Foreign Aid to Arab and Muslim countries
While America's standing in the Middle East couldn't get much lower, you wouldn't know it looking at the U.S. foreign aid budget. Of proposed U.S. assistance for 2012, almost two-thirds is earmarked for Muslim nations and one-third goes to Arab countries.
Yet, despite those billions in aid, opinion polls show most Arab citizens still have an unfavorable view of America and most Muslim nations routinely vote against U.S. interests in the United Nations.
Years ago, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton proposed cutting off all aid to the 30 nations who consistently voted against the U.S. in the UN. Before him, President Reagan's U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick proposed cutting off $1 million in aid for each vote an aid recipient cast against the U.S. in the U.N. In both cases, Bolton says the State Department overruled them.
"Foreign aid to a lot of countries could be readily cut and I think it's been a mistake by the U.S. government for decades not to take U.N. voting into account," Bolton said Monday.
This document, released by the State Department, examines 13 critical votes in the UN in 2010.
Compare that to this list of US aid recipients for 2012 and this poll released last week by the Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project.
The result: some of the largest recipients of U.S. taxpayer money over the last 6 budget years consistently vote against the U.S. and harbor negative or unfavorable views of America.
Some other Muslim countries show almost no friendship or allegiance to the U.S. but continue to see the State Department shower them with money.
Algeria has received $60 million and votes with the U.S. just 16% of the time. Oman $74 million, 18% voting coincidence. Whereas the Palestinian Territories received $3 billion dollars yet just 18% have a favorable view of the U.S.
In an analysis of the numbers, of the President's 2012 foreign assistance request of $34.5 billion, 60% or $20.1 billion goes to Muslim nations, or those where a majority practice Islam. About 33% or the total budget, or $11.6 billion is awarded to Arab countries.
And while many Americans think most U.S. foreign aid goes to "humanitarian assistance" or food and medicine for the poor, an analysis shows 80% of our aid to Arab countries pays for police and the military. And despite the President's speech last week calling for closer ties with Middle Eastern nations and fostering free market, democratic principles, just 5% of our aid to the region is dedicated to 'economic development'.
My solution? Cut off ALL FOREIGN aid. We need the money more than they do.