Skip to comments.Egypt is taking US money and running
Posted on 05/02/2012 5:51:27 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Its been five weeks since the Obama administration granted Egypt its full $1.3 billion in annual military aid despite its governments 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.
As it turns out, the administration was wrong. In a number of tangible ways, U.S.-Egyptian relations and the militarys treatment of civil society have deteriorated since the waiver was issued March 23. The threat to nongovernmental organizations, whose prosecution triggered the threat of an aid suspension, has worsened. Conditions for U.S.-backed pro-democracy groups elsewhere in the Middle East have deteriorated as other governments have observed Egypts ability to crack down with impunity.
Consider the situation of the three U.S. organizations whose offices were raided and closed by Egyptian security forces in December the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House. Before the waiver, senior Egyptian officials repeatedly promised U.S. envoys that the groups would be legally registered, their offices allowed to reopen and their property returned. The fine points of a settlement were under discussion. Once the waiver was issued, the process was frozen and communication ceased, according to Nancy Okail, the head of the Freedom House office in Cairo.
The government, meanwhile, has begun pressing a new law on civil society groups that would stop all foreign funding for Egyptian NGOs, prohibit them from engaging in any work related to democratic politics and force many existing organizations to close. Other Arab governments have taken the cue: The United Arab Emirates last month shut the regional office of the National Democratic Institute.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
While our witless, clueless, gutless congress just continues to draw their paychecks and wallow in their perks.