By Aaron Marcus l February 17, 2012
President Obama’s annual message to Congress increases the State Department budget for FY 2013 by 1.6 percent and would establish the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Incentive Fund costing $800 million.
Accordingly, the President’s “[b]udget provides over $800 million to support political and economic reform in the region,” and “establishes a new $770 million MENA Incentive Fund, which will provide incentives for long-term economic, political and trade reforms to countries in transition.”
Buried deep inside Obama’s colossal budget that seeks to increase American outstanding debt to $26 trillion by 2022, is more than two billion dollars to fund the Arab Spring and Palestinian government. Despite the rise of radical Islamist governments in countries like Libya and Egypt, the White House is relentless in its goal of supporting the movement. Blind to the catastrophic turn of the Arab Spring, this aid is in addition to the $1 billion Egypt will receive in so-called debt swaps and $1.55 billion in military and economic assistance.
When the movement first hit the ground, the international community quickly endorsed it as Arab self-determination. However, less than a year after commencing, it has transformed into a Militaristic – Islamist Winter. On February 4th, Egyptian terrorists bombed the pipeline that carries natural gas between Egypt and Israel for the 12th time since the start of the “revolution.” Forty percent of Israel’s electricity is derived through natural gas and, of that, 43 percent is delivered from Egypt. Smuggling of arms to Hamas in the Gaza strip has increased dramatically since the movement swept over Egypt culminating in an August attack that took the lives of eight Israelis when terrorists entered Israel by way of the Sinai Peninsula. Since the start of the Arab Spring, the Military Council controlling Egypt has largely ignored this vast expanse of desert, resulting in what the Israel Defense Forces call a “flood” of terror cells since the fall of Mubarak.
The Egyptian Military Council that has controlled its government over the past year has ordered more than 12,000 military tribunals for civilians and killed more than 800 protestors since taking power. After the death of protestors, the most egregious action from this government is their heinous crackdown on foreign democracy workers in Egypt. Currently, 19 Americans are being held hostage by the Egyptian military, including Sam LaHood, the son of the former Illinois Congressman and current Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. These measures by Egypt should be seen as an act of aggression and should under no circumstance be accepted let alone rewarded. The United States government should discontinue all foreign aid to Egypt immediately until it is assured that terrorism and the unlawful arrest of Americans will stop.
In line with his support for Islamist governments in the Middle East, President Obama requests $370 million for the Palestinian Authority, in addition to $70 million in training for the Palestinian police force. This U.S. aid, while lower than the 2012 amount comes in spite of a recent unity deal between Hamas and Fatah. The deal effectively aligns Fatah with the terror group Hamas, which would make any financial support to such a government material support of terrorism. If Obama’s appropriation request were accepted, he would become the first president in the history of the United States to actively support Palestinian terror.
While the chance of this budget being passed by Congress is slim, it shows the American taxpayer exactly where Obama stands and how he proposes to waste their hard earned money, especially during these times of extraordinary deficits. Instead of using funds to prop up grassroots movements that support American interests in already hostile nations, he is blindly funding Islamist governments in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories. The U.S. Senate, controlled by the Democrats, has not passed a budget in three years and last year the President’s budget was defeated with bi-partisan support 98-0. President Obama knows this budget will be defeated, so he drew it up as a wish list for what he dreams could be done. With Iran developing nuclear weapons and radical Islam tightening its grip in the Middle East, Obama needed to be firm in his opposition to terrorism not provide for it in his annual budget message to Congress.
Aaron Marcus is a graduate of the National Journalism Center having served his internship as an editorial assistant at The Washington Times. He is currently a columnist for The Daily Targum at Rutgers University where he is an undergraduate student. Mr. Marcus is a contributor to