Serial No. 110-173: U.S. Assistance to the Middle East: Old Tools for New Tasks? Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, May 8, 2008   [open pdf - 176KB]

From the opening statement of Gary L. Ackerman: "At the top of the list of problems in the Middle East is the question of governance and freedoms, from which many of the region's troubling phenomena flow. The U.N.'s Arab Human Development reports, which describe in painful detail the extent to which the Middle East has fallen behind other regions in terms of education, health, technology and other significant measures of quality of life, has cited the lack of freedom as the key factor in these deficits. Over the long term it is hard to see how the Middle East can thrive without a substantial evolution in governance. It is neither the right, nor the duty, of the United States to pick the form of government for any people but ourselves. But that does not mean that we have to watch impassively as people in the region struggle for their liberty, and demand respect for their civil and human rights. Neither are we bound to watch in silence as governments with which we cooperate endanger themselves, and by extension our common policy goals, by alienating their own populations. […] Some of our partners in the region face challenges that are more direct and brutal. […] They need arms and, often, the proper training to deploy them. But they are ready and willing to defend themselves. Helping them to do so is not only morally right, but is prudent policy. [...] Wise investments by ourselves and increased access to the U.S. economy can make a big difference in helping our friends in the region to grow and to thrive. Very simply, we need to send more lawyers, guns and money, but we need to know which to send where." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Gary L. Ackerman, C. David Welch, and George A. Laudato.

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Serial No. 110-173
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