Give a mouse a cookie, give a man a fish
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Posted 6/16/09
The United States of America is often slandered as being a selfish, war mongering nation. Yet, ironically it is also the number one contributor to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank. On average America single handedly contributes about 20% of the total funding for all MDBs, and yet ironically these programs combined only account for about 8% of the United States total foreign aid expenditures. We're also the number one source of funding for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, The Offices of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), and Transition Initiatives (OTI). We're the largest contributor to food aid programs, humanitarian aid programs, global health programs, economic and political security/stabilizing programs, multilateral aid programs, military aid programs, and development programs. This isn't a minute lead, we're way ahead of the pack in all of these areas.



Also, recent statistics actually show that since the mid 1990s American foreign aid programs have been steadily growing, and yet so has anti-Americanism. This correlation certainly doesn’t suggest any form of causation, but it’s still a disturbing fact. This is especially true when you consider that, regionally speaking the Middle East has received the bulk of United States foreign aid for several decades now. Yet, this is also where anti-Americanism is at its strongest.



Many make the claim that this is the result of America’s financial support of Israel. Israel serves as a democratic bastion in the Middle East, and also gives America a base for military operations in that region. Much of the support Israel receives is mutually beneficial for America. So, there’s no question that Israel is a significant recipient of US foreign aid.



Because Israel has been more active and made more concession to peace than the bulk of the Arab nations combined, it is also a crucial cornerstone for creating peace in the Middle East. America has also graced Arab nations working towards peace instead of war with immense measures of assistance. The United States spends an average of 2 billion dollars a year in military and economic aid to Egypt. This trend began and has continued since Egypt acknowledge Israel and agreed to peace in 1979. Egypt has traditionally receives only slightly less foreign aid than Israel, and a smaller percentage of that money benefits America.

It should further be noted that aid to Israel has been decreasing while aid elsewhere in the Middle East is increasing. America has also been penalizing Israel for the continued construction of settlements in Westbank sense this is a counterproductive process to regional safety. In addition, while Israel receives less than 3 billion dollars in US aid Iraq receives nearly 20 billion dollars in US aid, and while Israel’s sum is decreasing Iraq’s continues to increase.



Now, here's where things get really interesting. With Israel as the exception, recipients of US foreign aid actually appose America more than other nations. Of the 30 largest recipients of US foreign aid the 28 voted against the United States the majority of the time on non-consensus votes.



So, let’s do a quick summary. United States Foreign aid is the largest contributor to humanitarian, multilateral, developmental, and defense operations in the world, but America is a demoniac. America almost single handedly funds the United Nations international charity and peace keeping operations (who do you think gets the UN peace keepers trained for combat situations), yet we see more opposition in the UN then nations that are remarkably more bellicose than we are.

United States foreign aid spending is rapidly increasing and has been sense the nineties, but anti-Americanism has also been increasing. Many people like to dodge and say that’s because the war, but that’s not true because the rise of anti-American sentiments predates the war which didn’t begin until AFTER 9/11.

The Middle East receives more foreign aid from America than any other region in the world. Palestine, for example, receives more foreign aid per capita than any other region in the world. The vast majority of the aid flooding into Palestine comes from America. Yet, Palestinian text books say that America’s foreign policy is ‘self interested,’ and that America only gives aid to Israel. While the Middle East is being nursed on US tax dollars, bigotry against Americans is highest in this region.

Iraq receives more foreign aid per year from America than any nation in the history of the United States. Yet, that’s also the bastion of prejudice against Americans.

I’m always hearing people say that America needs to but out of the business of other nations. I agree. We need to bring our troops home and bring the money with them. These nations are not grateful, they don’t even want our help. So don’t give it to them. With the exception of Israel it’s not benefiting us anyway.

But wait, there’s more! Normally I would still encourage foreign aid for humanitarian purposes, but recent studies show that in the long run we’re not actually making any difference. Since the 1980s America has given hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid. Of the 90 some odd US foreign aid recipient countries for whom data is available, roughly sixty either experienced a noticeable decline or negligible growth of less than 1%.

So, let’s touch this again. The nations who hate Americans and America most are the ones whom we interfered with, the guys we give money. The guys who oppose us most are the ones who get our money. They obviously don’t want us butting into their business, they don’t want our money. We’re not making any significant differences in the quality of life in these countries so the people aren’t benefiting. These countries are the guys who oppose us so WE aren’t benefiting.

Foreign aid should stop, America is not a world police force. We’re in debt, have a record unemployment rate, and need to do more for the environment. How about we start fixing our own problems before trying to critique other people?
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23 / F / Under your skin.
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Posted 6/16/09
wow. that's long.

americans are nice people, eh? good for them.
Posted 6/16/09
that's nice
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22 / F / go straight take...
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Posted 6/16/09
so...many........charts. but Yay! go America!!
Yei
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Posted 6/16/09
Well, I guess it's just very hard to appreciate all America does for the world, when you actually know about everything it's been doing.
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Andromeda
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Posted 6/16/09

Charity begins at home.
Posted 6/16/09

Yei wrote:

Well, I guess it's just very hard to appreciate all America does for the world, when you actually know about everything it's been doing.


Couldn't have said it better myself.
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