January 20, 2009:
Egypt has refused to accept a U.S. peace proposal for Gaza, that would halt the smuggling of weapons into Gaza via tunnels under the Egyptian border. The Egyptians refused the deal because it meant U.S. technicians would help install and maintain the U.S. surveillance equipment along the border with Gaza. That's strange, because Egypt accepts the presence of U.S. technicians and military trainers to help handle the $1.3 dollars a year in military aid (and nearly a billion dollars worth of economic aid) it enjoys. Egypt has received over $50 billion in U.S. aid since the 1979 peace deal between Egypt and Israel. The large amount of aid was part of a deal. A bribe, if you will.
Bribes may be what is keeping U.S. monitoring equipment away from the Egyptian-Gaza border. Egyptian police already monitor the border, and they apparently accept generous bribes from the smugglers to leave the hundreds of tunnels alone. A lot of that money goes up the Egyptian chain-of-command, to senior government officials. It's big business, and keeping the American tunnel detection equipment away from the border, will keep the bribes coming.