366 170 145 223 230 530 703 526
Near East and South Asia..3,304 1,445 1,632 2,268 3,544 5,259 4,500 9,659
Eastern Europe............2,220 1,352 1,689 1,492 1,273 −70 257 1,062
Africa....................1,058 1,613 2,085 3,909 2,450 2,199 1,342 3,523
Next, lets look at the 1259 - U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid by Major Recipient Country file (remember, multiply these numbers by a million):
Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2000 2003 2004 2005
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,762.1 26,486.3 34,156.3 35,627.4
Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,790.9 3,686.0 2,722.2 2,684.8
Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,076.1 1,716.4 1,957.6 1,563.2
Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5 81.7 26.1 25.5 18.8
Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42.9 1,089.2 2,116.5 2,514.4
West Bank/Gaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.8 44.6 46.8 41.0
Haiti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88.2 84.0 163.2 224.1
Rwanda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 710.4 780.0 951.4 1,263.6
Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 448.3 1,681.0 638.4 682.8
In 2006, total aid:
Afghanistan received 3,739.8
and last but not least
So what the hell does it all mean?
Looking at just Israel, the annual 'Grants and Credits' outnumber the 2nd file's 'Foreign Economic and Military Aid' numbers.
I believe that the 'Grants and Credits' include any and all types of moneys given to a county by the United States, including loans at very advantageous rates, and money that is tied to some kind of an agreement, whereas the 'Foreign Economic and Military Aid' file does not include all the kinds of credits that the US is giving out - this is only direct aid money.
Especially striking is the case of Pakistan, which in 2000 has $366 million 'Grants and Credits' but only a measly 1.5 million is listed on the 'Foreign Economic and Military Aid'.
So, lets look at both files.
The war on terror meme is a joke.
The numbers prove it.
Take a look at Pakistan, in both files.
The 'Foreign Economic and Military Aid' numbers are 2000: $1.5 million (pathetic), 2003: $81.7 million, 2004: $26.1 million, 2005: $25.5 million (again, pathetic), with 2006 economic aid: $3.8 million, and 2006 military aid: $15 million , for 2006 total aid to Pakistan of: $18.8 million.
The incident in New York with planes being flown into buildings happened in 2001, which explains the measly $1.5 million in aid given to Pakistan in 2000 - this was before then.
But when you look at the years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, you should notice an alarming trend - the aid to Pakistan was decreasing dramatically, from over $80 million in 2003 to a miserly $18.8 million in 2006.
Keep in mind, the price of one next generation fighter jet, the so called Raptor, is US$137.5 million.
Do you still think that the war on terror is real?
You must know that the Taliban and the fundamentalist have retreated from Afghanistan into Pakistan, and that is where the fundamentalist base of operations is - in the Pakistani so called tribal region.
This is where the Taliban launch their attacks from, this is where their supply lines are for their fighters in Afghanistan, this is where the fundamentalist enemy IS.
Pakistan also has nuclear weapons.
Imagine for a moment this scenario - the government of Pakistan falls to a military coup, and the military junta is initially supported by much of the population due to the civilian government's infighting, ineffectiveness and corruption.
But the fundamentalists, sensing weakness, launch terrorist attacks and seize much of the country, with the Pakistani military being defeated and demoralized.
What then of the nuclear weapons?
Don't you think that we, the USA, should support Pakistan, where the REAL front is in the so called war on terror, much more than we support, say, Israel?
Pakistan is where the action is, and if you were worried about ex-Soviet nukes being sold by the Russian/Jewish mafia types, you should take a peek at Pakistan today.
$18.8 million in total aid in 2006 is a joke.
Apparently, judging by the amounts of aid money, credits, grants and military weapons being given, Israel and Egypt are much more important than Pakistan.
Lets look at the 'Grants and Credits', and look at Israel and Total Aid columns by year (column 'Israel' is aid given to Israel by the USofA, 'Total Aid' is the sum of all aid given out by the USofA that year):
Year......Israel.....Total Aid.......% of total aid
These are staggering numbers, especially considering that in 2007 the whole of Africa received $3,523, while tiny Israel got $2,373 (in millions).
Compare any other country to Israel.
Do you notice a pattern?
A very simple to see one, actually.
The pattern is, no other country in the world receives more from us, Americans, than tiny Israel.
Which, if you didn't know about the power of the pro Israel Lobby, of AIPAC and their ilk, of a myriad organizations whose sole purpose is to forward Israeli interests in the United States (by using propaganda as well as outright bribery and threats against our politicians - threats which are backed up and serious, as the previous article about "Chas" Freeman demonstrates).
Israel is not impoverished by any means, and its military is pretty powerful.
Whenever one hears the (professional apologists and useful idiots) cries of "look at poor Israel in a sea of Arab countries - how tiny it is!" and especially the "how outnumbered Israel is by its enemies!" which leads to "Israel needs help to help it survive!"...
Perhaps one should point to some facts about the whole tiny Israel vs the big bad Arab neighbors, and the whole "outnumbered" thing:
globalsecurity.org on Israeli military
The Israeli ground forces are highly mechanized. Their equipment inventory included nearly 4,000 tanks and nearly 11,000 other armored vehicles. Their armored personnel vehicles almost equaled in number those of the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
Israeli military ranks 13th in world military rankings measured by manpower alone.
For a country of that size, that means that effectively the whole country is militarized, and is basically an army base. In fact, Israel IS the IDF (and Mossad and Shin Bet) with the country, including the political establishment, having back up and support roles to the military/industrial complex (which reminds me a lot of the old Soviet Union... which imploded, because having all the country's industries, political capital and resources expended to further the goal of militarism is insane and unsustainable - unless, of course, it is supported by aid from the outside...).
Lets look at List of countries by military expenditures on Wikipedia.
Israel's military budget in 2009 is $13,300,000,000.
In comparison, Egypt's is $3,300,000,000, Syria's is $858,000,000, Iran in 2005 was $6,300,000,000...
The idea that Israel, one of the most powerful states in the world, has "need" of my tax money just boggles my mind.
But of course, the apologists and the like will shout about "Well, Israel is our greatest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East", which, if you consider the Israeli military attack on USS Liberty, the death of Rachel Corrie, the fact that Israel runs the second most powerful spy ring in America (after China), the fact that the neocons, whose chief if not sole goal was the security of Israel and the pushing of Israeli agenda into American mainstream politics, have successfully pushed this poor country into the Iraqi War and Occupation... as well as the fact that when you have an Apartheid system, you should not call it a democracy (unless you want to consider the racist South Africa of the 1970's and 1980's as a democracy... where black people did not count in the whole "democratic thang")...
So, when you finish laughing at the professional victim to his or her face, the next talking point is "What about Egypt! Egypt receives a lot of money from the USA also!".
So lets tackle this issue now, shall we?
Part Two: The strange case of Egypt and the USA aid money
The first thing to recognize is that Israel and Egypt have a peace treaty in effect, since 1979. Per the Wikipedia article:
The main features of the treaty were the mutual recognition of each country by the other, the cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the rest of the Sinai Peninsula which Israel had captured during the 1967 Six-Day War. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal and recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways.
Egyptian recognition of Israel, cessation of the state of war between the two countries, and free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal - these are, strategically, tremendous things for Israel.
The Christian Science Monitor spells it out:
Aid is central to Washington's relationship with Cairo. The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979, and an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance. All told, Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse since 1975.
Our largesse of tax money gravy train to Egypt started at the exact time Egypt signed its peace deal with Israel - remember, Egypt signed the peace deal with Israel in 1979... All clear now? Lightbulb going off in your head, a real "ding ding ding we have a winner" moment here, eh?
The money is seen as bolstering Egypt's stability, support for US policies in the region, US access to the Suez Canal, and peace with Israel.
The reason for Egypt being the 2nd top recipient (after Israel) of our American aid money is clear now to you, I hope.
You cannot put this more bluntly than the Christian Science Monitor just did.
There is more to this, of course.
As you may or may not know, there is currently an economic blockade of Gaza by Israel - and Egypt.
According to the Human Rights Watch website,
Israel should urgently end its unlawful restrictions on desperately needed humanitarian aid and basic goods entering Gaza, Human Rights Watch said today. Security concerns do not justify overly broad limitations on the delivery of food, fuel, and other essential supplies.
Since the end of major military operations on January 18, 2009, Israel has continued to block the entry of significant amounts of food, fuel, cooking gas, and construction materials into Gaza, as well as access by aid workers.
Israel continues to exercise full control of Gaza’s borders and airspace, with the exception of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
Egypt has directly contributed to the worsening humanitarian crisis by restricting humanitarian aid and personnel from entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing, Human Rights Watch said. After opening the border partially during the fighting, Egypt closed it again on February 5. Only Gaza residents needing outside medical attention are allowed to cross, on a case-by-case basis.
(More on the economic blockade in the third part of this article).
Did you catch that?
Egypt is supporting the Israeli blockade of Gaza, by not allowing anything to get in or out (other than the severely sick or wounded, and that is done on an individual, case-by-case basis).
Egypt, in effect, is an ally of Israel at this point, by toeing the line that the so called "Western world" - the USA and it's lesser partners - have set it to follow.
And such behavior is of course rewarded - there is a definite policy of carrots and sticks in American foreign aid policy.
If you are a dictator, with a police force which routinely tortures its own citizens to keep them docile and in line, but you toe the line that America and Israel have set for you, then there are definite rewards.
The situation got to the point of absurdity.
CNN.com: Israel expects Egypt to 'solve the problem' of mass border crossing, from 2008 (this was covered briefly on American TV "news" in 2008, a few seconds only per day really, informing us of these massive numbers of people breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade):
Israel said Wednesday it expects Egypt to "solve the problem" after at least 50,000 people crossed the downed Gaza-Egyptian border to buy supplies.
Palestinians, running out of fuel, food and other supplies after Israel closed Gaza border crossings, poured into Egypt through blown-out and torn-down breaches in the border wall.
Egyptian guards stood by without intervening, and Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that the nation would remain open to the needy "as long as this is a humanitarian crisis."
"We are not opening the Rafah crossing just for everybody to cross -- we're opening it because it's a very dire humanitarian situation," said spokesman Hassam Zaki.
After the "shopping spree," Zaki said, "We expect everyone to go back to Gaza to their homes within a short period of time."
Egypt is torn between obligations to Israel to control the border and domestic support for the Palestinians.
Did you catch that?
First, please notice that Israel sees 50,000 people who crossed the Gaza-Egyptian border to buy food (because they are starving) and medicines (because medicines are on the list of banned items, and Israel is preventing medicines to be brought into Gaza) as a problem.
Also, please take a note of the last sentence I quoted: "Egypt is torn between obligations to Israel to control the border and domestic support for the Palestinians."
Realize that with American financial aid (and Egypt ranks second only to Israel as a top recipient of American aid) come obligations... to Israel.
That again sheds some light on exactly why Egypt is the second top recipient of our American tax money, doesn't it?
If you are paying attention, you have noticed the dateline of this article as 2008 - if you clicked on the story, you know that it is from January 23, 2008.
Now, put two and two together and realize that the Gaza blockade has been going on till today - uh, today is 2009, March, which means that, uh, the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza has been going on... well, for a long time.... and is still going on (again, specifics on the economic blockade in the third part of this article).
And what do ordinary Egyptians think of this?
Well, they better not speak what's on their minds out loud, or there will be a policy of sticks applied - literally, sticks applied.
Usually I would embed a video, but this is so graphic that I will only link to it.
The video was leaked from an Egyptian police station, with a man on a floor, with no pants or underpants on, and a sadistic Egyptian policeman shoving a police stick up his arse.
Much screaming and pain follows.
If you want to see for yourself your American tax dollars at work, by all means, see this video - you really should.
It will shock and disgust you - and perhaps make you look at American foreign "aid" in a different light.
The question now needs to be asked: what do Americans think about the aid to Israel, and Egypt for that matter?
So what the heck, lets ask it!
Part Three: What do Americans really think about our foreign aid to Israel and Egypt?
Listening to the propaganda shills on TV "news" and in talk radio, the impression one gets is that Americans support Israel because they believe all the lies that it is the only (Turkey? Lebanon?) democracy in the Middle East, that we stand with Israel because we share its values and culture and that Israel is our greatest friend and bestest ally (writing such drivel, even when I am sarcastic, makes me cringe).
So, lets dig into the American attitudes here.
Gallup poll: Americans’ Support for Israel Unchanged Since Gaza Conflict, dateline March 3, 2009:
Americans' views toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict haven't changed: nearly 6 in 10 (59%) say their sympathies in the conflict lie more with the Israelis; just 18% side with the Palestinians.
Additionally, the new poll finds 63% of Americans holding a favorable view of Israel, including 21% holding a very favorable view of that country. Only 29% have an unfavorable view of Israel, including just 8% "very unfavorable."
By contrast, the Palestinian Authority is seen in a mostly negative light, with only 15% viewing it positively and 73% negatively. And, among those holding strong views, the balance of opinion is even more negative: just 1% have a very favorable view vs. 30% very unfavorable.
Favorability toward the Palestinian Authority has varied some since 2000, ranging from 11% to 27%, but has registered close to 15% for each of the past three years.
So, we hate them brown niggers, and we love their killers.
It looks like the brainwashing is complete, and Americans support the state mass murder of men, women and children, bombing of hospitals, water treatment plants, and the economic blockade of Gaza.
For the last part, the economic blockade of Gaza, which is NOT covered (at all) on American mainstream "news", please take a look at Mr. Silverstein's blog quoting a reuters article:
The United States is protesting to Israel over seemingly random restrictions on deliveries to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip of harmless goods such as soap and toilet paper, diplomats said Wednesday…
In one case, Israel blocked for weeks a World Food Program (WFP) shipment of chickpeas, used to make the Palestinian food staple hummus, the U.N. food agency said…
“It is totally surreal,” one European diplomat said of Israeli decision-making. “One day we had 600 kg of pasta at the Kerem Shalom crossing but they said, ‘Today, pasta can’t go in’.”
Another Western diplomat said: “It’s ever-changing. One week jam is okay and the next week it’s not.”
In addition to soap and toilet paper, the officials cited restrictions that come and go on imports of certain types of cheeses, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
We, Americans, support the brown niggers not having the toilet paper to wipe themselves after they shit, and we support them not being able to eat pasta.
We also support the dirty Palis stinking - no soap allowed into Gaza.
In addition, we Americans do not want these brown niggers to be able to wash their teeth, either.
These brown niggers are animals anyway - according to the Gallup poll, the clear majority of Americans think so (and since they are clueless about the reality of the Gaza blockade, they are not shown the pictures of kids' body parts lying on a street after an Israeli bomb run, perhaps should make you realize why our - Americans' - opinions are shaped the way they are)...
... or are they?
At least, that is what the official version of reality, created by the mainstream polling organizations, would let you believe...
After all, just like the American "news", this big, corporate organization would not think of lying to us or shaping the polls by asking leading questions (The 'Yes, Minister' view on the polls - worth a quick watch).
If there is one thing that the current financial crisis has taught us, it is that the powerful elites have our, and the nation's, interests at heart, and they would never, ever mislead us, right?
But just for comparison, lets take a look at a poll done by the worldpublicopinion.org organization.
According to their site:
WorldPublicOpinion.org is an international collaborative project whose aim is to give voice to public opinion around the world on international issues.
WorldPublicOpinion.org was initiated by and is managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.
Sounds interesting - lets take a look at the Foreign Aid to Israel and Egypt page.
Americans support for aid to Israel has been lukewarm. In a CCFR survey in June 2002 55% wanted to keep the current level of economic the same (37%) or increase it (18%). In a November 2000 PIPA poll, respondents were asked to rate their feelings about US aid to Israel and Egypt on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being very bad, 10 being very good, and 5 being neutral. Only 27% gave a rating above 5, 31% gave a rating of 5, and 40% gave a rating below 5. The mean score was 4.45.
Wait a second - this poll stands the mainstream, trusted and oh so ethical Gallup poll on its head. American support for aid to Israel is lukewarm? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, only 27% of respondents gave a rating above a 10 (I would imaging Jewish Americans and the born again moronic idiotic christians would feature promonently in that segment), and 40% of Americans gave a rating below a 5 regarding their opinion on aid to Israel.
Any response to that?
As compared to other types of aid, aid to Israel and Egypt is one that receives one of the lowest levels of support. In PIPA's November 2000 poll, respondents were asked to evaluate ten forms of aid and were asked to rank how they felt about each one on a 0-to-10 scale, with 0 being "very bad," 10 being "very good," and 5 being "neutral." The form of aid rated second lowest was "aid to Israel and Egypt, which includes military and economic aid," with a mean of 4.45
Seems we Americans also do not like giving our tax money to Egypt, either.
The poll was taken by an organization called PIPA - The Program on International Policy Attitudes.
Looking at their staff page, it is mostly a University of Maryland effort.
Isn't it interesting how a mainstream polling organization, Gallup, has strikingly different polling numbers than a non-corporate, independent source?
It's like there is a meme - Israel is good, it is our greatest friend and ally - and it is promoted, even when polling.
How else do you explain the results of these different polls, one by a corporate shill, and the other by a learning institution?
OK, it is morning, I will now go wash myself using soap and clean my teeth using a toothpaste - and then go for some pancakes with jam...
Food for thought.