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Posted: 10/14/2004 12:58:55 AM EST
In this Olympic year, a new record has been achieved in a popular international sport: bashing America.

A survey of six Arab countries in June by Zogby International found that 98 percent of Egyptian citizens have an "unfavorable attitude" toward the United States. Yes, 98 percent! That's up from 76 percent in 2002 and smashes the old mark, 87 percent, held by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

What's remarkable about the accomplishment is that Egypt is the No. 2 recipient of U.S. aid--$50 billion since 1975.

What do we get in return? Well, about 60 percent of the aid is military, but Egypt was definitely not a member of the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq--even though the Egyptian government was happy to see Saddam Hussein disappear. According to General Tommy Franks' new book, American Soldier, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, told the U.S. that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but still refused to support the U.S. military buildup in the Gulf.

As for economics, Egypt, with a per-capita GDP of $1,221 (one-sixth the level of Thailand) is a basket case--a classic example of the failure of command-and-control policies. Egypt ranks ninety-fifth, behind such nations as Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso, on the Index of Economic Freedom compiled by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal, which measures property rights, trade and monetary policy, and overall government intervention in the economy.

Nor has American money moved Egypt closer to democracy. Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 23 years now under an emergency law that followed the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. Mubarak is the sole candidate in occasional plebiscites, and he has groomed his son as his successor.

Mubarak stays in power as many other Middle East authoritarians do, in large part by blaming the U.S. and Israel for his country's problems. Here, from the Web site of the Middle East Media Research Institute, are typical items in the official and quasi-official Egyptian press: An Egyptian government weekly magazine piece spills ink on "The Jews Slaughtering Non-Jews, Draining Their Blood, and Using It for Talmudic Religious Rituals"; an Egyptian government paper claims, "The American Intervention in Darfur is a Plot to Control Sudanese Oil."

Of course, Egypt presents a foreign-policy problem for America. In theory, anyway, things could be worse. Mubarak did urge Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to accept the deal President Clinton brokered with Israel at Camp David.

Still, Arafat's rejectionism didn't change Egypt's position on Israel, the U.S., and the Jews--nor should we expect it to. Dictators need external threats, even if they don't exist.

But democracies like the United States need clarity. The double game we have been playing with countries like Egypt isn't working. Most Egyptians--like most Saudis, Syrians, and others in the Arab and Muslim world--hate us for two apparently contradictory reasons. First, their leaders use a vast propaganda network to vilify us, and, second, we help keep those same leaders in power, mocking our own values. What to do?

Cut aid to Egypt, which doesn't appreciate it, and for symmetry, to Israel, which doesn't need it.

Make it crystal clear that President Bush means what he said in February: that "America is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East." We need to get on the side of reformers in Egypt.

Demand free-market economic policies. As the U.N. points out in the second of an excellent series of Arab Human Development Reports, total GDP in the entire Arab world is about the same as Spain's, productivity is falling, "the middle class...is on the wane," and there's been a "general erosion of societal incentives for knowledge acquisition."

Also, publicize the vicious and loony lies that the Egyptian government is promoting about the United States--and fight back by launching serious, well-funded programs of public diplomacy to promote U.S. policies and values.

It's hard to see how being forceful, honest, and consistent can hurt America's standing in Egypt and other Arab countries. There's nowhere to go but up.

James Glassman is a TAE contributing writer.

www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.18219/article_detail.asp

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This is just insane. We have deficits up the kazoo and we give away $$$ billions to Egypt, who insult us and criticize us every chance they get?
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 1:07:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2004 1:08:19 AM EST by Airwolf]
I wonder if there's been any serious rethinking on this since the Cold War ended.

Most of these turd-world shitholes we've poured resources into were started as ways of stemming the Communist threat. Now that threat is gone, what's left. A lot of the aid we flush away is going to Muslim nations (or those that kiss their asses). What does that accomplish? They hate our guts no matter what we do. Are they going to *REALLY* hate us if we pull our $$$? Oh, gee.. I"m scared.

I just think of the things we could do with those resources in the pockets of Americans instead of being crapped away on people that smile, take our money and then are more than willing to fuck us over the first chance they get.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 1:08:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 3:19:25 AM EST
Mubarak sits on a powder keg. It wants to explode so bad that the lid is shaking to the point that he almost can't keep his seat...

The brotherhood will take over there if they get half a chance and Israel's one negotiated peace will be gone.

The alternative to Mubarak isn't good no matter how you look at it.

I think the Egyptian arms deals have been cut back recently, but they already have some of our best fighters (F16's, etc...).
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 4:40:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2004 4:41:12 AM EST by vito113]
Egypt is not the USA's friend… it's just your 'least hostile' enemy.

ANdy
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 5:02:48 AM EST
Egypt is truly a loser country. The claim to be big-time Arabs but on the other hand take credit for building the Pyramids. So which is it? Arabs didn't build anything, and they wiped out the people living in Egypt over 1,000 years ago.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 5:33:42 AM EST
I would think our fear is, if we don't continue supporting them, that they become a true terrorist country. At least at the government level.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 5:39:59 AM EST
All in good time.
Fools and Leftists insist we become openly hostile towards Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Eqypt, and other "allies" whom we know to be treacherous.

Foolish.

One at a time. Pit one against the other. Isolate, pick apart, destroy.
On our schedule, not theirs.

All in good time.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 5:53:32 AM EST
Well, what that aid has gotten for us so far is 24 uninterrupted years of peace between Egypt and another of our allies in the region, Israel. Trust me, if Egypt wasn't on our side, things in the Middle East would be 10 times worse than they are now.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 6:02:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2004 6:02:57 AM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 6:08:12 AM EST
$50 billion bought an Egypt that hasn't attacked Israel in decades.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 6:09:42 AM EST
And a placid ride through the Suez...
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 6:12:43 AM EST
$50 billion? For that cash, I want a pyramid! Just send over that big one in the middle.
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 6:13:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
And a placid ride through the Suez...



Ding! We have a winner!

If they don't shoot at Israel and leave the Suez open they can do pretty much whatever they want. Even the french attacked them when they jacked with the canal
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:42:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
$50 billion bought an Egypt that hasn't attacked Israel in decades.



They should not attack regardless and the US should not be paying tribute so they don't.

This is no different than the tributes Europeans paid Barbary Coast pirates so their shipping vessels could navigate those waters unmolested.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:50:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By RustyTX:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
And a placid ride through the Suez...



Ding! We have a winner!

If they don't shoot at Israel and leave the Suez open they can do pretty much whatever they want. Even the french attacked them when they jacked with the canal



You'd think $50 billion would buy a little oversight of their lying press too.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:52:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:59:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By Jarhead_22:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
$50 billion bought an Egypt that hasn't attacked Israel in decades.


Then why hasn't Israel been paying this extortion instead of us?



Why Israel shoudl pay something that YOUR Department of State wanted since 1945, to have a USA as friend of Arab countries?

Got poor results in this sense. The only thing USA got from all this money is to subtract Egypt from USSR influence in the 80, while Cold War was still raging.

Link Posted: 10/15/2004 4:53:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By TacticalMan:

Originally Posted By RustyTX:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
And a placid ride through the Suez...



Ding! We have a winner!

If they don't shoot at Israel and leave the Suez open they can do pretty much whatever they want. Even the french attacked them when they jacked with the canal



You'd think $50 billion would buy a little oversight of their lying press too.



Mubarak only cares if the press says something about him. He's throwing out red meat so the lions don't eat him. 'Here! Eat this not me!'

Eqypt really looks a lot like Iran in the '70's to me... ANdy?
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:50:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/15/2004 5:50:47 AM EST by PaoloAR15]
IF real democratic election would be done in Egypt, egyptians would elect a bunch of religious radicals wuold be elected. You will get a Sunnite version of the Iran.

Al Zawahiri is an Egyptiona and also he is the number two in AL Qaeda NOT BY CHANCE... make a tour in Cairo University and ask what they think about USA and the so called "Free world"... and be ready to RUN...
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:53:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ramjet:
$50 billion? For that cash, I want a pyramid! Just send over that big one in the middle.



or have them build some new ones, just how they did in the good ol' days.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:00:12 AM EST
Can we PLEASE quit pissing away my tax dollars? Hell give it to me so I can buy some tanks.
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