Occasionally I get sidetracked into something totally unrelated to life in Peru, like the current news about violence and government crackdown in Egypt.

Here’s a bit of information from Congressional Research Service about US economic and military aid to Egypt:

Since 1979, Egypt has been the second largest recipient, after Israel, of U.S. foreign assistance. In FY2009, Egypt was the fifth largest aid recipient behind Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq respectively. In the last decade, overall U.S. assistance to Egypt has declined from $2.1 billion in FY1998 to $1.6 billion in FY2009 owing to a gradual reduction in economic aid. In July 2007, the Bush Administration signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel to increase U.S. military assistance from $2.4 billion in FY2008 to over $3 billion by 2018. Egypt received no corresponding increase in U.S. military aid; instead, the Bush Administration pledged to continue to provide Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid annually, the same amount it has received annually since 1987.

And for illustration:

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

Your tax dollars at work... (c) AP

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Sort of strange how we found it necessary to bring democracy to places like Iraq and Afghanistan but you never hear many calls for democracy in places like Egypt, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia.
  • All that military assistance ($1.3 billion in military aid annually) is reminiscent of the 1970s fiasco when we provided F-14s – then the biggest and baddest weapon around – to the flimsy regime of the Shah in Iran, only to later regret it. Lesson learned? Didn’t think so.

All this is very similar to the US involvement in Latin America during the so called Cold War. Regimes that were aligned with Washington received all sorts of military and economic assistance. Oppressive regimes just pulled the “communist” card whenever they encountered any sort of opposition, and in swooped Washington to fight for freedom and democracy. Or was it bananas we were fighting for?

Here’s a comment from Ambassador Bob White about US involvement in Central America during the so called Cold War:

In 1981, the Reagan administration erroneously attributed revolutions in Central America to the Soviet Union and Cuba; “What we are facing in Central America,” said then Secretary of State Alexander Haig, “is a straight case of external aggression, nothing more, nothing less.” This of course was utter nonsense. If there was one thing we were not facing in Central America, it was foreign aggression. The rebellions in the region were home-grown and authentic, popular uprisings against the heaped- up injustices of decades. There would have been uprisings in these countries whether the Soviet Union and Cuba existed or not.

We have a gazillion dollar “intelligence” budget. Your tax dollars go to reports on Alan Garcia’s emotional and physical health and people who check out your *ss every time you board an airplane, but at the end of the day the US intelligence community is clueless. They’re just a bunch of people stuck in the same old ideologies, they will always arrive at the expected conclusion. The US intelligence community didn’t foresee Egypt any more than they did the fall of the Shah in Iran.

Still believe you live in the “Land of the Free” up there?

2 thoughts on “Egypt

  1. I disagree, they did see Egypt and Tunisia. they organized it. The global State perfectly explained by Rothschild in his address to the Economic World forum :- Check out the use of the word “notion”
    In 1888, Edward Bellamy wrote a book entitled Looking Backward: 2000-1887 in which he predicted the future exactly as it happened:
      In 1973, the United States Tariff Commission observed:
            In the largest and most sophisticated multinational corporations, planning and subsequent monitoring of plan fulfillment have reached a scope and level of detail that, ironically, resemble more than superficially the national planning procedures of Communist countries.
         Far from the money powers fighting for free-markets and against government regulation, the exact opposite is true. Giant cartels use government regulation and anti-trust laws to break up smaller cartels or to prevent competitors entering into the market. The ultimate objective is a feudal ‘comand and control’ society in which the corporations use government to diminish our freedoms”

  2. Pingback: What does the election of Ollanta Humala mean for Peru? « Life in Peru

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