Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What Really Happened Today?: "U.S. Money Aids World’s Worst Dictators"

The Independent Institute

U.S. Money Aids World’s Worst Dictators

February 13, 2006
Benjamin Powell, Matt Ryan

Parade magazine recently ranked the twenty worst dictators currently in power. Many names are familiar—Fidel Castro, Muammar Qaddafi, Kim Jong-Il, Robert Mugabe and others. They are all guilty of human rights violations and in some cases have committed outright genocide. But there’s another trait common to all twenty leaders—every single one has received foreign aid from wealthy Western countries.

Popular Washington, D.C., rhetoric says that development aid should be dispensed to corruption-free countries with laws and policies conducive to supporting sustained economic growth. President Bush created Millennium Challenge Accounts to funnel aid to such countries. However, few countries have qualified for the program and little money has actually been disbursed. Instead, we find that both the U.S. and its partner countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have contributed a great deal of aid to these oppressive regimes.

Parade ranked the Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir as the world’s worst dictator. During his reign OECD countries gave his regime more than $6 billion in non-military aid. The U.S. accounted for more than $1 billion of that aid. Kim Jong-Il was ranked as the second worst dictator and received a little over $1 billion in aid, with more than half of it coming from the U.S. Than Shwe of Myanmar, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan round out the top five dictators on the list. The U.S. contributed $32 million to Myanmar, $1.1 billion to Zimbabwe, and $385 million to Uzbekistan.

Overall, OECD countries contributed aid to every one of Parade’s 20 worst dictators. Combined, these leaders received nearly $55 billion in aid. The U.S. contributed to 19 of the 20 worst dictators; King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia was somehow left off of the U.S. gravy train. In total, the U.S. contributed more than $7 billion in aid to these leaders. In North Korea, Belarus, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan the U.S. contributed more than 20 percent of the total aid these countries received from OECD countries.

Government-sponsored aid has failed to promote economic growth in the third world. From 1970 to 2000, more than $400 billion poured into poor African countries with no development to show for it. Parade’s list of dictators makes our foreign aid record even more disturbing. Not only has it failed to promote development, in many cases our aid has supported oppressive dictatorships.

Following Hamas’s recent victory in Palestine’s elections, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice threatened to cut off aid to Palestine, saying, “The United States is not prepared to fund an organization that advocates the destruction of Israel, that advocates violence and that refuses its obligations.” Perhaps the U.S. should apply that policy to the dictators on Parade’s list as well. By providing aid to these dictators the U.S. has given them a source of funds to use to secure political support and likely prolonged their oppressive reigns.

The first rule of development policy should be to do no harm. Unfortunately OECD and U.S. aid have failed to promote development and actively promoted harm by aiding oppressive dictatorships. This kind of aid also unfortunately tends to undermine economic freedom by politicizing economic life in the recipient country and by preserving inefficient regimes. Over the last 30 years development aid has lowered measures of economic freedom in both dictatorships and democracies. To better promote freedom, and consequently development, we should end economic development aid to dictators and democracies alike.

Benjamin Powell, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute, an Oakland-based policy think tank and a professor of economics at San Jose State University.

Matt Ryan is an adjunct fellow with the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. and holds a Masters degree in Economics from San Jose State University.



February 15, 2006

BBC NEWS | Programmes | File on 4 | Hidden history of US germ testing

Biological pathogens they developed were tested on volunteers from a pacifist church and were also released in public places. In the 1950s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church struck an extraordinary deal with the US Army. It would provide test subjects for experiments on biological weapons at the Fort Detrick research centre near Washington DC. The volunteers were conscientious objectors who agreed to be infected with debilitating pathogens. In return, they were exempted from frontline warfare.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 09:00 AM PST

U.S. Money Aids World's Worst Dictators: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

Posted Feb 15, 2006 08:43 AM PST

Los Angeles Times: Army Accepting More Recruits With Criminal, Drug Histories

In all, the Army granted waivers to 11,018 recruits in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2005, or 15% of those accepted into the service that year. Those figures are up from 2004, when 9,300 waivers were granted, or 12% of those joining the Army. The Army provided the recruiting figures to the Baltimore Sun on Monday after the newspaper obtained partial statistics. Despite the increase in the proportion of those accepted with problems in their background, the Army failed to meet its recruiting target. A total of 73,000 men and women joined the Army in 2005, down from 77,000 in 2004. There was a significant increase in the number of recruits with what the Army terms "serious criminal misconduct" in their background.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 08:41 AM PST
Category: WAR/DRAFT

Anyone feel a draft?


Amidst the swirl of outrage, obfuscation and wisecracking, one fundamental flaw in the White House's Cheney shooting story remains. How can a 28-gauge shotgun fired from supposedly 30 yards away cause pellets to become lodged in someone's heart?

Posted Feb 15, 2006 08:13 AM PST

OfficialWire: Editorial: Jew Gotta' Friend At Google

Well, last night an un-named member of The Google Team offered an explanation for the most recent removal of OfficialWire from Google News.

Hate Speech.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:49 AM PST

Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special

Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:45 AM PST
Category: IRAQ

A last desperate gasp to try to justify the Iraq invasion.

... before we invade Iran.

Congressional Probe of NSA Spying Is in Doubt

Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill it, key Republican and Democratic sources said yesterday.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:43 AM PST

Secret Service stalls and delays for Cheney Secret Service stalls and delays for Cheney

The only way that birdshot could have possibly penetrated into Whittington's heart, given the minimal force impact capacity of the shot is if he was shot from incredibly close range. This then means that the whole event requires a greater level of scrutiny. If they lied about the distance of the shot, its probably one of many lies.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:35 AM PST

Ricin plot: London and Washington used plot to strengthen Iraq war push

We bring to the attention of our readers several related articles on the alleged ricin in January 2003, which was used by the British and US governments as a pretext to invade Iraq. The evidence suggests that the ricin threat was based on fabricated intelligence and was deliberately used as pretext for war. And those who relied on the ricin plot to justify the war are war criminals.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:29 AM PST

TAC to Standard Challenge Accepted

No voice in America was more resolute that the war would be an historic blunder than ours. From our first issue in 2002 until the 3rd Division stepped off, we warned this was an unnecessary war. Though Saddam was a monster, we said, he was no threat to us. But a U.S. invasion would radicalize Islam, increase terror, and leave our troops mired down in a nation whose people would come to hate us. We scoffed at the utopian blather about democracy breaking out as propagandistic nonsense.


History has proven us right. But the question on the table now is the one raised in the lead editorial of the Jan. 23 Standard, “And Now Iran.” The Standard calls on President Bush “to prepare for various forms of military action” to smash Iran’s nuclear program. For the Standard believes that containment and deterrence will not work with Iran.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:25 AM PST

US 'let slip 9/11 hijacker 13 times'

A secret Pentagon unit had Mohammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, in its crosshairs 13 times before the 2001 attacks, a US congressman has claimed citing the unit's records.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:16 AM PST
Category: 911

Did they follow him onto Jack Abramoff's casino ship?


Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:12 AM PST

Start the timer to see how long before this gets "orwellized".


Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:10 AM PST

Don't it just make ya proudernshit to be an Amerikun?

Bin Laden tapes are as phony as Sept. 11's connection to Islam

That voice was no more bin Laden than it was Rodney Dangerfield channeling my late Aunt Corinne from Peoria. I recently helped translate a previously unknown bin Laden tape, a real one from the early '90s, back when he was still alive. I know the guy's flowery religious rhetoric. The recent tape wasn't him.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:09 AM PST

Iran - Disinformation Phobia

If you equate America and her true national interest with a pre-empted interventionist foreign policy you have been programmed to accept that the globe is flat.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:08 AM PST
Category: IRAN

Hunter shot by Cheney has heart attack

"We can't get Bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney," was how David Letterman put it on his CBS Late Night Show.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:05 AM PST

Terror threat: The great deception

"New Labour has set out to politicise terror, to use it for narrow party advantage. Few people now believe what the Prime Minister, the security services and police tell us about security matters."
Posted Feb 15, 2006 07:01 AM PST

SBS broadcasts graphic Abu Ghraib images

The Bush administration is reportedly attempting to prevent release of the images in the US, arguing that their publication could provoke antagonism towards the US.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:58 AM PST

Tiny island that's ready to stop Europe in its tracks

Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:56 AM PST

Poll: Americans fear Iran will develop, use nukes

Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:55 AM PST
Category: IRAN

There is something very bogus about this story. It starts out with percentages about how many Americans believe they were lied to about Iraq, Bush's low approval numbers, concerns about reckless militarism in Iran, then suddenly, claims these same people are convinced Iran is a nuclear threat to the US and Israel, and most tellingly, quits using percentages and starts speaking of "six out of ten" and "eight out of ten" as if that one section was written by another person entirely!

The photos America doesn't want seen

Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:51 AM PST

This is how history will view the USA at the dawn of the third millennium.

Abu Ghraib Called Incubator for Terrorists

Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:47 AM PST

If you take a man and make him watch while you torture his kid, he is not likely to remain entirely cheerful afterwards. One should not be surprised to find out he is carrying a grudge against the nation of torturers, and views it as a service to humanity to destroy that barbarous nation, much as the US saw it as a service to humanity to destroy another barbarous nation in the 1940s.

China Says Web Controls Follow the West's Lead

Chinese authorities are determined to stop "harmful information" from spreading through the Web, but the controls it places on Web sites and Internet service providers do not differ much from those employed by the United States and European countries, a senior official responsible for managing China's Internet said Tuesday.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:44 AM PST

The politics of fear (or how Tony Blair misled us over the war on terror)

The Prime Minister's suggestion that the security services were demanding new powers in order to deal with a new category of terrorist suspect turns out to have been nonsense. His figure of " several hundred" terrorists plotting mayhem seems to have been plucked out of thin air.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:43 AM PST

2 Major Construction Unions Plan to Leave A.F.L.-C.I.O.

The national labor movement suffered a new split yesterday when two major construction unions — the laborers and the operating engineers — announced that they were quitting the Building and Construction Trades Department of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.
Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:41 AM PST
Category: ECONOMY

MSNBC Scrubbing Cheney Alcohol Connection?

Posted Feb 15, 2006 06:39 AM PST

References to beer preceding the shooting are being removed from the mainstream media coverage of the shooting.


Peace, (NOW!!!)



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