Giving Your Money to Evil, Saddam-style Dictators

I’ve been increasingly angry lately (nothing new) about how the Republicans want to slash aid to poor and disabled Americans because “we can’t afford it” but have no qualms whatsoever about funneling BILLIONS of our money to the worst evil dictators imaginable.

Did you know we prop up the evil dictator in Ethiopia to the tune of $500 million a year? The New York Times did some stunning boots-on-the ground reporting last week on what the Ethiopian regime is doing to repress a rebellion in its Somali province–torturing women with pliers, etc.
Ethiopian-Americans are writing Congress and saying please stop funding this tyrant, Meles Zenawi (here is a YouTube video about this, it is awesome that dissidents are using the web to get the truth out). Expatriate dissident bloggers say the foreign aid only benefits Meles’ Cayman Island bankers. But Bush insists Ethiopia is an important ally in the “war on terra.”

Did you know we’re sending $120 million of taxpayer dollars to the government of Uzbekistan, that is universally regarded as one of the most corrupt, repressive regimes on Earth? To call these regimes EVIL is no exaggeration. Uzbekistan’s Saddam-style tyrant, Islom Karimov, is infamous for boiling dissidents alive, but we prop him up because he is “tough on terror.”

This is Uzbekistan dictator
Islom Karimov. He enjoys counting foreign aid money, long walks on the beach, and boiling opponents alive.

Bush has increased U.S. foreign aid by $5 billion, with the Democrats giving him standing ovations.
Don’t get me wrong, the Dems are not exempt from my ire. Clinton was just as bad about funding tyrannical regimes, and there are some liberals right now begging for more aid to authoritarian dystopias like Zimbabwe, and those people need to check themselves.

There seems to be a strange unanimity on both sides of the aisle that propping up “pro-American regimes” is “in U.S. interests,” no matter how brutally repressive their governments are. I would argue that letting one dime from the U.S. treasury assist despots who torture their own people is extremely damaging to American interests, and proves our rhetoric about “making the world safe for democracy” is crap.

Here’s what sparked my interest in this topic: on Bill Moyers Journal Friday, they had an incredible exposé about how DC lobbyists are perfectly willing to aid and abet evil dictatorships. Harper’s magazine investigative journalist, Ken Silverstein, posed as a representative of Turkmenistan, one of the most notorious Stalinist regimes ever, and talked to two major lobbying firms. These firms bent over backwards to get multi-million dollar contracts to do PR, damage control and lobbying for Turkmenistan. They said they work through fake front groups and set up phony events.

Watch and listen to this report

“Although there are distinct limits to what they can achieve, lobbyists are the crucial conduit through which pariah regimes advance their interests in Washington.” — Ken Silverstein

Advance their interests in Washington–i.e. legally bribe public officials to get huge aid packages of OUR MONEY for dictators.

Are American lobbying firms like the ones described in this story responsible for the millions in aid to these regimes? According to what Silverstein is reporting, yes.

We are a nation founded on the idea of destroying tyranny, not helping it.

Where the hell are the candidates running on a platform of “NO MONEY FOR TYRANTS!!” ???
I see no candidate stepping up to the plate.

This should make everyone FURIOUS!

And I don’t want to hear another word from politicians talking about “cost-cutting” and “unsustainable” social programs (Dems too) unless every single despotic scumbag is cut off the dole FIRST! Yes Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, this means you.

What happened to our own people mattering most? what happened to “America First?”
what about priorities?

Services and infrastructure for Americans is being cut to the bone, while we buy new palaces for dozens of new Saddams.