Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is livid over a proposed House bill out of committee that would impose strict new requirements on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Palestinian Authority.
Th Secretary of State wrote In an angry letter she wrote to members of the House Foreign Affairs committee, Clinton claimed the bill “would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end.”
Mrs. Clinton actually threatened to lobby the president to veto the bill if it's passed.
So, what are these horrific restrictions she's so upset about?
For example, as one condition to continue to get the billions in baksheesh they receive from us, the Pakistanis would need to prove that they are assisting in an US investigation on who gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), said in her opening statement Wednesday that the measure would send a clear message to the country in which Osama bin Laden hid for years without detection.
Pakistan, she said, is “on notice that it is no longer business as usual and that they will be held to account if they continue to refuse to cooperate with our efforts to eliminate the nuclear black market, destroy the remaining elements of Osama Bin Laden’s network, and vigorously pursue our counter-terrorism objectives.”
“I think the prospect of a cutoff of assistance will get their attention and that the games being played with our security will finally stop,” she added.
Lebanon will not receive any US aid if a Hezbollah member occupies a top government or policy post (they dominate the cabinet).The 'Palestinian Authority' must terminate incitement against Israel in the media and in the schools, cooperate with Israel on security matters,attain statehood via negotiations with Israel rather than an end run to the UN. And the 'Palestinian' Authority must not allow members of Hamas, a recognized terrorist group, to be part of its government directly or indirectly. In other words, in order to get the $510 million of our tax dollars President Obama has set aside for them, The 'Palestinian Authority' must simply abide by the agreements it signed, the Oslo Accords and the Road Map.
The Egyptians would be required to keep the peace with Israel and the other provisions of the Camp David Accords, while Yemen would have to be be free of human rights abuses. And the flow of US foreign aid to all of these countries could only continue if the Obama administration was able to certify that no members of terrorist organizations groups or their sympathizers were serving in their governments. The countries also have to meet certain anti-corruption standards.
The Republican in the House said the bill would serve U.S. national interests while scaling back overall spending. “In this difficult geopolitical and economic climate, the American people deserve a policy that is based on American principles, looks out for American interests, and wisely invests American dollars,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the Appropriations subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, said Wednesday. In other words, foreign aid ought to be reserved for our friends, or at countries that serve our interests, not our enemies. What a concept, eh?
Both Granger and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Nita Lowey (D-NY)favored attaching strings to aid for Pakistan and the other Middle Eastern countries named.
Brad Goehner, a spokesman for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House committee, told the Post that the letter was “disappointing, particularly given the current debt crisis, that the Obama administration is fighting to keep sending taxpayer money to foreign organizations and governments that undermine U.S. interests.”
I have to admit, I can't imagine why Mr. Goehner would be disappointed at this late date after watching this president and his team operate for over two-and-a-half years.
It's worth taking a look at how this has played out in real life so far.
Both Lebanon and the 'Palestinian' Authority have received billions in US military aid, going back to the Bush Administration. Lebanon's went to the Shi'ite dominated army which is now fully integrated with Hezbollah, while a lot of the shiny new equipment the US equipped Mahmoud Abbas' forces with ended up in the hands of Hamas after Fatah was chased out of Gaza.
Just this May, the United States along with Qatar and the World Bank pledged to give billions of dollars in aid that we don't really have to Egypt and Tunisia in order to keep the two countries economies afloat.As part of the measures, Obama promised of $1 billion in debt relief to Egypt, and offered an additional $1 billion in loans.
Those pledges were unfortunately given before anyone really knew what was going to happen in either country. In Egypt, the situation is extremely unsettled and the likely rulers when it all sorts itself out will be the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt becomes President Obama's Iran. And the money they're being given isn't going to change the fact that Egypt has a population of 80 million people it has no ability to feed.
As for Tunisia, it has a much better chance of economic recovery, but the political sitution doesn't auger well for it being a democracy. In fact, in new ‘democratic’ Tunisia, one of the first acts of the Commission of Political Reform was to pass laws ensuring that all ties to Israel will be severed permanently. Tunisia's tiny Jewish community, one of the few left in the Arab world, are already in the process of leaving.
The bill will likely pass the House, but probably not the Democrat majority senate without some moderation, and even then President Obama is not likely to sign it. But I have to applaud Congress for finally at least trying to draw the line at funding hostile countries with money we can ill afford unless they agree to perform in accordance to our national interest.