Who’s really benefiting from Biden’s endless foreign aid?
By: Rachel Marsden
PARIS — For every round of billions of dollars that Washington sends to a
foreign country under the pretext of protecting freedom and democracy, weapons
manufacturers and establishment leeches cheer. And so does a significant chunk
of the general Western public, perhaps because of how this help is marketed.
“I just signed a request to Congress for critical security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine continue to counter Putin’s aggression,” Biden said back in April, a few funding rounds ago. “We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.”
Well, if he puts it that way — what kind of jerk could possibly say no?
In reality, of the more than $75 billion in “assistance” granted by Biden to Ukraine, 61 percent is military — not humanitarian — in nature, according to an analysis published by the Council on Foreign Relations last month.
More than a third of the total US taxpayer funding — $28.2 billion — goes straight into the pockets of the US military industrial complex for weapons purchases. Another quarter of the total amount funds the security services part of the US defense industry, offering logistics and training. In the end, a mere 5 percent of the total US funding goes to humanitarian aid.
Is this really the best deal for the average Ukrainian? Or is it mainly just good for the American establishment elites, as some prominent US officials and allies have flatly admitted?
“Right now, Russian imperialism can be stopped cheaply, because American soldiers are not dying,” Polish President Andrzej Duda recently told the Washington Post earlier this month.
He’s echoing what former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last December — that US aid to Ukraine is a “really good investment for the United States.” Clinton added that “they are not asking us to be there to fight their war; they’re fighting it themselves.”
Neocon war-hawk, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also called it the “best money we’ve ever spent,” pointing out that Russians were dying so…mission accomplished. Yeah, well, Ukrainians are, too, in case he hasn’t noticed. But if the Western establishment had to send American troops to fight Russians in Ukraine, then the political cost would be astronomical and they might just end up regime changing themselves right out of power.
In the wake of such statements, how could anyone believe that they have the best interests of peace and of the average Ukrainian at heart?
And how many times has humanitarian aid just disappeared into the pockets of US and Western charities and assorted “civil society” cronies who give the impression of saving the world while, in reality, doing their paymasters’ dirty work? A glaring example was the social media network, ZunZeneo, launched in Cuba and funded by USAID — an agency that sounds like its mission is to save starving kids. In reality, the objective of this project was to foment a “Cuban spring”-style regime change.
More recently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed in the wake of the recent coup in Niger — in which US-trained troops ousted the US-friendly president — that “life-saving humanitarian and food assistance will continue.”
It’s not hard to imagine that the funding could largely serve as a means of maintaining a soft power foothold in the country, through humanitarian fronts, to monitor or mitigate growing Russian and Chinese cooperation with the new leaders at a time when French troops have been booted out and the US risks being next.
Arguably, the most glaring recent humanitarian funding racket was in Haiti, where US and allied humanitarian charities flooded into the country after it was decimated by an earthquake in 2010. It wasn’t long before they were called out by the Western press. “Each American dollar roughly breaks down like this: 42 cents for disaster assistance, 33 cents for U.S. military aid, nine cents for food, nine cents to transport the food, five cents for paying Haitian survivors for recovery efforts, just under one cent to the Haitian government, and about half a cent to the Dominican Republic,” wrote the Associated Press at the time, confirming that the tragedy served as a convenient cash cow for Washington laundering taxpayer cash to itself and to its own favorite enablers. Which would explain why Haiti is still a mess.
Washington also just gave another $444 million in “humanitarian assistance” to Yemen back in February, for a total of $5.4 billion to-date. It’s chump change compared to what’s been spent so far in Ukraine, and reflects a growing lack of strategic interest in the country as a pretext for Western arms peddling — or for anything else useful to Washington, really. Before Ukraine came along as a battlefield for fighting Russians using Ukrainians, Yemen served a means of fighting Iran through Tehran-backed Houthi proxies — all by arming Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, even though they ultimately ended up mowing down thousands of civilians and contributing to one of the largest humanitarian catastrophes on earth.
So the next time Washington starts bragging about how generous it’s going to be with Americans’ money toward some foreign country, it’s worth asking who the real beneficiaries are.
COPYRIGHT 2023 RACHEL MARSDEN