Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 9, 2013/ 2 Menachem-Av, 5773

The Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric by Glenn Kessler: George W. Bush returns as a uniter

By Glenn Kessler




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | “The way we make decisions about assistance to Egypt is based on: Are they in fact following rule of law and democratic procedures?  And we don’t make those decisions just by counting the number of heads in a protest march, but we do make decisions based on whether or not a government is listening to the opposition, maintaining a free press, maintaining freedom of assembly, not using violence or intimidation, conducting fair and free elections.”

— President Obama, remarks at a news conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013

We became interested in these remarks after reading an article in The Daily Beast that argued that the president’s statements offered a “revisionist history” of how the administration has handled human rights in Egypt.

During the Arab Spring in 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton earned Two Pinocchios for claiming that the administration had promoted civil society in Egypt when in fact funds had been cut for civil society groups not registered with the Egyptian government, as part of an effort to curry favor with the regime then headed by Hosni Mubarak.

A generous interpretation of Obama’s statement would be that this was intended as a shot across the bow — a signal to both now-ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the military that the United States would be watching closely and apply the standards outlined by Obama accordingly. As we said, that would be a generous, forward-leaning understanding. What if we look in the rearview mirror? How would Obama’s remarks hold up to scrutiny?

 

The Facts

Using the State Department’s handy foreign assistance dashboard, we see that U.S. assistance to Egypt amounts to about $1.5 billion a year. Almost all of that — $1.3 billion — is aid to the Egyptian military — which many would say just organized a coup against an elected, if deeply flawed, leader. Very little U.S. aid actually goes to democracy promotion. 

The military aid has been a core part of U.S. assistance ever since the signing of the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt in 1979. (Update: the accords were signed in 1978; the peace treaty was signed in 1979.) All told, the United States has provided nearly $72 billion in aid to Egypt between 1948 and 2011, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service. Some $42 billion has gone to the military.

Since 2006, Congress has sought to condition military aid to Egypt depending on its progress on democracy and human rights, but included a waiver that an administration can use for national security reasons. Then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice executed the waiver during the Mubarak years, even though the Bush administration had a robust human-rights agenda.

Both Clinton and John F. Kerry, the current secretary of state, have also signed similar waivers, even though Congress demanded that the secretary of state certify that Egypt was maintaining the peace treaty with Israel and “supporting the transition to civilian government including holding free and fair elections; implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law.”

Kerry’s waiver, signed in May, was done so quietly it was not even announced. Human rights groups have denounced the waivers as undermining support for democracy in Egypt.



In other words, Congress handed possible leverage to the administration, and the Obama administration has declined to use it.

Earlier this year, Kerry also announced the first installment of a $1 billion pledge Obama had made in May 2011 to support Egyptian democracy. Kerry said the United States would provide $190 million to stabilize Egypt’s budget and also create a $60 million fund to support small business. That announcement released some funds that had been frozen by members of Congress concerned over the direction of Morsi’s government; about $260 million remains on hold.

The administration has had an ambivalent relationship with the Morsi government, and one could argue that the White House has dragged its feet in terms of providing promised aid to the Egyptian government. For instance, $550 million in debt relief has been publicly pledged, but the Obama administration has not yet officially notified Congress. The State Department’s annual human rights report on Egypt, meanwhile, describes in detail the country’s difficult transition to democracy.

But at the same time, the Morsi government did not have to pay any apparent public price for its anti-democratic actions, including the prosecution and conviction of 43 nonprofit workers, including 16 Americans.

Another telling detail: Morsi launched more prosecutions against reporters and authors for the crime of “insulting the president” than Mubarak, Anwar Sadat, Gamal Abdel Nasser and previous rulers put together, according to a human rights organization. Morsi had ordered 24 cases, compared to a total of 14 in the previous 115 years.

Yet, in Tanzania, Obama said “decisions [on aid are] based on whether or not a government is listening to the opposition [and] maintaining a free press.”

The administration — and Congress — will now face another difficult decision. Under the law, U.S. aid (except for humanitarian assistance and help for elections) is cut off whenever “the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’etat or decree or ... a coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.”

 The law does not give the administration specific waiver authority from this provision and further says aid can only be resumed once the president certifies a democratically elected government has taken office. (Update: Section 614 of the Foreign Assistance Act does allow a waiver from other provisions, but limits total aid to a country in a year at $50 million.)

Of course, there may be ways around this language, but it likely will be difficult given how the administration has cut or limited aid to Mali and Honduras after coups in those countries. Obama announced late Wednesday that he had “directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.”

 

The Pinocchio Test

Policy toward the Morsi government may have been a difficult balancing act, but the Obama administration has clearly failed to live up to the criteria outlined by the president, except in a limited, possibly foot-dragging, manner.

Congress handed the administration tools to signal its displeasure about lack of progress on democracy through cuts in aid. But whenever a choice needed to be made, the administration decided to set human rights considerations to the side.

Three Pinocchios

 

 

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on Glenn Kessler's column by clicking here. >

An award-winning journalism career spanning nearly three decades, Glenn Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post's chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three different Secretaries of State. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper's national business editor. Kessler has long specialized in digging beyond the conventional wisdom, such as when he earned a "laurel" from the Columbia Journalism Review



Previously:

06/11/13: Obama's claim of 500,000 manufacturing jobs, month after month

05/15/13: Prez's claim he called Benghazi an 'act of terrorism'

02/21/13: Obama and early childhood education: a rhetorical leap of faith

02/14/13: Fact checking the 2013 State of the Union speech

10/23/11: Fact Checking the Final Debate

07/10/11: Obama's misleading tweet on Romney's taxes

02/21/11: The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

12/29/11: Ron Paul and Ronald Reagan (Fact Checker biography)

12/08/11: Romney versus Gingrich: a Super PAC's over-the-top ad

12/08/11: Obama's Kansas speech: some suspect facts

11/18/11: The Obama campaign's spin on the Romney tax plan

09/27/11: Obama' strained symbolism at an Ohio River bridge

08/25/11: Obama's claim that GOP is holding up trade deals

08/11/11: Obama's claim that the debt problem can ‘go away’

06/22/11: AARP's misleading ad about balancing the budget

05/24/11: A rare Geppetto for Paul Ryan's assertion on Obama's hidden top marginal tax rate

05/16/11:Obama administration boasting about border security

05/11/11: Kathleen Sebelius's outrageous claim that cancer patients would 'die sooner' under the GOP Medicare plan

05/09/11: A gusher of oil rhetoric

05/04/11: The Obama administration's odd claims on export growth

04/28/11: How effective are sanctions in ‘changing behavior’?

04/14/11: ‘Biggest cuts in U.S. history’? Well, no.

04/08/11: Nancy Pelosi's absurd math on senior citizens losing their meals

04/06/11: Hillary Clinton's uncredible statement on Syria

03/25/11: Libya, Obama and the tragedy in Darfur

03/22/11: Gifts of bogus statistics for the health-care law's birthday

03/21/11: Mitch McConnell's not-so-happy birthday greetings for the health care law

03/10/11: A job-loss statistic produced out of thin air

03/10/17: A budget analogy that earns a Geppetto checkmark

03/10/11: Four pinocchios for the American public on the budget

03/09/11: Obama and the White House's ‘halfway’ fixation with the budget

03/08/11: Foreign policy braggadocio on Libya and AIDS

03/07/11: Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget ‘cuts’

03/01/11: Mike Huckabee is on to something here, but jumped the gun

02/25/11: Harry Reid's illusory $41 billion in budget cuts


© 2012, Washington Post

Quantcast