tagged w/ Foreign Aid
en. John McCain.says foreign aid is not redistribution of wealth by the government
http://youtu.be/vS3Kg1UVEJsen. John McCain.says foreign aid is not redistribution of wealth by the government... more
Sen. Rand Paul appears on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss Europe's austerity revolt.
http://youtu.be/8g91E3aqS70Sen. Rand Paul appears on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss... more
Sen. Rand Paul on The Willis Report on Fox Business – 2/15/12 Talking about his bill to PUNISH EgyptSen. Rand Paul on The Willis Report on Fox Business – 2/15/12
State Department urges government to 'resolve this immediately' as US-Egyptian relations threaten to sink to new low
Relations between Egypt's military rulers and the United States threatened to hit a new low after Egyptian security forces launched unprecedented armed raids on a series of high profile human rights and pro-democracy organisations.
The raids included targeting the US-government funded National Democratic Institute – founded by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright – and the International Republican Institute, whose chairman is Republican senator John McCain. Both organisations are affiliated with the two major US political parties.
The orchestrated move by Egypt's generals, apparently keen to play up to anti-US and nationalist feelings in the country, will be seen as highly provocative in Washington, which underwrites military aid to Egypt to the sum of $1.3bn (£843m) annually.
"We are deeply concerned," a State Department official told the Guardian.
The raids prompted a stern response from the organisations targeted. The IRI immediately condemned the raids, claiming they were worse than took place under Egypt's former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
"IRI is dismayed and disappointed by these actions. IRI has been working with Egyptians since 2005; it is ironic that even during the Mubarak era IRI was not subjected to such aggressive action," the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, NDI president Kenneth Wollack urged Egyptian authorities to allow the centre to reopen and to return any confiscated property. "Cracking down on organisations whose sole purpose is to support the democratic process during Egypt's historic transition sends a disturbing signal," Wollack said.
Security forces also raided the offices of Washington-based Freedom House.
During the raids riot police confined staff to their offices and forbade them from making phone calls. Seventeen Egyptian and international groups were targeted as part of a widespread investigation into foreign funding of Egyptian civic society groups.
The State Department official said US authorities had been in touch with senior Egyptian figures at "high levels" and that ambassador Anne Patterson had been in contact with the prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri.
"We call on the Egyptian government to resolve this issue immediately and to end harassment of NGO staff as well as return all property," the official said.
In recent months, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has accused local non-governmental organisations of receiving money from abroad, and has argued that the recent unrest in the country is by "foreign hands".
Hana el-Hattab, an NDI staffer trapped inside her office, tweeted: "We're literally locked in. I really have no idea why they are holding us inside and confiscating our personal laptops." In other tweets she wrote: "I was on the balcony, dude with machine gun came up and told us to go in and locked it … we asked if they had a search warrant, they said the person who issues warrants is in building & doesn't need to issue one for himself. They're even taking history books from people's bags."
The National Democratic Institute is supported in its work by the US State Department, USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy.
Heba Morayef, who works with Human Rights Watch in Egypt, said she had received a message from an NDI staffer confirming they had been confined inside their offices by riot police. Images posted on Twitter showed armed police in body armour stationed outside.
The Egyptian news agency Mena said the 17 "civil society organisations" had been targeted as part of an investigation into foreign funding of such groups.
"The public prosecutor has searched 17 civil society organisations, local and foreign, as part of the foreign funding case," Mena cited the prosecutor's office as saying. "The search is based on evidence showing violation of Egyptian laws including not having permits."
Security forces, both uniformed and plain-clothes, forced their way into the offices, where employees were informed that they were under investigation by the public prosecutor. According to witnesses, laptops and other documents were also seized during the raids.
The raids follow a far-reaching investigation into the foreign funding of human rights and civic advocacy groups launched under the aegis of the country's ruling generals earlier this year.
Ironically, the law being used to pursue the groups is one from the era of Mubarak, which the government had said it intended to repeal.
During the Mubarak era, groups such as NDI and IRI and others had existed in a grey area, unable to obtain permission to operate in full legal compliance.
Other groups reportedly raided, according to activists, include the Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung, which supports political dialogue, Freedom House, and the Egyptian Public Budget Observatory.
Morayef condemned the raids, and the investigation that led to them, as "entirely inappropriate", adding: "This is part of a wider crackdown on civil society groups in Egypt using Mubarak-era laws. They are using these pre-revolution laws as a broadbrush investigation that could result in wholesale shutting down of human rights and other groups that have been at the forefront of criticism of the army.
"This is very selective and really, really serious. It has huge potential implications for human rights in Egypt."
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies said: "The NDI, IRI and Freedom House have been previously investigated by the ministry of justice on charges of receiving foreign funding, while the Arab Centre for the Independence of Justice and Legal Professions has not been yet investigated."
The army has pledged to step aside by mid-2012. "In Mubarak's time the government never dared to do such a thing," said prominent human rights activists Negad el-Bourai on his Twitter account.
Political experts said the groups raided on Thursday have taken a neutral political stance, focusing on fostering democracy in Egypt by training members of nascent parties. "The National Democratic Institute has been training new parties … in how to participate in elections," a leading member of a liberal party said on condition of anonymity. This has been with the full knowledge of authorities and was not clandestine."
The NDI and IRI say they take a neutral political stance, fostering democracy in Egypt by training members of nascent parties in democratic processes.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/29/us-egyptian-forces-raid-cairoState Department urges government to 'resolve this immediately' as... more
REPORTING FROM CAIRO -- Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of 17 nongovernmental organizations, including three U.S.-based agencies, as part of a crackdown on foreign assistance that has drawn criticism from the West and threatened human rights and pro-democracy movements.
The raids appeared to be part of a strategy to intimidate international organizations. The country’s ruling military council has repeatedly blamed “foreign hands” for exploiting Egypt’s political and economic turmoil.
Human rights groups say the military is using the ruse of foreign intervention to stoke nationalism and deflect criticism away from its shortcomings and abuses.
Egyptian soldiers and police forces raided offices and seized computers and files across the country. Those targeted included the U.S. groups: National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and Freedom House, which are funded by Congress to monitor elections and promote democracy overseas.
"The public prosecutor has searched 17 civil society organizations, local and foreign, as part of the foreign funding case," the official news agency MENA quoted a prosecutor's office as saying. "The search is based on evidence showing violations of Egyptian laws including not having permits."
The Reuters news agency quoted one person working in an office at the National Democratic Institute as saying: "Security forces who said they were from the public prosecutor are raiding our offices as we speak. They are grabbing all the papers and laptops as well."
[Updated 9:55 a.m., Dec. 29: Freedom House condemned the raids as a sign that Egypt’s government has become only more repressive since last winter's revolution overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak.
The raids were part of “an intensive campaign by the Egyptian government to dismantle civil society through a politically motivated legal campaign aimed at preventing ‘illegal foreign funding’ of civil society operations in Egypt," said Freedom House President David J. Kramer, who was a senior State Department official during the George W. Bush administration.
"It is the clearest indication yet that the [ruling] Supreme Council of the Armed Forces … has no intention of permitting the establishment of genuine democracy and is attempting to scapegoat civil society for its own abysmal failure to manage Egypt’s transition effectively,” he said.
The raid came three days after the organization filed papers to officially register, as required under Egyptian law. On Thursday, the group called for the U.S. government to reconsider the $1.3 billion in aid it provides each year to the Egyptian armed forces -- 20% of the military’s total budget.]
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has been increasingly agitated by pro-democracy activists and protesters. Clashes last week between demonstrators and soldiers ended in the deaths of at least 15 people.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/12/egyptian-authorities-raid-offices-of-ngos-including-us-based-groups.htmlREPORTING FROM CAIRO -- Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of 17... more
"We intend to remind the world how the children of Palestine are terrorized and murdered by Israeli air power on a regular basis. We intend to tell the story of how the people of Gaza suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder from the horrific bombardment of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
We demand that the good people of the world acknowledge that Israeli planes simply flying over Palestine is an intentional source of panic and fear, of state sponsored terrorism, for countless people in Gaza, especially the children. There are kids in Gaza that wet themselves at night for fear of being bombed again when they hear Israeli aircraft overhead. And this is a nearly daily occurrence. There are children here that have seen loved ones crushed, bleeding, burned and dying, some hit with White Phosphorus, as a result of Israeli bombings."
Ken O'Keefe is a former U.S. Marine who served in the 1991 Gulf War and subsequently spoke out about the use of depleted uranium as a "crime against humanity" and the US military using soldiers as "human guinea pigs" with experimental drugs that were directly linked to Gulf War syndrome. He is also a social entrepreneur utilizing direct action marine conservation, he is more widely known for leading the human shield action to Iraq and as a survivor of the Israeli attack on the MV Mavi Marmara in which he participated in "defending the ship" and "disarming two Israeli Commandos". On January 7, 2004, O'Keefe burned his US passport in protest of "American Imperialism" and called for US troops to immediately withdrawal from Iraq. He replaced his US passport with a "World Passport", subsequently proclaiming himself a "Citizen of the World" with “ultimate allegiance to my entire human family and to planet Earth." Ken is also legal citizen of Ireland and Palestine citizenship."We intend to remind the world how the children of Palestine are terrorized and... more
WHEN you argue for humanitarian military intervention, my colleague rightly says, you should be able to show how your military intervention serves humanitarian goals. In the case of the decision to intervene in Libya, though, I think this low bar is pretty easy to clear. When you have a column of armoured forces loyal to a ruthless dictator advancing on a city full of weakly-armed rebels (initially non-violent protestors who took up arms in self-defence) upon whom he has openly promised to wreak bloody vengeance, you pretty much have the paradigmatic case for military intervention. We know how that picture ends; in Srebrenica in 1992 it ended with the bodies of 7,000 able-bodied males in unmarked graves, in Hama in 1982 it ended with 20,000 civilian dead in flattened apartment blocks, in Basra in 1991 it ended in mass graves and in the dungeons of Abu Ghraib, and so forth. It's true, as my colleague says, that people are clumsy with counterfactual scenarios, and have a patriotic wish to see their state as a force for good. But I don't think that these are the main reasons why we think things would have been worse if we hadn't intervened in Libya. At least for that initial intervention, I think you'd have to make some heroically naive assumptions to believe that things wouldn't have been worse once Mr Qaddafi retook Benghazi.
My colleague's chief concern, however, is why we seem to be so often faced with calls for military humanitarian interventions, rather than peaceful ones.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/foreign_aidWHEN you argue for humanitarian military intervention, my colleague rightly says, you... more
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday afternoon dominates all news channels, nearly all of the time. With several correspondents in the various affected regions, CNN International has been exemplary in its reporting of the tragedy and subsequent events.
The death toll as of March 13, 2011 has reached approximately 3,000 with thousands more missing; every city which has been devastated reveals scenes that seem surreal. This has been called the absolutely worst disaster Japan has seen, and the future is menacing. Science experts are fearing the worst, and that is that one of the Fukushima nuclear reactors will blow and release deadly radiation into the atmosphere. As a precaution, the Japanese government has been distributing iodine pills to those that may have been exposed to trace amounts of radiation.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: More Images from Japan's aftermath of tsunami/earthquake - National Foreign Policy | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/foreign-policy-in-national/more-images-from-japan-s-aftermath-of-tsunami-earthquake#ixzz1GY1wzecjThe 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday afternoon... more
How Foreign Aid Creates Instability and Isolates America
Texas Straight Talk | February 07, 2011
by Ron Paul
The events in Egypt of late have captured the attention of the world as many thousands of Egyptians take to the streets both in opposition to and favor of the current regime. We watch from a distance hoping that events do not spiral further into violence which will destroy lives and threaten the livelihoods of average Egyptians caught up in the political turmoil. I hope that Egyptians are able to work toward a more free and just society. Unfortunately, much of the blame for the unrest in Egypt and the resulting instability in the region rests with U.S. foreign policy over the past several decades. The U.S. government has sent more than $60 billion to the Egyptian regime since the Camp David accords in 1978 to purchase stability, including more security for the state of Israel.
We see now the folly of our interventionist foreign policy. Not only has that stability fallen to pieces, with the current unrest, but the years of propping up the corrupt regime in Egypt has led the people to increase their resentment of both America and Israel. We are both worse off for the decades of the intervention in Egypt's internal affairs. I wish I could say that we have learned our lesson and will no longer attempt to purchase or rent friends in the Middle East, but I am afraid that is being too optimistic. Already we see evidence that while the U.S. historically propped up the Egyptian regime, we also provided assistance to groups opposed to the regime. So we have lost the credibility to claim today that we support the self-determination of the Egyptian people. Our double dealing has not endeared us to the Egyptians who now seek to reclaim their independence and national dignity.
Diplomacy via foreign aid transfer payments only makes us less safe at home and less trusted overseas, but the overriding reality is that we simply cannot afford to continue a policy of buying friends. We face an ongoing and potentially deepening recession at home, so how can we justify to the underemployed and unemployed in the United States the incredible cost of maintaining a global empire? Moral arguments aside, we must stop sending hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign governments when our own economy is in shambles.
American media and talking heads repeatedly pose the same loaded questions. Should the administration encourage the Egyptian president to remain or to resign? Should the U.S. ensure Mohamed ElBaradei or current Vice President Omar Suleiman succeed current president Mubarak? The best answer to these questions is that we should just do nothing, as Eisenhower did in 1956. We should leave Egypt for Egyptians to figure out.
Some may claim that this is isolationism. Nothing could be further from the truth. We should enthusiastically engage in trade, allow travel between countries, but we should stay out of their internal affairs. We are in fact more isolated from Egypt now than ever because the regime we propped up appears to be falling. We have isolated ourselves from the Egyptian people by propping up their government as we isolate ourselves from the Tunisians, Israelis, and other recipients of foreign aid. Their resentment of our interventionist foreign policy makes us less safe because we lose our authority to conduct meaningful diplomacy when unpopular regimes fall overseas. We also radicalize those who resented our support for past regimes.
Let us hope for a more prosperous and peaceful era for the Egyptians and let us learn the lessons of our 30 year Egyptian mistake.
http://dailypaul.com/156269/ron-paul-how-foreign-aid-creates-instability-and-isolates-americaHow Foreign Aid Creates Instability and Isolates America Texas Straight Talk |... more
Ron Paul joined Neil Cavuto on FOX News to discuss the ongoing crisis in Egypt, the problem of foreign aid, and the consequences of choosing sides on an international stage.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKhoSh9ijpM&feature=player_embeddedRon Paul joined Neil Cavuto on FOX News to discuss the ongoing crisis in Egypt, the... more
The fires in Mt. Carmel have been raging now for almost two days. There is no consensus as yet to what caused the flames, but there are some hypotheses which include an illegal dumping site in the area which is inhabited by Druze, and the possibility of Molotov cocktails which may have been used to create secondary fires.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Israel's international allies for help as Israeli fire fighters were overwhelmed and unable to handle and/or control the flames. Israeli firefighters, policemen and rescue teams were still fighting the deadliest fire in the history of the country, which resulted in 41 deaths and several injuries, after having received unprecedented international air power.The fires in Mt. Carmel have been raging now for almost two days. There is no... more
As individuals, Americans are generous, often donating in response to crises abroad even while struggling to make ends meet at home. We tend to assume that our government's foreign aid is similarly altruistic. But is it?
October 16 is World Food Day, a good time to examine this assumption about U.S. food aid and begin to press for some much-needed improvements.
Meet Khalida Mahmoud, a 29-year-old woman whose farming family was driven into worsening poverty, after U.S. food aid poured into her home region of eastern Sudan. That's not how food aid is supposed to work, but just look at the policy: your tax dollars are used to buy grain from U.S. factory farms, the same giant corporations that already receive $26 billion in tax subsidies. Then the grain is transported halfway around the world, using thousands of gallons of fossil fuel and releasing tons of harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The transport typically takes months while hungry people grow more desperate.
Once the food finally arrives, it floods agricultural markets, destabilizing fragile local economies. Small farmers are the first to go bankrupt. Most of them are women like Khalida, who work small plots of land hoping to sell enough at market to buy cooking oil, flour, a bar of soap and a pair of shoes so a child can stay in school.
These women are more than the backbones of their families: they grow most of Africa's food. Unlike giant grain corporations, these women farm without fossil fuels and harmful chemicals. Their sustainable agriculture practices are critical to meeting the twin challenges of feeding people and protecting the planet. Khalida and millions of other small-scale women farmers are the people we want to support with our food aid programs. Instead, the policy undermines the livelihoods of those who hold the key to long-term food security in Africa.
Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution: the U.S. should buy food aid crops directly from local farmers in Africa. When the U.N. World Food Program did this, they were able to obtain 75 percent more corn to feed hungry families than when they purchased grain from factory farms in the U.S. Buying specifically from women farmers has an enormous added benefit. Studies consistently show that when poor women gain access to money, they use it to provide food, healthcare and education for their children.
Cont.As individuals, Americans are generous, often donating in response to crises abroad... more
This year’s Oscar nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and downright dishonesty. The dominant theme is as old as Hollywood: America’s divine right to invade other societies, steal their history and occupy our memory. When will directors and writers behave like artists and not pimps for a world view devoted to control and destruction?This year’s Oscar nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and... more
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon arrived in Haiti on Sunday to assess the damage. He was taken to the UN Headquarters in Port-au Prince where it was confirmed that Haiti's UN chief Hedi Annabi had died in the building's collapse. Ban Ki Moon He estimated that Haiti's earthquake was 'one of the most serious humanitarian crises in decades'.
US Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton cut short her trip to Asia so that she could go to Haiti on Saturday to show the country's commitment and solidarity at a time when Haiti has suffered a catastrophic disaster. She arrived in a military plane carrying bottled water, food, soap and other supplies. By Monday, it is expected that over 100,000 Americans troops will be in Haiti to lend assistance. Fifty Americans will go back to the U.S. with Mrs. Clinton.
Since Saturday, there has been a continual shuttle of helicopters between the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and Port-au-Prince to bring food and relief to survivors of the earthquake that struck the island. NGO Doctors Without Borders indicated that they had never witnessed so many injuries, and of such severity.~y2010m1d17-In-Haiti-survivors-are-angry-as-they-wait-chaos-is-setting-in-and-so-is-vio... more
"I am here just to be a voice,” Kidman said. “I rely on the people I've met to make the case."
Nicole Kidman blasted Congress with horror stories of rape, trafficking, and child marriage. She came to D.C. to lift the veil on international violence against women—but during an economic crisis, will foreign aid for women be cut?"I am here just to be a voice,” Kidman said. “I rely on the people... more
Many see aid as a cure for underdevelopment. Not so, says William Easterly, co-director of New York University's Development Research Institute. Easterly doesn't believe aid is useless - after all, he says, it has helped saved lives, particularly of children in the developing world.Many see aid as a cure for underdevelopment. Not so, says William Easterly,... more
The U.S. foreign aid framework was crafted in the early '60s. Now it desperately needs a major revamp, says Ritu Sharma, co-founder and president of Women Thrive Worldwide. She says institutions and the legal mandate for foreign assistance must evolve.The U.S. foreign aid framework was crafted in the early '60s. Now it desperately... more
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney returned home today after 6 days being held by the government of Israel while attempting with 21 colleagues to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza on the vessel, the Spirit of Humanity.
“Don’t sign Miss Cynthia don’t sign!” So chanted a boisterous group of Palestinian teens and pre-teens in Beirut’s Shatila Refugee Camp demonstrating support for the Freegaza Humanity boat abductees on the 4th of July.
The students understood that those illegally arrested while in International waters had been offered a “get out of Jail Free” pass if they confessed in writing to violating Israel’s territorial waters.
The Spirit of Humanity boat, trying to bring emergency humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, was the topic of a lively discussion during a Sabra Shatila Foundation summer school civics lesson on “International law and the Question of Palestine”. The students were interested in the plight of some of their relatives and countryman in Palestine and the continuing siege of Gaza. Some had just finished their Baccalaureate exams and were wondering how they could continue their education given the severe impediments the government of Lebanon places on Palestinian civil rights, and their post exam relief seemed to energize them for the discussion.
A couple of the students had met Cynthia during her recent visits to Lebanon. When they learned that as a Congresswoman, she had introduced articles of impeachment against Bush, was a consistent anti-war voter during her twelve years in Congress, and that no member in Congress had achieved a more consistent, principled, voting record of issues of civil and human rights, including Palestinian rights, they really connected with the subject of the Freegaza aid boat, the Spirit of Humanity and her travails. “Those supporters of Palestine should not accept a false confession and should stay in Jail if necessary. They are patriots” was a commonly expressed sentiment.
The students understood that in refusing to sign the Israeli government prepared “acknowledgement/confession” the Freegaza group acted consistent with International Law. They learned that territorial waters, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is a belt of coastal waters extending at most twelve nautical miles from the baseline (usually the mean low-water mark) of a coastal state. The territorial sea is regarded as the sovereign territory of the state, although foreign ships (both military and civilian) are allowed innocent passage through it. They learned from media reports that in any case the Humanity was in International waters and that consequently Israel had no right to molest it.
The class adjourned sharing a general consensus that the Spirit of Humanity, enjoyed and will continue to enjoy on every subsequent humanitarian voyage, these freedoms as well as other internationally lawful uses of the sea within contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, and on the high seas. Needless to report, were it possible for them, the whole class would like to be on the next Freegaza boat.Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney returned home today after 6 days being held by... more
A great win for women's health and rights around the globe. President Obama's repeal of the Mexico City Policy, known as the global gag rule, as released the chokehold on aid from our country to doctors and nurses all over the world.
From the article, "Under President Bush, the global gag rule forced the closing of hundreds of health clinics worldwide -- clinics that provided critical services other than safe abortion such as mammograms, family planning and HIV testing -- due to loss of funding, and took away the freedom of providers to be honest and open with women about their health options. The impact on women's health and lives has been so far-reaching that we will probably never know the true extent of the harm."
Ours is not the duty to limit freedom, but to protect it.A great win for women's health and rights around the globe. President... more