February 3, 2013 was a Super Bowl Sunday and the attention of the working class American people was focused on the big game, new commercials, Beyonce’s halftime concert, and personal inner-circle Super Bowl parties. The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in a game decided in the last moments, and on Monday the talk in the work centers of America was concentrated on that game, Beyonce, and all the Super bowl commercials that seemed to be as humorous to five years as they were to adults. What was not discussed among the American workers on Monday was the transfer of four F-16s to the nation-state government of Egypt. The transfer was part of a 1.7 billion dollar ‘security’ agreement between the U.S. and Egypt, an agreement made during the rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in which the U.S. would deliver a total of twenty F-16s and two hundred Abram tanks to Egypt. Congress, influenced by AIPAC during the ‘American bought-and-paid-for’ puppet years of Mubarak, approved this deal prior to the 2011 Arab Spring. With Mubarak forced out of power in Egypt and Mohamad Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, placed into power, a few members of Congress began to question this agreement. After all, it is still uncertain whether Morsi will be a bribe taking puppet like Mubarak, an isolationist, an aggressor, or, what seems most important to our U.S. Congressional representatives, a friend or foe of the nation-state government of Israel. There were some political attempts to halt the transfer. One such attempt was made by the Senator out of Kentucky, Rand Paul, but the Senate voted 79-19 against Paul’s amendment on the passed House Resolution 325.
Why did the U.S. send F-16s to Egypt? From a political analysis view, it appears that this is an attempt to accomplish two things at once. 1) Support and Assist Egypt to solidify power for President Morsi in the face of civil unrest similar to what occurred in and around Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring during the final days of Mubarak’s regime. Protesters and police have continuously clashed in the streets, in some cases caught on video and distributed on the internet, and the presidential palace in Cairo was firebombed. 2) Pull Morsi into military reliance on Western funding using economic and military ‘carrots’. One oddity that occurred prior to the Senate vote was that the pro-Israeli lobbies, especially AIPAC, were pushing Congressional members to support the first transfer of this agreement to Egypt. The reason for the pro-Israeli lobby support is aimed at pulling the new Morsi regime into U.S.-Israeli pockets (paid for by the U.S.) in order to ensure that the new regime protects the Southern flank of Israel, the Negev, where there are vital water and oil pipelines, along with the supposed Israeli nuclear reactor facility located at Dimona (even though Israel has never signed the international non-proliferation treaty). We must look at U.S. foreign aid and history to understand the previous ‘hook-up’ between Egypt and Israel, paid for in full by the American tax payers and international loans taken out by previous U.S. administrations. After the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, Hosni Mubarak became leader of Egypt which began a new era in U.S. foreign aid. During Mubarak’s reign, from 1981 to the Arab uprising of 2011, Egypt received over 2 billion dollars a year in annual U.S. foreign aid, only second on the annual recipient list behind the three billion dollars plus a year that Israel had received from the U.S. before and during this period, and continues to receive each year.
How do these types of foreign aid ‘carrot’ gift baskets work? A co-worker asked me the following question: “What would we do with those F-16s if we didn’t give them to Egypt?” I must admit that this question elicited a short delay of silence from me because I suddenly realized that she honestly didn’t understand that the U.S. government didn’t just build their own F-16s and have them sitting around in stock, but purchased them from the private sector. In the case of the F-16s and the tanks, the U.S. government is required to purchase them from Lockheed Martin. Many people will argue that these types of military foreign aid packages help to maintain jobs inside of the U.S., but the fact remains that these purchases are paid for by the American taxpayers, and increased national debt under international financiers, in order to promote private sector profit.
The Foreign aid process is one of the very few times each year that Americans actually witness pure bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Democrats and Republicans will argue to the point of almost shutting down the government over domestic cuts, but hold hands when it comes to dishing out billions of dollars in annual aid to nation-states that are economically well off, such as Israel, or nation-states that could be an enemy in the distant future. Similar to the transfer of the four F-16s to Egypt in the shadow of the Super Bowl, the annual federal budget proposal, which contains proposed amounts of outgoing foreign aid, is released annually under the shadow of Valentine’s Day when most Americans are distracted. Foreign lobbyist groups, who are allowed to influence all members of Congress while individual Americans are only allowed to call on their regional representatives, are prominent in shaping (or maintaining) this annual budget proposal concerning foreign aid. The lobbyist presence behind the scenes can be detected by researching the top recipients in U.S. foreign aid over the past fifty years.
On Monday morning after the Super Bowl, all throughout American work places, garages, shipping hubs, and offices across the United States, no one conversed about the transfer of F-16s or the overall subject of foreign aid. The conversations were dedicated to the Super bowl, a fourth and goal no call by the referees, Beyonce’s halftime outfit and the power outage, the Budweiser horse who loved his original owner and all of the other dumb ass television commercials that encouraged excess consumerism within a nation that doesn’t seem to see poverty, unemployment, or domestic government cuts caused by climbing international debt collecting above its own national structure.