Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Democratic Opposition to Aid for Pakistan

One of my senators from here in New Jersey, Bob Menedez -- who I rarely agree with on anything -- attacked the Obama administration's plans to hand another $7.5 billion of taxpayer money to Pakistan. In what Fox News called a "testy exchange," Menedez told Richard Holbrooke that he wasn't going to rubber-stamp administration plans.
"You're asking us for money without telling us you're going to have benchmarks, you're going to have accountability,"..."there is going to have to be some give and take here if you want the support of some of us who have been supportive along the way but are just not here for a blank check"
The senator also pointed out that we've already sent $12 billion to Pakistan and have precious little to show for it. He said he isn't going to support the aid plan unless he sees "measures of success and benchmarks." Naturally, Holbrooke was horrified that anyone would dare question the administration. But as Pakistan descends into chaos, and as the bulk of the Pakistani military sits on the Indian border while the Taliban rampage through the heart of their country, is it really too much to ask that we have a clear, well-defined plan before we simply throw more tax money down the hole?

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