U.S. Should cut off aid to the middle east
Debate Rounds (4)
The State Department"s Agency for International Development writes those kinds of checks all the time. With YOUR money.
According to ForeignAssistance.gov, the State Department, in 2015, sent $12.9 billion in economic and military aid to the 20 countries that make up the Middle East.
This money supports the economic and military systems of countries that oppose the U.S., its interests and its allies.
That is why my partner and I stand resolved: The United States government should significantly reform its policy toward one or more countries in the Middle East.
First, let"s define the Middle East:
We will use the Merriam Webster Dictionary"s definition: "the countries extending from Libya on the west to Afghanistan on the east." My case addresses the 19 countries and territories of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Next, let"s examine the problems in the status quo:
Harm 1. Economic and military aid has failed to accomplish its goals.
S.E. Robinson, the Paul Revere Project: "A simple test applies: Does our aid accomplish our foreign policy objectives? In 2008 alone, For exanple, the U.S. [has] spent $2.2 billion on aid to Kenya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Has this massive redistribution of wealth halted Sudanese genocide, assuaged malaria in Kenya, prevented Al-Qaeda from rising in Yemen or stopped Bashar Assad from brutalizing civilians? The short answer is no. Sudan remains a treacherously corrupt miasma of ethnic violence, albeit with a newly paved road from Juba to Nimule. Al-Qaeda in Yemen is stronger than ever. The steady rain of artillery in Syria speaks for itself. It is apparent that U.S. aid is flowing to corrupt nations that are hostile to the west, to their own people even. Clearly our aid is not sufficiently bolstering American interests"or human interests for that matter; it is apparent that U.S. foreign aid fertilizes hostility to the West and bolsters morally bankrupt tyranny " Rather than naively continue foreign assistance for the woebegone corners of the world, the U.S. should look to strategically withdraw aid where it does not serve our interests.
Harm 2. Economic and military aid is misused.
Professor Joel Brinkley, in the World Affairs Journal February 2013, describing failed economic aid in Afghanistan: "There could be no better example of what ails the effort to build Afghanistan than USAID"s absurdly named IDEA-NEW program. The purpose of this five-year, $150 million endeavor was to create new economic opportunities for the nation"s opium-poppy farmers that would dissuade them from the illicit trade. The agency"s inspector general later said. During the course of this program the UN said Afghanistan"s opium crop actually surged by sixty-one percent. The nation still produces 90 percent of the world"s opium."
The Iraqi Prime Minister, November 30, 2014, describing failed military aid in Iraq: "The Iraqi army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who don"t exist, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday, an indication of the level of corruption that permeates an institution that the United States has spent billions equipping and arming. A preliminary investigation into "ghost soldiers" " whose salaries are being drawn but who are not in military service " revealed tens of thousands of false names on Defense Ministry rolls. Follow-up investigations are expected to uncover "more and more," he added."
Harm 3. Economic and military aid funds countries with terror ties
The Guardian, November 13, 2014: "Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba " but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money Three other Arab countries are listed [in the paper] as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates."
Harm 4. Economic and military aid funds governments that persecute Christians and other religious minorities.
Open Doors USA, February 11, 2015: Open Doors is a nonprofit organization that monitors official persecution around the world and publishes an annual watch list of the countries that are the worst offenders. Fifteen Middle East countries made the list of places where Christians face the greatest official persecution: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
It is for these reasons that the Affirmative team proposes this plan:
Terminate all State Department economic and military aid to the Middle East until the countries take the following steps:
1. Submit published reports accounting for the use of past aid
2. Stop funding of terror by the nation or by its chief executive
3. Cease official persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.
Israel will continue to receive economic and military aid because it is in compliance with our requirements. Egypt will continue to receive it as well because of its alliance with Israel and because it is also now in compliance with our requirements.
Advantage 1. The U.S. will no longer be complicit in Middle East persecution and terror. U.S. dollars will no longer be any part of the funding for those activities.
Senator Rand Paul, in the Foreign Relations Human Rights Subcommittee on June 24 , 2014: "Our aid money should never go to countries that persecute Christians, not one dime. But today, it does. Some say our foreign aid protects American power. These same people, however, resist attaching conditions to foreign aid. Why would we send aid to countries whose laws punish the free exercise of religion? We are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Our job, as the powerful, is to use our might to speak for those who cannot. Whether that is the bully pulpit of our foreign aid, our state department, our immigration policy, or our trade policy, all avenues should be open to us in solving this worldwide problem.
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, on April 6, 2015: "We give billions of dollars of aid to Pakistan. But what are we getting in return for this? Nothing! Let"s start exercising the power of the purse. This is the perfect time for the United States to start putting conditions on our aid. If you support terror, if you"re a safe haven for terror, if you are aiding or abetting terrorists, you don"t get U.S. aid. Period!"
Advantage 2. Terror and persecution will decrease when countries comply with our requirements, as Egypt already has.
Prosecutor, judge, and legal analyst Jeanine Pirro, January 11, 2015: "Egyptian President al-Sisi -- a Muslim in a country that is 85-percent Muslim -- rid Egypt -- the largest Arab country -- of Islamic fanatics. He threw out Hamas terrorists and outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother of all terrorist organizations.
U.S.-Arab relations expert Hisham Melham, in the Washington Times, March 24, 2014: The Middle East is bearing the largest share of the world"s problems in Christian persecution, and the United States can help the persecuted Christians by using foreign aid to modify behaviors in countries where persecution is rampant.
Advantage 3. Our plan will annually keep as much as $8.3 billion in the U.S. treasury for domestic needs.
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, on FoxNews.com, March 13, 2013: The pattern of American foreign aid is now becoming clear: We borrow billions from China to subsidize regimes that defy us at every turn. The Palestinian Authority defies the U.S., begs for money (with the implicit threat that conditions will grow even worse if aid is withheld), and then defies the U.S. again. That"s not an alliance; that"s a protection racket. Defy, beg, and defy some more " all while Americans tighten their belts here at home, and we"re led to believe that there"s not enough money even for tours of the White House. Act like an ally. Then, we"ll think about aid."
Advantage 4. Our friends AND our enemies will know where we stand
Senator Rand Paul, on the Senate floor September 12, 2012: "In no way should the United States government be sending money to governments who are not our ally, who blatantly do not respect our country, and who work to compromise the safety of our allies and citizens abroad. I am pleased that the Senate leadership has listened to my pleas for an end to this and have agreed to debate and vote on this pressing issue. Some argue that without foreign aid we"ll have war. I"m arguing that because of foreign aid we have war."
Judge, U.S. foreign aid to the Middle East has a long record of failure. It is misused. It props up terrorist regimes. It funds governments that oppose our interests and that threaten the destruction of our best ally in the region. It supports countries that persecute Christians. It creates safe havens for those who threaten and perpetrate attacks on Americans. It"s time for it to end.
The source of terrorism isn't the Middle East. America doesn't support the terrorists within the Middle East, they suport those seeking to fight against it, and the areas affected by the wars that occur as a result.
The main issue with your argument is that you are trying to push that 'Middle East = Terrorism', when, only a few countries within the Middle East are controlled by terrorists, and even then, these countries have groups willing to fight against these terrorists, as they are the minorities within a largely peaceful race.
To be short, the decision to cut off aid to the Middle East wouldn't tell other countries that we are against terrorism, as we don't fund the terrorists, we provide aid to those affected by their actions. If anything this action would be seen as an act of sheer ignorance and cowardice, pulling back from a war we made worse.
Also, removing aid wouldn't reduce terrorism in America, if anything it would create more enemies in the Middle East, those we once provided aid to, now left to die. We would only make it easier for these countries to be inducted under the ISIS flag, and worsen the problem.
Since you seem to like metaphors so much, here's another one:
Imagine you gave Timmy your sandwich every day, because he never got much lunch. Now imagine you stopped giving it to him because his measles were making everyone else sick. Now, Timmy has every right to be mad, after all, he needed that sandwich, and you took it away because a small part of him harmed someone else.
Our aid money goes to Middle Eastern countries that support terror, condone and engage in religious persecution, and are subverting the purpose of our foreign policy. Please re-read the harms and plan. I am not cutting off aid because terror exists in these countries. I am cutting it off from countries that support terror. Those that stop supporting terror will get the aid back. The resolution we are debating is specific to the Middle East, so we aren't singling them out either. The plan doesn't claim to decrease terror in the United states, but it ensures that our taxpayer dollars do not go to terrorist activities and to countries that violently persecute religious minorities.
Also notice that we are cutting the economic/military aid that we send to the governments of these countries. We will still be helping groups like the Kurds. Also, we will continue to send humanitarian aid, as it goes to the people, rather than the governments.
Yes, we do support terror. The P.A., for example, is entirely controlled by Hamas, a terrorist group. We send them more that a billion dollars in aid every year. Our aid is ineffective in fighting Terror. All it has done is support it.
Carol Graham, a fellow at the Brookings Institute in Summer of 2012: "Given aid's mixed record in supporting economic development and reducing poverty, what can we expect from aid in the fight against terrorism? The answer, in the short term, is not much. "
Nafeez Ahmed, the Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015 said, "Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether he knew of "any major Arab ally that embraces ISIS. He said: "I know major Arab allies who fund them." Despite this knowledge, the US government has not merely refused to sanction these allies, but rewarded them by including them in the coalition that is supposed to fight the very extremist entity they are funding...Key members of our anti-ISIS coalition are bombing ISIS from the air while sponsoring them behind the scenes - with the knowledge of the Pentagon."
Congressman Steve Chabot, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, May 27, 2011: "The U.S. has to quit being kicked around. We need to quit sending our tax dollars to countries that do not have our best interests in mind, especially in these economic times."
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, FoxNews.com, M arch 13, 2013: The pattern of American foreign aid is now becoming clear: "We borrow billions from China to subsidize and even prop up regimes that defy us at every turn. " Similar conditions should be placed on all U.S. aid...Let"s sequester terrorists before we sequester Americans. It makes no sense to continue funding hostile governments. And, it"s past time for America to call the Palestinian"s bluff. There should be only one path to American aid " the path to peace. Twice in the last twenty years the Israeli government has offered to establish a Palestinian homeland with a capital in East Jerusalem, and twice the Palestinians have rejected that deal " once with guns, rockets, and suicide bombs. Before the Palestinian Authority gets a single dime from American taxpayers, it must give up its dream of destroying Israel " in words and deeds, to the world and " crucially " to its own people. Stop teaching hate. Sever all ties with the terrorist thugs of Hamas. Come to the peace table without preconditions and without even a thought of destroying the nation of Israel. In other words, act like an ally. Then, we"ll think about aid."
So we see that the Middle Eastern countries addressed in the first round are funding terror and even more are funding terror. Our plan is the solution.
In addition, the Con side has given no evidence of their facts. They've simply used their opinion and their own logic as arguments. That's fine and good except that the Pro side has provided extensive evidence that this is an issue and that our plan will solve it. A Con vote means that the United States still sends funds to countries that fund terrorist organizations that attack our allies, countries that subvert the will of American government, and countries that willfully persecute religious minorities. A Pro vote is all that is warranted.
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