Notice something important about the hoopla regarding President’s Trump withholding of U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine while he was requesting Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for possible corruption: Nobody in Washington, D.C., or within the establishment press is questioning the concept of foreign aid itself. Foreign aid has become such an established and accepted way of inducing foreign regimes to comply with the dictates of U.S. officials that the thought of ending it entirely doesn’t even enter the minds of Republicans, Democrats, or member of the mainstream media.
But questioning foreign aid itself is precisely what the American people should be doing. Not only does foreign aid contribute to the out-of-control federal spending and debt that is hanging over the American people (with the debt now at $22.6 trillion and climbing), it also constitutes one of the most evil and immoral practices of the U.S. government.
Case in point: Egypt. Notwithstanding the fact that the country is governed by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world, the U.S. government delivers $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt’s military dictatorship every year.
Like the United States, Egypt’s government is based on the concept of a national-security state, which is a type of governmental system in which a vast and permanent military-intelligence establishment plays a major role in society. In Egypt, that role is much more pronounced and predominant than it is here in the United States. Here in the United States, the power and influence that the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA wield are indirect and often hidden. In Egypt the military-intelligence establishment wields direct control of the government and the economy.
To get a sense of how Egypt’s national-security state operates, think back to the national-security state system of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who U.S. national-security state officials helped install into power in 1973. Pinochet was an unelected military dictator who ruled Chile with an iron fist. His forces rounded up tens of thousands of people who were considered to be threats to “national security” and tortured, raped, or killed them.
Egypt’s military dictator, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who, like Pinochet, took power in a coup, holds a presidential election, but everyone knows that it is a sham. For all practical purposes, el-Sisi stands in the same position as Pinochet — as an unelected dictator.
Moreover, el-Sisi is every bit as brutal as Pinochet was. For example, in the past couple of weeks demonstrations have broken out in Egypt against the corruption within el-Sisi’s dictatorial regime. El-Sisi’s forces have immediately gone into action to ensure that things do not get out of hand. So far, they have arrested some 2,000 protestors. According to an article in Aljazeera,
In Cairo, security forces closed off entrances to Tahrir Square, the hub of the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak. There was a heavy police presence around the square and at some junctions in the city centre…. At Cairo’s Al-Fateh mosque, a starting point for protests in 2011, dozens of police, some in uniform and others in plain clothes with masks and large guns, stood near the exit as prayers finished. At least 20 security vehicles were stationed around the mosque or patrolling nearby. Security forces also stepped up their presence in main squares in major cities and plainclothes police have been checking motorists’ and pedestrians’ mobile phones for political content…. In a brief statement on Thursday, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior warned it would “confront any attempt to destabilise social peace in a firm and decisive way.”
Moreover, Egypt’s criminal-justice system mirrors that of the Pentagon and the CIA in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — indefinite detention, torture, denial of due process of law, denial of effective assistance of counsel, and denial of trial by jury.
There is also the economic aspect of Egypt’s national-security state. The economic system is based on the concept of socialist central planning, with the military-intelligence establishment doing the planning. Not surprisingly, this socialist system has brought economic impoverishment to Egyptian citizens, while enriching the regime’s military-intelligence personnel. Dismal economic conditions and corruption within the regime are partly what is motivating the protesters.
Guess who is enabling this tyranny and socialism. Yes, the U.S. government, with its $1.3 billion in annual delivery of military armaments, which, like all U.S. foreign aid, is nothing more than a bribe to ensure that el-Sisi remains loyal to the U.S. government. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, those military armaments provide Egypt’s tyrants with the ability to suppress or deter dissent within the country. They also provide a means by which the military-intelligence establishment is able to use domestic tax revenues to feather their own nests.
The U.S. government’s partnership with and support of Egypt’s regime should not surprise us. Since the U.S. government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II, U.S. officials have demonstrated an affinity for foreign national-security states. That’s why they installed Pinochet, a military general, into power. Twenty years before their Chilean regime-change operation, U.S. national-security state officials destroyed democratic systems in Iran and Guatemala and replaced them with national-security states and tyrants. Before the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. government partnered and allied with Saddam Hussein and his national-security state in Iraq. In the 2003 Iraq war, the U.S. government made certain that Iraq continued with a national-security state type of governmental system, albeit one with an elected pro-U.S. dictator. It did the same in Afghanistan after it invaded that country.
Just a few days ago, President Trump expressed the sentiment of America’s national-security state when he called el-Sisi a “great leader.” Trump, of course, has also expressed a love for the brutal, unelected communist dictator of North Korea’s national-security state.
Americans who are looking to Washington, D.C., to put America on the right track are looking in the wrong direction. The American people need to look inward, into themselves, into their consciences. That is the only way for people to recognize the moral and economic debauchery of foreign aid and, for that matter, the entire national-security state form of governmental structure. Once a critical mass of Americans comes to that realization, we will be on our way toward restoring sound moral, political, and economic principles to our land.
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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics.
Featured image is from World Socialist Web Site