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us foriegn aid at work
December 9, 2002 2:02 PM   Subscribe

US foriegn aid at work wtf?!! you think we'll be able to get this straightened out before they get another check?
posted by specialk420 (36 comments total)

 
Don't worry... all of the world's problems and injustices will be solved ALL AT ONCE next thursday!
posted by Witty at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2002


And I, as a taxpayer, demand my whore.
posted by hackly_fracture at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2002


In July 2001, a U.S. State Department report placed Israel on a black list of countries whose laws don't meet U.S. criteria for dealing with this crime and threatened economic sanctions.


Ahh, let's see... that places them in the "Axis of Pretty-damned-evil-but-we-fund-them-for-selfish-reasons" category.
posted by zekinskia at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2002


Well this is going right to the top of my list of issues that need to be fixed in the middle east. Yup, it is going to be right up there after repression of all women in every Islamic county...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2002


In Austria, it's the Olympic figure-skating gold medalists you need to worry about.
posted by liam at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2002


Well this is going right to the top of my list of issues that need to be fixed in the middle east. Yup, it is going to be right up there after repression of all women in every Islamic county...

see, we're discussing israel here, steve. your statement is akin to saying, "forget sue's broken ankle, steve has cancer." there's no reason we can't address both, and why either should impact the other. should israel's domestic law and order situation be allowed to break down simply because its neighbors are assholes?

you've been pretty good lately. don't get sloppy.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:30 PM on December 9, 2002


Steve, the fact that you've decided to allot yourself only a scant level of care about the plight of women anywhere is the problem you need to recognize. Exactly what are you saying there, that you only have time to care about oppressed women in one country? Golly gee, I guess we'll repost this when it's Israel's turn.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:31 PM on December 9, 2002


From liam's link:

Should ice dancing be dropped from the Winter Olympics?

Yes!
posted by Witty at 2:31 PM on December 9, 2002


Wait...how does this equate to US aid now?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2002


Yup, it is going to be right up there after repression of all women in every Islamic county...

There's a big difference between forced prostitution and wearing a burqa (sp?).
posted by iamck at 2:52 PM on December 9, 2002


wearing a burqa

Among other things...

My point: Where are the calls for cutting off foreign Aid to any of the Islamic countries that are running Anti-Semitic and Anti-American articles in the state run newspapers (still claiming Zionists are behind 9/11), denying basic human rights to all woman, repressing all of their peoples? For Christ's sake, the Saudis are still handing out "readers" at their embassy in Arabic that tell Muslim students that it is their duty to take up arms against Jews and Christians! I am not belittling the sex slave trade in Israel, but why single them out for this?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:08 PM on December 9, 2002


This is in no way meant to derail the discussion, or even to provoke further comment. But did anyone notice the "Salon Personals Catch of the Day"? Spaceboy says he's looking for someone who won't mind if he waits until the 10th date to kiss them. Quite a catch, I'd say. Tenth date? Even my fundamentalist cousin kissed his girlfriend by the tenth date.
posted by risenc at 3:08 PM on December 9, 2002


And, on a more serious note ...

Steve, I don't think anyone is singling Israel out on this. It's not as if people aren't aware of anti-US, anti-woman attitudes in Arab countries. Lots of people are calling for us to end relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the like for just those reasons. It is possible to decry both at the same time.
posted by risenc at 3:12 PM on December 9, 2002


steve, the problems you're discussing are systemic and need to be addressed in a long-view nation-building regime-change political-revolution generational way. what we're trying to discuss here (thanks for derailing the thread, by the way) is a specific criminal activity. no one's being singled out. if wall-to-wall arab bashing without reprieve is what you desire, maybe you should check out little green footbals ... if you're not already an avid contrubutor there. i won't click over to see. i don't want that filth on my computer.

on preview: what risenc said.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2002


What risenc said. Steve, you have been among the many on this very board who chastize those against the war who point out the hypocrisy of our ignorance to other Arab nations oppression on a daily basis. To say that the Left has not made a near-constant mention of the oppression of women globally is almost as ridiculous as claiming either the Bush or Clinton administration actually gave a damn about it either before Sept. 11 when it became feasable to generate a simplistic yet sympathetic excuse for flattening a country.

The point is that in the same vein, the Right has made constant references to Israel as somewhat of a more favorable, if not outright calling it the ideal, model of a modernized Middle Eastern nation. Likewise this is a blow to the ultra-religious Right which has recently used the religion of Arab nations as a rationale for their oppression of women and now face a cog in the connection between your belief in Allah and your belief in sexual domination.

In other words, this isn't singling out Israel in the grande scheme: it's simply fleshing out the truth that pretty much everywhere in the world women are abused to some unacceptable degree.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:27 PM on December 9, 2002


I am not belittling the sex slave trade in Israel, but why single them out for this?

Welll goodness - because it's an opportunity to slam the US. Interesting MeFi trait at work here. Notice the article itself paints the following picture: The Israeli government - possibly due to blacklisting and the threat of sanctions from the US - has a problem that rises into public light. They take steps to deal with it - strengthening laws. Commission a report, which will tell the government that the steps taken are not effective, and will suggest more stringent steps. Seems as though this is exactly how government (in Israel) is supposed to work, and sounds like the US Govt. was also correct (imagine that, using the clout of foreign aid for nothing but the sake of principle).

What it turns into on MeFi, of course, is (bizarrely enough) an opportunity to take a shot at US Foreign aid.

One would think that if there were actual concern about the sex trade, something like the nightmare in places like Thailand, and some parts of Africa - where children are taken into the sex trade and marketed to rich tourists (and where the problem is much larger) - would have occured to the poster. But you see, the point of the post wasn't to talk about the brutality of the sex trade - it was to (as usual) try to bash the US.

I know it's confusing, because it is really a stretch to see how the article demonstrates anything other than the US acting correctly (and most certainly comes close to an outright lie by implying that US Foreign aid provides any support to the sex trade in Israel).
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:35 PM on December 9, 2002


if wall-to-wall arab bashing without reprieve is what you desire, maybe you should check out little green footbals ... if you're not already an avid contrubutor there.

Who's getting sloppy, again? Steve was keeping to the topic, at least.
posted by hippugeek at 3:35 PM on December 9, 2002


Who's getting sloppy, again? Steve was keeping to the topic, at least.

i was addressing his complaint that we don't slam israel's neighbors enough. reading comprehension is your friend.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:38 PM on December 9, 2002


Though I abhor women forced into prostitution, I think it might do well to distinguish between official government policy (Israel may be lax but it does not condone or support officially such stuff) and what gang or citizens are doing. Should a country lose foregin aid because they have drug lords, addicts, drug sellers? Thank god we do not have prostitution in the U.S., and thus the young teens getting off busses in NY City are merely availing themselves of capitalism.

3 thousand a year? should drive down prices, no: no men using thewse girls, no market; no people using (employing) illegals in this country, no illegals.

Does Tony Soprano know about this as a new source of income? We now know who buys. No one it seems cares about who wsells>< Let's cut off aid to Russia too.
posted by Postroad at 3:39 PM on December 9, 2002


Seems as though this is exactly how government (in Israel) is supposed to work, and sounds like the US Govt. was also correct (imagine that, using the clout of foreign aid for nothing but the sake of principle).

Based on the limited information in the article, I have to pretty much agree with Midas on this one (a rare thing indeed). Bravo to the U.S. State Department for trying to do something about this.
posted by boltman at 3:45 PM on December 9, 2002


Prostitutes from poor countries are falling over themselves trying to get out of poor countries.

Next time you are in South Korea, you'd better bring your abacus, because the Soviet strumpets are virtually uncountable, and do you know how many billions in foreign aid South Korea receives? (The comparison of floosies and aid is a little apple-and-orange-ish.)

Now I wonder why Salon.com singled out Israel?
posted by hama7 at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2002


I think it might do well to distinguish between official government policy (Israel may be lax but it does not condone or support officially such stuff) and what gang or citizens are doing.

Hear, hear. I expect you to apply the same principles to the Palestinian Authority.

As has been noted by MidasMulligan, Israel is attempting to do the right thing, even though the government has been lax on the problem before. Diplomatic pressure works on countries who want to keep good relations, and especially to protect the outrageous amount of foreign aid given to Israel (and Egypt and Jordan for signing treaties with Israel). The issue in reality is not prostitution (Israel was also put on the lists for money laundering and intellectual property theft, but got off by changing their laws) but the sheer amounts of money given to a country with one of the world's highest per-capita incomes. Trying to link our tax dollars to any specific problem is a red herring.

It really is an outrageous amount of money and every US citizen should be upset, considering that the amount given every 3 months to Israel is more than the entire budget over the next 10 years to fight AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The stats profiled in this article seem at times scurrilous, but still worth noting. . Oh, and Hama7, Salon probably singled them out because they are the only country on that list who has rec'd billions of US taxpayer money over the past year. Either that or they're just a bunch of anti-semites (or self-hating Jews, depending on which Salonite you want to pillory. Is anyone else sick of Liberals like Hama7 playing the Race Card? Oh wait...
posted by cell divide at 3:56 PM on December 9, 2002


Hi gang: the last post asked if I would apply the same standard to the Palestinians as I do to the Israeli govt. Sure. The difference is that I assume many Palestinians are decent folks but that their leader is now known to have funneled milions upon millions of dollars to Swiss Bnk accounts (for which see today's issue of DEBKA)...in one instance the criminals are citizens and the govt trying to do something; in the other instance, the govt is the crimminal and the people get screwed.
If we give insufficient money to Africa, that is the fault of your govt and not the fault of Israel. We take in Cubans fleeing but not Hatians...which means simply we often are confused about what we do world-wide.
posted by Postroad at 4:14 PM on December 9, 2002


Coverage by JPost, Ha'aretz, and CNN Asia, all far more extensive than the Salon link.

Backing up. The Congress passed, in 2000, the Trafficking in Persons act, which mandated the State Department to study the problem while working closely with human rights agencies and NGOs, identify countries which had weak enforcement, and engage these countries to make improvements; if they have not done so by 2003, they will face automatic sanctions. The Trafficking in Persons office issued its first report in 2001, which identified around fifty countries, separated into three tiers of concern. Israel's legislative efforts thus far have moved it from Tier 3 to Tier 2 (comprising nations that do not yet fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance) -- alongside Japan and Singapore, among other inglorious company -- and detailed its progress. By the standards expressed in the law, if Israel remains in Tier 2 by the time of the next report in 2003, it will escape the automatic sanctions. (Even in the event it did not, Congress generously provided the President with a waiver authority, which would almost certainly have been used. Fortunately, that embarassment will apparently be avoided.)

The countries which remain in Tier 3 as of the 2002 report include: Afghanistan, Armenia, Burma, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and the UAE. Altogether it's quite troubliing that so many countries -- some with high standards of living -- are in the company of places like Sudan where outright slavery is rampant. That there should be two NATO members is altogether more worrying. That there should be a single EU member is significantly concerning. (Puts all that human-rights moralizing in perspective, it does.) That 12 of the 18 are Islamic is, certainly, little surprise.

I don't think anyone "singled out" Israel for criticism, given the fact that the news item focussed on a just-released report. But the article Salon presented was highly misleading, given its quotation of the 2001 report without the context of the improvements which brought it out of the sanctions danger-zone in the 2002 report. As such, I do consider the article biased, for whatever reason -- particularly compared with the other coverage. Whether this bias was introduced solely by the AP or by selective editing at Salon is hard to tell.
posted by dhartung at 4:38 PM on December 9, 2002


Now I wonder why Salon.com singled out Israel?

jesus christ, hama -- it was an associated press wire report.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:41 PM on December 9, 2002


Human trafficking has replaced the drugs trade as the world's largest illegal business.

The number of people forced into slavery around the world has risen to 27 million.
posted by homunculus at 4:51 PM on December 9, 2002


This thread was basically worthless until dhartung's post.
posted by gwint at 5:29 PM on December 9, 2002


In fact, specialk420, read over dharthung's post several times to get a better sense of what kind of research might go into forming a quality FPP.
posted by gwint at 5:31 PM on December 9, 2002


I concur, gwint: extremely thorough. Well done, dhartung!
posted by hama7 at 8:30 PM on December 9, 2002


As such, I do consider the article biased, for whatever reason -- particularly compared with the other coverage. Whether this bias was introduced solely by the AP or by selective editing at Salon is hard to tell.

Salon picked up the raw AP feed. I don't think they have the money to pay rewrite folks for these types of pieces.
posted by oddovid at 9:05 PM on December 9, 2002


gwint - sorry the post did not meet your standards - speaking of foreign aid, i found this article interesting on the 4x4 meter of disputed turf that was nexus of the current conflict which has cost many their lives and livelihoods. Israel being the single largest recipient (and growing since the discussed state department report) of the US foreign aid budget i found both articles startling.
posted by specialk420 at 10:05 PM on December 9, 2002


Now I wonder why Salon.com singled out Israel?

Hama7 you sold yourself short, just Salon? Look around, I'm sure you could have (at least) added The Guardian to your anti-semitic stereotypes.
posted by niceness at 2:16 AM on December 10, 2002


wait folks- I've argued endlessly here against Israel's policies on its murderous Palestinian policies, but it is unfair to single out Israel in this issue when Italy, Greece, the EU (all over it seems) have an even larger problem.
Interestingly Kosovo seems to be a trafficking hub (with NATO and UN personnel feeding it).
posted by talos at 4:25 AM on December 10, 2002


I think Americans (and non-Americans) should stop thinking that America is deeply involved with every problem on the globe. Could this perhaps just be an Israeli issue?
posted by Summer at 5:46 AM on December 10, 2002


the issue is: with the american taxpayer footing a good deal of israel's bills - we should be have some leverage to get penalities for these sorts of human rights abuses increased - even if we are going to ignore abuses on the the west bank and gaza strip.
posted by specialk420 at 10:04 AM on December 10, 2002


You might have a point, specialk, if Israel was actually organising the prostitution.
posted by Summer at 3:24 AM on December 11, 2002


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