To make sense of the tumult in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Washington establishment has made for the safe harbour of analogies. Obama applauded the transformation in the region in his May 19 speech at the State Department and then announced a $2 billion aid package to revive the region’s stalled economies. The parallel Obama drew was instructive: the new Enterprise Funds will be “modelled on funds that supported the transitions in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall”. … what the historian Marshall Goldman called the “piratisation” of Eastern Europe, with the economist Jeffrey Sachs in the lead in Poland. […] …the IMF pledged to lend $3 billion to Egypt, and the G8 promised $20 billion from the various international agencies… If you add in the U.S. promise, the total government assistance amounts to $25 billion. Such figures are a tease, but sufficient as a down payment to ensure that the U.S. and the G8 have a place at Egypt’s decision-making table.
Vijay Prashad in Counterpunch, June 17-19, 2011