The editors of Investors Business Daily pose a good question:
What are we to make of the U.S. suddenly finding $250 million to spare for Egypt during a supposedly devastating sequester? Has this administration miraculously parted a sea of red ink?
The editorial concludes:
The U.S. is giving $250 million to an Egyptian president who calls Jews “blood-suckers” who are “descendants of apes and pigs”; Morsi unequivocally supports the Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, because the two-state solution is “nothing but an illusion” and the Palestinian Authority “was created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests”; and he calls on fellow Muslims to “besiege the Zionists wherever they are.”
Nothing has exposed the truth about all the Chicken Little sequester rhetoric like these hundreds of millions in taxpayer cash so easily slapped down on the Mideast roulette table in the vain hope that we can buy Morsi’s friendship.
If President Obama believes he can perform miracles in Egypt with $250 million, then he can handle the mortal task of managing 2% in automatic spending cuts.
Michael Gordon explains where $190 million of the $250 million pledged by Kerry comes from in Gordon’s New York Times article: “President Obama pledged $1 billion to support Egypt’s democratic revolution. The $190 million in aid announced on Sunday is the first disbursement of that pledge” (and was already approved by Congress, according to Gordon).
The mysterious balance of $60 million is supposedly dedicated to the creation of a fund to support small businesses, which will provide “direct support to key engines of democratic change in Egypt, including Egypt’s entrepreneurs and its young people” (according to Kerry). Somehow, I doubt it, as well as the wisdom of the rest of the $1 billion pledged. In any event, there is no apparent thought given to conditioning the disbursement of funds on reforms that might constrain the blight of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there should be.