Don’t send money to countries that fail to support American ideals of freedom
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 20:10
Why would the United States fund a government that directly contradicts America’s definition of freedom?
Once again, we find the Obama administration helping itself to more taxpayer money. This time, $450 million was halted from being given to the Egyptian government. Judging by the turmoil taking place there, it is a good thing Republican Texas congresswoman Kay Granger “placed a hold on these funds.”
The large sum is part of $1 billion in aid promised by the Obama administration to the transitioning Egyptian government after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. As the new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi has given unsettling statements that have brought many in Washington to question the intentions of the leadership. At his first address to the United Nations last week, Morsi spoke to the leaders of the world.
“Egypt respects freedom of expression...not a freedom of expression that targets a specific religion or a specific culture,” Morsi said.
It seems that the new president has something other than “freedom of expression” in mind when using such a phrase. The very definition of freedom, given by Meriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, is “liberation from...restraint or from the power of another....” The key word there is “liberation”, with
the root word “liberty.” This is of a concept Mr. Morsi wishes to suppress.
It is crystal clear how the Egyptian president feels about free speech, but what did our first president have to say on the subject? In a letter written to Sir Edward Newenham on June 22, 1792, George Washington warned about the dangers of religious conflict.
“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause,” Washington wrote.
Washington understood that liberty would result in disagreements. How would conflict be avoided in a free society? Tolerance. The free must be willing to tolerate a different point of view, even if expressed in “unacceptable” or “obscene” ways.
This is a cornerstone of America. The First Amendment to the Constitution was written so that freedom of speech might be protected against government suppression.
America has the distinct privilege of being able to reward nations with capital where assistance is requested. It is also the constitutional responsibility of our president to manage relations on behalf of the United States. Having failed to appropriate $450 million wisely, the opposing party kept money from funding an oppressive government.
Thus, the truest of democracies proves again how freedom is conducted.