Egypt

US Funding to Egypt Only Making it Easier to Scapegoat America

Egyptians united in blaming America for supporting the other side?

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just a sign
Dalia Ezzat

An Al-Jazeera report claiming the US funded anti-Morsi groups that pushed for the Egyptian president's ouster reveals just how schizophrenic US spending can be. Foreign Policy dismisses the report and points out that the US has also been accused by Egyptians of being pro-Morsi:

Despite the fact that the U.S funding appears to have stopped in 2011, and U.S. support of civil society and opposition groups was well known, U.S. critics heralded the [Al-Jazeera] article as evidence of America's animus toward the Muslim Brotherhood and false freedom agenda. "Defenders of Democracy huh?" tweeted one user. 

Ironically, the accusations come after weeks of protestations from Morsy opponents that U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, and by extension the United States, tacitly supported the Muslim Brotherhood as it refused to vocally criticize its power grabs while discouraging street protests…

So which is it? America the coup instigator or America the Islamist apologist? The administration repeatedly insists "we don't take sides," but accounts from pro and anti-Morsy demonstrations find common ground in the scapegoating of the United States.

Senior Brotherhood politician Mohamed El-Beltagi squarely blames the U.S. as being one of the villains "intervening in recognition and support of the military coup," he told Reuters. "This restores the state of hatred towards those … American nations whose states always stand with despotic regimes against nations looking for freedom."

…The reality is that the U.S. doesn't want to jeopardize its influence in Egypt by siding with one group or another. That was plainly clear as White House and State Department officials went through a series of rhetorical gymnastics in recent days to avoid calling the military's ouster of Morsy a coup. But the U.S. government's annual allotment of $1.5 billion in assistance to Egypt means it will always loom large in the country's politics. Amid the spin, there's one thing that White House spokesman Jay Carney said this week you can take to the bank: "This is an incredibly complex and difficult situation."

Which would almost certainly be made easier by pulling American money out. After all, how much "influence" has it built in Egypt?