When Venice went into economic decline in the mid 16th century one aspect was the wanton funding of its enemy the Ottoman Turks. Historians never discuss this theme but the Venetians who did greatly benefit from Turkish and Levantine trade, also funded their enemy through the exchange of hard currency, military assets, technology and even during periods of political weakness, ransom money to be left alone. Venice was at times a satrapy of the Turks. The Venetians 'were too clever by half' as the British would say, in their Byzantine dealings with the Moslem empire. Funding and financially engaging your enemy directly, usually leads to such problems.
Venetian decline is most clearly illustrated by the transfer of industry, wealth and skill to England during the 16th century, an exodus which directly contributed to England's rise to domination. Again not much is made of this by historians, but the English wool, glass, and metallurgy industries, not to mention banking and the accumulation of needed capital, was much enriched if not originating from this Venetian diaspora. How curious it is then that we in the West, through the unaccountable, unresponsive and non-transparent Group of 8 industrialized democracies, via the opaque IMF, find it necessary with our own balance sheets current and future spilling nothing but red ink, to transfer $40 to $160 billion to Moslem and Arab countries to help support the supposed-democratic movements in North African and beyond. We already transfer a $50 per barrel of oil jizya or head tax to Arab and Moslem states. Surely that is enough? I can't help but think of the convoluted Venetian policy of aiding political elements in the harem, the seraglio, or within Islamic states which might be friendly to Venetian trade and finance. That policy blew up in their Baroque faces.
In a report to G8 leaders the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday the external financing needs of oil-importing countries in the Middle East and North Africa would top $160 billion over the next three years.
"The region needs to prepare for a fundamental transformation of its economic model," Masood Ahmed, in charge of Middle East and Africa at the IMF, told journalists on the sidelines of the G8 meeting in Deauville.
"This will be greatly facilitated if international players including the G8 can enter into strategic partnership with these countries ... where incentives are linked to a social agenda."
The IMF says it can provide around $35 billion to help stabilize countries' economies but the bulk of financing will need to come from the international community.
The World Bank on Tuesday unveiled $6 billion in new funding for Tunisia and Egypt, whose revolts have inspired popular uprisings in Yemen, Jordan, Morocco and Syria, and left Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi fighting to stay in power.
How transparent are these transfers? To whom? Why? Do we know the actors involved? Are we sure that they are our allies? How do we know that the transfers will not end up in the hands of Islamic true-believers or in the hands of future Arab National-Socialist strong-men?
We must fully support with all means possible the transition of the Arab and Muslim world to something more intelligent and modern than Islam, or Arab National Socialism. Both theologies have failed and will always fail. The World Bank states that the Arab-Muslim Near East region needs about 50 million to 75 million jobs over the next decade. There is no chance that either Islam or Arab culture will create any jobs. Witness Gaza, Syria, and Jordan versus the example of Israel. Arab elites live in luxury. Their people suffer and are pawns in anti-Jew racism, and programs of political violence and hate.
One has to assume that our leaders are intelligent enough not to fund our adversaries. Yet the fact remains that we already transfer to the Moslem world billions per annum in UN development money, including the UN-led apartheid and imprisonment of Arabs living in Gaza [called 'Palestinians']. $1 Trillion per year is sent to these states as an oil-jizya tax. Surely these funds are enough. Why don't we first organize the monies we are sending to these states and use that more wisely? There are many ways to control the oil tax we are sending Moslem states. We should first figure out a way to take that money back, or find a way to control it first before sending more monies to actors, groups and individuals we know little to nothing about. Venice got it wrong. We might well be following her example.