President Obama’s new budget slots $800 million in funding for the Arab Spring.
Here’s the relevant portion of the budget:
Building on the Administration’s significant and continuing response to the transformative events in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Budget provides over $800 million to support political and economic reform in the region. The Budget expands our bilateral economic support in countries such as Tunisia and Yemen where transitions are already underway. Consistent with the President’s May 2011 speech, the Budget establishes a new $770 million Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund, which will provide incentives for long-term economic, political, and trade reforms to countries in transition–and to countries prepared to make reforms proactively. This new Fund builds upon other recently announced programs in the region, including up to $2 billion in regional Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing, up to $1 billion in debt swaps for Egypt, and approximately $500 million in existing funds re-allocated to respond to regional developments in 2011.
As we’ve seen, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya have all fallen to the Islamists. Ironically enough, on the same day that the Obama Administration endorsed the “transformative events” in the Middle East by pledging American taxpayer dollars, Al Qaeda endorsed the Syrian resistance against Bashar Assad, with Ayman Al-Zawahiri stating, “Wounded Syria still bleeds day after day, while the butcher, son of the butcher Bashar bin Hafiz (Hafez al-Assad), is not deterred to stop. But the resistance of our people in Syria despite all the pain, sacrifice and bloodshed escalates and grows.” Meanwhile, pressure inside Congress grows to use force to fight against Assad… even though we’d be promoting precisely the same sort of situation we saw in Libya.
Now, what will this “Incentive Fund” accomplish? The goals expressed in the budget are extraordinarily vague: “long-term economic, political, and trade reforms.” What they really are is blank checks for regimes that are focused on implementing Islamism throughout the region. This budget won’t get passed. For the sake of America’s security, thank God for that.