The US Iran and Hezbollah Effort to Rebuild Lebanon – Kindness of China and Japan Will Allow the US Taxpayer to give out Aid

The US Iran and Hezbollah Effort to Rebuild Lebanon – Kindness of China and Japan Will Allow the US Taxpayer to give out Aid

An Iranian Foreign Ministry official said Sunday that Iran is working on an aid package to help rebuild Lebanon after the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah has also pledged to give enough money to fund repairs of 15,000 bomb damaged homes throughout Lebanon.

After pledges by Arab nations, President Bush has announced that the US taxpayer will also help in the rebuilding effort. The President pledged $230 million to help rebuild Lebanon and also said he was working with Congress to spread out Israel's loan guarantees to help Israel deal with the damage created by the war. This is according to Nathan Guttman of the Jerusalem Post.

The loan guarantees to Israel were due to expire in 2008. With this extension, Israel will be allowed to borrow an additional $4.6 billion at a low interest rate, about half of the sum guaranteed by the US government.

Apparently the loan guarantees are just part of the mix of aid given to Israel. According to one report, Israel claims to never have defaulted on a loan. The US has always either forgiven the loan or guaranteed future loans.

The information clearing house says that Israel will receive an estimated $2.5 billion in 2006. On a per citizen basis, this is more money given to American Citizens. According to the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs, the US has given Israel $133 billion dollars since 1949. Other estimates place the amount at $115 billion.

Some observers worry that the US could be wasting their money rebuilding Lebanon. It is possible that Israel could attack again after the US and other Arab countries rebuild Lebanon. The money could be wasted.

According to a report in the New Yorker (04-18-2005), the US relies on the kindness of foreign nations who carry our debt. Both the Japanese and Chinese buy US government bonds. Of course, the US taxpayer must pay the interest on these bonds, but these loans from foreign nations do help us in our endeavor to give other countries their foreign aid. According to Representative John Tanner last year, foreign investors own approximately $2 trillion in U.S. bonds and notes.

By Tom Madison

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