We've all heard the political strategies that inform Obama's decision not to disown Egypt dictator Mubarak in the face of massive protests by the Egyptian people. We know that Egypt gets the most U.S. dough to back up its undemocratic regime, second only to Israel, who has not disowned Mubarak, either. Two billion dollars each year. Yesterday on Democracy Now!'s video news, we learned where that money goes: back to U.S. corporations.
1.3 of the 2 billion dollars given to Egypt are for security, mainly used in two ways: to buy U.S. weapons and to send U.S. technicians to keep them running. So that aid given to Egypt is a kind of money laundering, where U.S. corporations such as Boing, Lockheed-Martin, and GE end up with the dollars given to Egypt. Naturally, these corporations, like Obama, would like to see this system continue in countries like Israel, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. Perhaps that's why Obama's new Economic Advisory Board head is Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE.
UPDATE: On Feb. 1 Sen. Kerry posted an op-ed in the NYT suggesting that Mubarak not run in Egypt's Fall election, that more U.S. Aid be spent on the people and less on the military, and that the Obama administratio take that position. After the "million" citizens protest, Mubarak said he will not run again, but will remain in office until then, and Obama said he had suggested to Mubarak that he step down in an orderly transition.
UPDATE: All this week the Obama administration has been trying to catch up to the rapidly changing events in Egypt. By Thursday evening, Feb. 3, it's position is that Mubarak leave "now" and let his right hand man, the new VP, run the election. Meanwhile, as the VP apologizes for the violence against the protesters, the violence continues and journalists are being beaten, arrested, detained, disappeared, and harassed by paid thugs and Mubarak police in plainclothes, thought by many to be a sign of greater violence to come.