This morning’s Washington Post carries a column by Jackson Diehl that details the $25 million that the US Agency for International Development is giving to Egypt this year for democracy promotion.
The U.S. has given Egypt the right to review and veto any of the projects. The US is funding “democracy” projects that a non-democratic government approves of. Most of the funds are going to the country’s courts which “used to throw democracy advocates in prison.” Moreover, “not a dollar is going to the independent Egyptian groups that, at great risk, are trying to advocate democratic reforms for Mubarak’s rotting autocracy.”
- It’s not only that the huge AID bureaucracy in Cairo chooses to ignore the fact that the courts it is funding in the name of democracy are being used to destroy Egypt’s most important democrats, who themselves are denied AID support. It’s that AID has formally agreed to support Mubarak’s policy of stamping out any group that questions his police state. By bilateral agreement, the agency has granted the Egyptian government the right to review and approve — or veto — any U.S.-funded project. “By definition that means that any group that gets funded is not working on real democratization programs, since the government opposes that,” said one frustrated American democracy advocate who works with other programs in Egypt.