Saturday, September 15, 2012

Drama in the Desert: It's about the money people...

One can have an entire debate about whether or not American Imperialism actually works. In the business world, its called ROI (Return on Investment), and it's a tangible measurement of input versus output gain. In fact, you could say this very debate rages on across the political spectrum as you read my words. How much money do we spend on helping others, and what do we get in return?

Your tax dollars are spent on foreign aid in both Libya and Egypt, and now a U.S. Ambassador and others have all been brutalized and murdered by the very people we thought we were helping. What good did our money do? As one of the more contentious Presidential Elections in modern history nears, this debate rises again to the forefront of American political discussion, as countries around the Arab Crescent begin to riot and revolt (again).

I wholeheartedly dismiss the idea that a terrible movie made by someone in Los Angeles about Mohammed, (a movie that Koran burning Florida pastor Terry Jones says "reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad") and then dubbed to Arabic and uploaded to YouTube, is the cause of these events in Egypt, Libya, and the Sudan. First, the "movie" was uploaded in July, and the violence didn't begin until September 12th.

Second, it wasn't until a Egyptian TV program showed clips of the film less than a week ago, crediting Pastor Jones (turns out he was only airing the trailer of the movie) that the flame was struck, and the fuse was lit. If you add to that we now have intelligence services from around the world, including in Libya, stating the protests and attacks on U.S. personnel and property are simply pre-planned events set to coincide with the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the whole idea of some movie as the cause of this round of Middle East turmoil is pretty much shot to hell.

It is difficult for most American's to understand, and even harder for them to accept, but this is a violent area of the planet. In order to stem the tide of chaos, rule by brutality is a necessity. That the Muammar el-Qaddafi's and Bashar al-Assad's rule with an iron fist and perpetrate violence and death in order to maintain control is true, but how else would you do it? This sort of "nuclear deterrent" works. Is it preferable? No. But we need to deal in reality.

But the Obama Administration candidly refuses to do so. They removed Muammar el-Qaddafi, and now Egypt is in flames. If it weren't for the Russian's, this administration would have doubled down on that mistake and removed Syrian Bashar al-Assad as well, destabilizing the region even further. Obama may not know if Egypt is an ally or an enemy today, but he should have know Qaddafi certainly was.
Despite rising tensions, our embassy's were poorly defended, and our "friends" told the rebels where to find the Ambassador, so they could murder and then desecrate his body. Sensitive documents stored at the U.S. Consulate in Libya have disappeared. And so what has been this President's response to the crisis? To give Egypt more money. To give Libya more money.

Between 1948 and 2011, the United States has given Egypt over $70 Billion Dollars in foreign aid. And following the attack on our Ambassador, The President proposes to give Egypt ANOTHER $1.5 Billion in Aid, beginning October 1st. Yet another failure. Senator Rand Paul took to the Senate Floor to suggest a course of action that I happen to agree with: put tighter aid restrictions on Egypt, Libya, as well as Pakistan and Yemen. “The American people are tired of this,” Paul said. “Our Treasury is bare. There is a multitude of reasons why we should not continue to send good money after bad.”

I suppose the Obama Administration should be thankful for the bait and switch tactics underscoring these events. As long as some stupid parody film of Mohammed is being touted as the cause of this round of unrest, maybe nobody will stop to question their policies in the Middle East, which thus far have included destroying our allies, removing our friends, and asking you and I to continue to foot the bill.

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