A large part of the lure to a recent peace conference of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a Bush offer of a new $400 million in aid. And while many in Bush Administration like to characterize the Fatah Party and Palestinian Authority leadership as the best of hopes for moderation in the sensitive Israel-Palestinian political drama, the real fact of the matter is that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have done very little to fulfill lagging 14 year-old obligations to jail terrorists, disarm radicals with illegal powerful weaponry, or prevent the continued spread of anti-Jewish hate messages through Palestinian controlled media and Mosques, or break up youth camps that have only become the training grounds for terrorists such as suicide bombers.
Once again, the Bush Administration has found another bad government to send millions of American dollars to, just like Pakistan or many other bad governments. And in return, the Bush Administration has really established very little that is expected in exchange for these massive U.S. funds.
Upon the death of Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, it was discovered that as much as hundreds of millions of U.S. and other aid had been channeled into Swiss bank accounts for the personal use by him or his wife. Before Mr. Bush sends out more blank checks to the Palestinian Authority, more checks on rampant corruption among the Fatah Party and Palestinian Authority need to be in place. A large part of the reason that Fatah was trounced by Hamas in earlier elections was the rampant corruption among the Fatah leadership at all levels of their political organization, with so much in funds lost that the average Palestinian usually would see little of the U.S. aid as a benefit. By comparison, the radical Hamas faction looked far more ethical and less corrupt.
If the U.S. really can expect results such as a peace dividend in exchange for their huge financial investment in Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, then that is one thing. But all indications seem to point to business as usual for Fatah and Palestinian Authority corruption and a continued lack of commitment to the old agreements for peace and reforms left unfulfilled.
American children do without health care and other Americans only suffer so that corrupt leadership overseas can continue to profit from our government's continued generosity to the dishonest leaders abroad. Nothing changes here in the U.S. either.
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