Senator Leahy, who could not discover a national interest in the Balanced Budget Amendment, drilling for oil in ANWR or detaining Muslim terrorists, all of which he voted against; finally discovered a binding national interest 5,500 miles away in Jordan, where "refugee camps" like Baqa'a (pop. 80,000), which are virtually indistinguishable from local towns and cities, complete with block after block of residential homes, stores and markets, multi-story office buildings, schools, hospitals and assorted infrastructure, must not be looked at too closely.
As a city which will soon celebrate its 50 year anniversary, Baqa'a is older than many modern Israeli cities and is as much a refugee camp as any of them. The only difference between Baqa'a and Ariel, is that no one in Baqa'a does anything for themselves because they are all eternal refugees with an entire UN agency dedicated to wiping their bottoms for them. A unique and singular honor in a world full of authentic refugees who have been driven out by rape squads and genocide, without getting their own minders in blue.
Senator Mark Kirk's heretical proposal to begin reforming the UNRWA by distinguishing between people who could have some claim on being refugees from the vast majority who cannot, met with Leahy's declaration that; "Frankly, Mr. Chairman, as a member of this committee, I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests.”
Samuel Johnson said that, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel", but even Johnson would have had trouble understanding how a refusal to count who American aid money is going to, is in the nation's best interests. It is no doubt in the best interests of the denizens of Baqa'a and their Jordanian rulers, who need to spend that much less money taking care of their people, but ignorance certainly doesn't do the United States and its interests any good. A refusal to seriously examine the books does, however, benefit the UNRWA and politicians like Leahy who continue to support this boondoggle.
Jordan, the location of Baqa'a and many other aid sinkholes like it, has a population notoriously hostile to the United States. After September 11, Al-Qaeda enjoyed some of its highest approval ratings there, and most Jordanians still do not believe that Muslims carried out the attacks. Despite half a century of aid, 67 percent of Jordanians blame the West for their lack of prosperity, and majorities there support suicide bombings against civilians and American soldiers. Clearly, if there's one place that there is a compelling national interest to plow aid money into, without doing the math, it's Jordan and its refugee camps.
Where exactly is the compelling national interest in standing behind the UNRWA's 1.23 billion dollar biennial budget, and not just the budget, but a refusal to reform the methodology for accounting where all that money is going to? Before Washington D.C. cuts another quarter-of-a-billion dollar check to one of the biggest wastes of money in an organization that excels at wasting money, even more than D.C., it's entirely sensible to ask whom the money is going to and how long we will be making out these checks?
There are currently five million people living off the UNRWA dole. Sooner or later there will be fifty million. Jordan's government has done everything possible to inflate the UNRWA welfare rolls and keep cities like Baqa'a and their people on the Western dole. One day the Jordanian government, the British-appointed monarchy ruling over the original Palestinian state, may decide to give up the farce and put all their people on the UNRWA rolls as refugees. And we'll have to keep on paying without asking any questions-- after all, it is in our "national interest".
After twenty years of negotiations, that have led to nothing except a rump terrorist state that is one big Baqa'a inside Israel, it's ridiculously clear that there will never be any final status negotiations, if only because the PLO militias don't actually want the job of taking care of their own people. Even if they did, in less than a decade, the PLO thugs in suits, subsidized, armed and trained by the West, will be consumed by Hamas. And Hamas, despite whimsical statements from Peter Beinart to the contrary, has no intention of entering into final status negotiations.
Final status, for all intents and purposes, means forever. It's an excuse for maintaining Baqa'a and the United Nations budget, and nothing else. But suppose that we might one day look forward to final status negotiations, there is no reason why an objective quality like, what makes one a refugee, cannot be addressed by the nation funding the refugees. Final status agreements cannot defer the dictionary or common sense. And unless we are expected to keep on funding Baqa'a on its 100 year anniversary or its 200 year anniversary, sooner or later the numbers have to be added up, and people whose only claim to the bottomless aid bucket is that their great-grandfather was on the losing side of a war of conquest, started by their side, will have to get a job.
According to Senator Leahy, raising such issues is not in America's national interest, but apparently it is in America's national interest to keep on funding the UNRWA, which employs terrorists and acts as a welfare state for some of the most Anti-American people in the world. But Palestiniasm as patriotism is not an original formulation. When times get tough and policies get senseless, backing the terrorist militias is described as a national interest for the United States. But is it really?
What conceivable national interest has there ever been in picking up Soviet leftovers like the PLO, and pouring billions of dollars into a sewer, which only spits up more terrorism, hate and chaos? When Senators and Deputy Secretaries talk about national interests, what they really mean is the interest of Muslim monarchies in the Gulf, who bring up Israel and the plight of its terrorists every time an American diplomat or general drops by Riyadh, Doha or Kuwait City.
The UNRWA, Baqa'a and the PLO aren't an American interest-- they're a Muslim interest. What Leahy and Nider really mean is that it's in America's national interest to cater to Muslim interests. Nider comes closest to saying that, when he writes that cutting UNRWA aid would place a heavy burden on our allies in the region, who despite their billions in oil wealth and their passionate feelings on the subject, somehow can't be bothered to cover the cost of feeding, teaching and caring for Baqa'a.
The King of Jordan found 1.5 billion dollars to build the Red Sea Astrarium, a local version of Disneyland, but the Hashemite monarchy, like the House of Saud, the Al-Thanis, the House of Sabah, and every other bunch of burnoosed tyrants with palaces and investments across the world, can't be asked to care for their own people in their 50 year old refugee camps, who are kept that way because it's an easy way to sock the gullible West for another few billion dollars to fund their terrorist training bases.
Even if there were a valid reason for the United States to champion Muslim interests by carving up Israel in order to create yet another Sunni Muslim state, it would not be a national interest, it would be appeasement. Palestine is as much in America's national interest, as the Sudetenland was in Britain's national interest. A foreign policy of feeding other people to the beast, in the hopes that he won't feed on us, is not a national interest-- it's craven cowardice that has no hope of succeeding.
Is it really in America's national interest to turn over its foreign policy to the Muslim monarchies who birthed Al-Qaeda and conduct a covert war against the West? Is it in our interest to to keep funding terrorist training camps like Baqa'a without asking any questions? And are politicians like Senator Leahy, who treat questioning the UN bureaucracy, that has empowered terrorists while draining budgets, as an unpatriotic act, the real patriots or are they the pawns of tyrants who have one hand on their shoulder and the other on the knife in their back?
The only difference between the Hashemites and the houses of Saud, Sabah and Thani, is oil. America ships money and soldiers to the Gulf, and the Gulf monarchs ship back terrorists, oil and mosques. That's the formula that got us into two Gulf Wars, one War on Terror and a Clash of Civilizations, and men like Senator Leahy insist that we shouldn't scrutinize the disastrous policies that the Arab League, the catspaw of the Gulfies, has pawned off on us, and that doing so is somehow unpatriotic.
Gulfism in all its forms, whether it's Syrianism, Palestinianism or the jack-of-all-trades, Islamism, is not patriotism. The future of the United States will not be secured by turning Washington D.C. into the front office for a bunch of medieval tyrannies that have no future. The House of Saud, and all the other houses, don't enjoy popular support, have parade guard militaries and nothing on their side but money and foreign support. The only thing they have to offer us is more Baqa'as, in Jordan, in Israel, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan and all across Europe and the United States. And once that's done, they'll tell us that it's in our national interest to foot the bill.