Sunday, April 1, 2012

Foreign Aid as "Bait"

As end of semester crunch approaches, my blogging time evaporates.  But it's hard to pass up a Thomas Friedman piece (in today's NYT) that instructs the US (which is here and always, in Friedman-speak, "we") in how to use US foreign aid:

For instance, we should be transitioning away from military aid to regimes like Egypt and focusing instead on enabling more sectors of that society to have a say in politics. Right now, I’d argue, our foreign aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan is really a ransom we pay their elites not to engage in bad behavior. We need to turn it into bait.

I can only imagine the kinds of hay that people like Rami Khouri ought to make with a metaphor that characterizes major Muslim countries as so many fish or similarly dumb animals to be lured and then reeled or snagged.

That this quasi-jingoist has somehow risen to the top of the pile as a supposed expert on US foreign relations should tell us all we need to know about the need to better educate the American public. 

And, again, I cannot recommend highly enough Belen Fernandez's dissection of TF in her recent book, The Imperial Messenger.

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