While Congress Cuts, Kerry Wants More Money for Middle East

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Instead of debating ways to spend less, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says it is time for Congress to start talking about spending more to support Arabs who desire democracy -- or our national security will suffer.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., added that he is gathering bipartisan support in the Senate for a financial package that will hopefully "turn the new Arab awakening into a lasting rebirth."

Kerry has analyzed the recent uprisings in the Middle East, and thinks the United States must now give money to the ordinary people who are pushing for change.

"I understand that we face a budget crisis in our own country," Kerry stated. "But we can either pay now to help brave people build a better, democratic future for themselves or we will certainly pay later with increased threats to our own national security."

Furthermore, Kerry sees this "Arab awakening," as an entire region rejecting the terrorist doctrine of al Qaeda, and he believes that offering financial assistance to those rising up will show solidarity with supporters of democracy. "Our commitment now to the ordinary people who are risking their lives to win human rights and democracy will be remembered for generations in the Arab world. We have to get this moment right."

One longtime Republican senator seems to agree with Kerry and his quest to get Washington to spend more money in the Middle East. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants a no-fly zone over Libya, and doesn't want to be told there's no money for it.

"We are spending over $500 billion dollars, not counting Iraq and Afghanistan, on our nation's defense," said McCain, the top Republican of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Don't tell me we can't do a no fly zone over Tripoli."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Wednesday morning at a Congressional hearing that establishing a no-fly zone over Libya would require an attack on the North African nation.

"Let's just call a spade a spade," Gates warned. "A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses... and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down."