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The revolution in Egypt is the result of a tyrannical dictator, who has oppressed, kidnapped, tortured, murdered and pretty much done everything a regime can do to repress and terrorize a people, for almost 30 years. 20 of those years have been under "Emergency Law," a law giving the Egyptian government the "authority" to dehumanize its people and flimsy cover at best. Hosni Mubarak is the longest serving president of Egypt, which begs the questions, how has he remained in power for so long? The answers are complex, but they center on the Sphinx in the room that no one will discuss in the mainstream media: U.S. foreign aid and influence.
Since 1948, the U.S. government has given Egypt ~$63 billion in foreign aid. For 2011, Barack Obama's administration has requested another $1.5 billion, which comes in fourth behind Afghanistan ($3.9bil), Pakistan ($3.1bil) and Israel ($3bil) for requests for foreign aid. When combined with conventional U.S. military and economic aid, only Israel receives more of Uncle Sam's cash and weapons. The U.S. has given the Egyptian government dozens of F-16 fighter jets, hundreds of heavy tanks, Patriot and AMRAAM missile systems, helicopters, 3-D radar systems, thousands and thousands of small arms, Pentagon grants and contracts for military and intelligence equipment, the rights to manufacture the M1A1 Abrams tank and cold, hard cash for a myriad of military, security and domestic programs. For doing the U.S.'s bidding during the first Gulf War, the U.S. also forgave billions in debt with estimates ranging from $7 billion to $200 billion. The U.S. State Department describes the majority of Egypt (and all foreign) aid as being used for "peace and security." Those with a functioning brain might wonder how Stinger missiles equate to peace and who is being secured: the people or the U.S. and Egyptian governments?
U.S foreign aid goes directly to other governments and their leaders, not to the proletariat. In Egypt's case, which is not an exception, Mubarak has used the cash pilfered from U.S. citizens to fund his dictatorship and build a police state and intelligence apparatus that is most likely the envy or admiration of our domestic tyrants. It may seem outrageous that our U.S. leaders would be jealous of the Egyptian state, but don't be naïve. Since the U.S. can't yet convince Boobus Americanus that torture is okay even when the U.S. does it (though that reality is not far off and by any legitimate definition, "we" already torture), the U.S government's favorite country to render "war of terror" suspects to be interrogated is Egypt where it is no secret that torture is used routinely. As long as the CIA can use Egypt's secret prisons, the money keeps flowing. Mubarak's regime has honed its evil skills first on political opponents, dissidents and anyone deemed an enemy of the state. The Egyptian State Security Investigations Department (SSI), headed by Omar Suleiman, the former national intelligence director and newly appointed Vice President of Egypt, has even gone so far as to humiliate, beat, whip and cut with razors women related to the accused. When the police bus comes to pick up an Egyptian, it probably doesn't cross their mind immediately that the vehicle was probably bought with money from the United States Agency for International Development, and had been intended for school children and not for transporting citizens to torture prisons.
Before the internet, the Egyptian government could easily control the information the public could receive. Egypt even has a Ministry of Information, which controls the content of state-owned media broadcasts. Journalist have been arrested and jailed for criticizing Mubarak. The free flow of information on the internet is a direct threat to dictators and tyrannical governments across the globe. As such, the heavily US-subsidized Egyptian government in support of the U.S. "war of terror" has purchased real-time, mass telecommunication and internet surveillance technology from U.S-based and now Boeing owned Narus (which ironically was founded by former Israeli security experts), through the state-owned Telecom Egypt. Of course, this technology is only to be used for monitoring terrorists and keeping the people safe. Right…and there's a bridge in Brooklyn for sale too. This technology has allowed the Egyptian government to track internet traffic, e-mails, Twitter feeds and effectively shut down Egypt's entire internet with the push of a button, as evidenced by the phone and internet blackout during the recent upheaval. Iran has used similar technology to round up and "disappear" cyber dissidents and should Mubarak remain in power would most likely follow a similar trajectory. Again, the U.S. government is probably jealous of its Egyptian proxy as a Sen. Joe Liberman and Susan Collins have introduced legislation that would give the President an internet "kill switch" in times of "national security crises."
Should things continue to deteriorate from Mubarak's perspective and the Egyptian people succeed in ousting the dictator, people should know that Mubarak will be quickly flown to a safe haven in his fleet of nine Gulfstream jets, which have been purchased and maintained by the Pentagon costing U.S. citizens ~$111 million. Perhaps Mubarak will pull a "Ben Ali" and fly off with tons of Egyptian gold like Tunisia’s deposed leader. If only protestors being crushed by Egyptian police armored personnel carriers bought with U.S. dollars were so lucky.
The U.S. has long bought, bribed and bullied governments in the Middle East. As long as they are lackeys for the U.S. Empire, the tyrants can continue their murderous regimes with U.S. consent and support. Barack Obama is not the first or last president to funnel billions of confiscated wealth to dictators across the globe and turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. Despots are much more likely to stay in power when they can buy the best guns and technology the world has to offer. And as history has shown, the citizens of U.S. puppet regimes are acutely aware from which their plight is funded and will continue exact retribution against the U.S. and its people. The only logical, moral, constitutional and fiscally prudent thing to do (remember, the U.S. is ~$14 trillion in debt) is to end all forms of foreign aid to all countries. For the sake of American, Egyptian and all of the world's citizens eliminate U.S. foreign aid!
Eli Cryderman [send him mail] is a full-time husband, father, entrepreneur and chemist and a part-time blogger. He is inspired by Nock, encouraged by North and repulsed by the 21st century state. He enjoys spending time with his beautiful family, continually learning and following the teachings of Jesus Christ.