As if the US did not have its hands full with convincing the rest of the world it does not support corrupt dictatorial regimes, not to mention providing trillions in backstop capital to insolvent continents, it has once again decided to offer US taxpayer funds in an attempt to buy the love and admiration of a society in transition. According to AFP, "The United States gave Egypt $150 million in crucial economic assistance on Thursday to help the key US ally transition towards democracy following the overthrow of longtime president Hosni Mubarak." We are not sure if this falls under the definition of throwing good money after bad, especially since nobody knows where the "bad" money (according to some estimates up to $30 trillion of it) that had been collected by the Mubarak regime for three decades is. But it is refreshing that with tens of trillions in our own budget deficits, the US once again harbors an illusion that it is its, or rather its taxpayers', sworn duty to encourage the creation of "open societies" no matter just how insolvent this country itself is.
"I am pleased to announce today that we will be reprogramming $150 million for Egypt to put ourselves in a position to support the transition there and assist with their economic recovery," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
The chief US diplomat added that William Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, and David Lipton, a senior White House adviser on international economics, would travel to Egypt next week.
The pair will "consult with Egyptian counterparts on how we can most effectively deploy our assistance in line with their priorities," Clinton told reporters after a closed-door briefing with senators about Middle East unrest.
"We also discussed the lessons of the recent events in Egypt and the broader Middle East," she said.
And here is the pants-wearing Clinton confirming that nothing has been learned at all.
"These events demonstrate why the United States must remain fully engaged around the world," she said, before repeating her warning that planned Republican cuts in foreign aid would harm US national security.
Perhaps one should ask whether what is happening in North Africa is reminiscent of events in Eastern Europe in 1989. That set of revolutions was catalyzed by the fall of the old Soviet Regime. Is it time to ask whether the current roster of toppling and very US-friendly regimes in Africa and the middle east is nothing short of a harbinger that that last superpower, the US, is also on its last throes...