US Funding to Egypt Only Making it Easier to Scapegoat America

Egyptians united in blaming America for supporting the other side?


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?

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  1. All the more reason not to put money on anyone or anything in this civil war in Egypt.

    1. The pharoahs.

  2. OT to John:

    I know you don't like Greenwald, but I also know you hate the Washington Post. So I really have to insist that you follow this whole Pincus story. Because I can't remember the last time anyone so thoroughly humiliated a major daily. If Greenwald's dick was any farther up the Post's ass whoever pulled it out would be crowned King of England.

    1. How about the way he humiliated David Gregory? Was not John impressed by that?

      1. That was pretty awesome.

      1. Greenwald is my favorite gay journalist.

        1. This is a strangely specific compliment.

        2. What about Balko?


          1. On my gay journalist scale of 1 to flaming, I'd say Balko's about a 9. But remember, the higher up the scale you go is not necessarily an indication you have received a higher rating.

      2. Their ombudsman has begrudgingly issued one correction after another, until there's no article left.

        But they are too embarrassed to completely retract the article so they're letting it sit there littered with corrections instead. So humiliating.

        1. Pulling it would be less embarrassing.

    2. Apparently, the Washington Post has decided to weigh in on the ongoing debate over "what is journalism?" with this answer: you fill up articles on topics you don't know the first thing about with nothing but idle speculation, rank innuendo, and evidence-free accusations, all under the guise of "just asking questions".

      And, we are told, large old-world traditional print behemoths like the WaPo are the only people qualified to do good journalism.

  3. Why doesn't the US join OPEC? Would that cause people's heads to explode?

    1. I still want to divide up the world, Cold-War style, into OPEC and OPIC.

      Of course, there is also gas, so, particularly in light of all this shale drilling, I want OGEC and OGIC too...

  4. To all the American people: we've got nothing but Love for you.

    And how could we possibly not believe such warm, heartfelt sentiment? Just look at the love in those puppy dog eyes!

  5. There was a talking head on NPR today who actually made an interesting point about aid to Egypt. We give them 'military aid' in the form of purchase credits in which they buy hardware from American contractors.

    So in the end, military aid to Egypt ultimately turns into Stimulus for flyover country.

  6. Didn't the Saudi's just give them 3 billion?

  7. The US has also been accused by Egyptians of being pro-Morsi

    Their guess is as good as anyone's as to why we keep sending money.

    The fact is? We started sending money because Egypt switched sides during the Cold War. Yeah, that's right. If you trace it all the way back, we're sending money to Egypt because they snubbed the communists back in the 70s.

    1. because they snubbed the communists back in the 70s

      And today, they are snuggling right up with us!

    2. All of this crap is Cold War leftovers. I'm tired of it, where's our new superpower to be deathly afraid of?

      1. I hate to say it since it is incredibly myopic, but in some sense the untold suffering of millions behind the Iron Curtain and in Indochina was a good check on the US government -- voters had a real-live example of the horrors of progressive thinking run amok.

        1. voters had a real-live example of the horrors of progressive thinking run amok.

          We have California... does anyone learn a lesson from that?

          Hell, we have Europe, and our politicians still use Europe as the go-to example of how we should be doing things.

          1. Hell, they use Europe's economic crisis as evidence that we should have a larger government.

            When you're blaming European economic problems on the belief that they don't spend enough you have lost your mind.

          2. California doesn't have gulags... yet.

      2. I'm tired of it, where's our new superpower to be deathly afraid of?

        I believe the Kochs have filled that role.

  8. Is this going to be late night links? If so, here's some crazy shit from my hometown.

    "I am requesting with this press conference that Gov. Patrick Quinn order the Illinois National Guard (and) the Illinois State Police (to) come to Chicago and work with our mayor Ron (sic) Emanuel to provide safety for the children, especially," she said at a news conference in Springfield.

    Yes. What we need is a literal band of soldiers to come and place Chicago under martial law. For the children.

    1. Well, I mean, it is for the children...

      late night links? We have those? I can't even find anyone here late at night besides a meager few damn fureners.

      1. We have those once in a while. I haven't been on late for a long time, but a couple months ago I'd go on at night once in a while. I still remember the time we managed to get an afternoon thread about Bill Maher over 1000 posts on a Saturday.

        Good times.

        1. Good times, I guess. I haven't seen a thread with 1000 posts in a long time around here. I mean, if we get anywhere close, the community seems to throw sleep or whatever aside and rally the troops to make 1000.

          Kind of depressing when you think of a society where a HuffPo gets 900 posts about Rand Paul being a racist in under 10 minutes.

          1. I hold fast to the belief, deep in my heart of hearts, that those posts are generated by approximately 5.38 commenters with numerous identifies, all zealously defending their own deeply held conviction of their political and moral superiority. "One day," they say, "one day, there will *be* this many of us...."

            If that isn't true, then we are all just fucked.

            1. We're fucked. For now.

            2. The people on HuffPo are idiots and hyper partisan, but I think we can take solace in the fact that not many of them vote.

              I'm willing to bet they're the kind of people who talk about how much they hate THOSE GODDAMN CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERTARIANS and might periodically show up to vote in a presidential election, but in general get distracted by something shiny on election day and don't come to the polls.

              This belief saves my sanity.

              1. I dunno, Irish. Why the fuck any electorate would elect Obama over, even Romney, is beyond me. I can understand why he beat McCain, the guy who I voted as #1 worst enemy of freedom in todays poll here, but compared to Obama, Romney seems pretty harmless.

                1. Yes, but Romney's campaign was grossly incompetent and allowed Obama to paint him as an evil out of touch fat cat who wants to take your jobs away and give them to the Chinese. They also treated Ryan like a borderline anarchist which was just hilarious to watch.

                  Romney did the worst job of countering those accusations that I have ever seen. He basically allowed himself to be smeared and slandered by the Obama campaign, and didn't fight back.

                  As many problems as I have with Romney, I honestly think he's too nice and wholesome to win a presidential campaign. He's not enough of a dirty scumbag like the Chicago boys who got Obama elected or the Rove machine that Bush used.

            3. My count still stands. There are 22 of us. I'm sticking to that count.

    2. I'm originally from southern Illinois, and...I'm glad I got out.

      1. Is southern IL anything like southern IN? I sort of like the southern part of IN, well, as much as you can like anywhere in the midwest, although the north sucks ballz.


          1. Isn't all of Canuckistan, flyover? Oh, wait, there's VC, Montreal, and Toronto, and the wings ice up...

            1. I didn't say I wasn't in it

              1. That, you did not. And I didn't say it's not better to be in it. Minus a climate point or two.

                1. The summers are worth it.

                  1. You live in the part of Canada that has summers? Get off our border! (:

            2. Isn't all of Canuckistan, flyover? Oh, wait, there's VC, Montreal, and Toronto, and the wings ice up...

              Which makes that flyaround country.

        2. It is significantly worse.

          I have lived in both places, and I still manage to live in one of them (for some reason)...

          1. Worse in what way?

            1. It is basically all of the fun of Bible-Belt bumfuckery with the charm of fiscal and regulatory union with Chicago. Partially because of this, southern Indiana is economically healthier (they brain-and-skill-drain the few remaining brains and skills from southern Illinois). I am also of the opinion that southern Indiana has the more interesting historical and natural sights. Hell, Evansville isn't even that bad of a town (for the region)...

              1. Ok. I see. There are a lot of interesting places to visit in southern IN.

                Like I said, I pretty much have skipped over IL in my tour of the US. Except for Chicago, which I hate with an exceptional passion.

              2. You from Gary huh, let me tell you where I'm from. A little place called "fresh off a nigga's ass." You just made me homesick. -- Pointy Williams.

          2. The entire state of Illinois is atrocious, with the exception of the nice parts of Chicago and some suburbs. Southern Illinois doesn't get called out for what a terrible, meth addled place it is for some reason. I think it's because it's in a state with Chicago, which shelters it from being mocked for how unbearable it is.

            1. at least you're not from Gary, Indiana.

              GO RAILCATS

              1. I'm not from IN, but I lived near Ft. Wayne for a number of years. I hated the fuck out of it, for the most part, the entire time.

            2. Hmm, sounds a lot different than Southern IN, which I remember as a bunch of sleepy bergs and villes. Reminds me a lot of KY, or parts of southern OH.

              A former co-worker of mine just left us to work in Chicago. I tried not to be cynical, but it was hard. There truly is not city on earth that I hate worse than that shit hole.

              1. If you make decent money Chicago is an awesome summer city and a decent city even in the winter.

                The problem with Chicago is the absolute devastation wrought on the low income parts by the hyper-corrupt Democratic machine. It enrages me watching the Democrats destroy the school system while paying off the teacher's union for votes and manipulating low-income black people to vote for them entirely through race baiting.

                It's disgusting, but you don't have to deal with that if you're wealthy and white.

                1. Yeah, well my former co-worker, as an accomplished software engineer, will not have to deal with that. But you can't get out of dealing with that horrific climate.

            3. Economic ossification and demographics have basically doomed southern Illinois to meth-addled obscurity. There are also "native" cultural problems, which both caused and intensify the aforementioned ones. I wouldn't go so far as to make your claim about Illinois in its entirety, but the southern and central parts are devoutly to be avoided.

            4. Some parts of northwestern IL near the Mississippi are beautiful and can make a fun weekend visit if you're a fan of rural areas and can stomach the Chicago tourists.

              But speaking as a IL native, yeah, horrible state other than a few pockets.

    3. Chicago needs fewer gun laws - not less. Cull out about 75,000 people in a massive St. Valentines Day and we all win.

      I say this as a fan of Fast and Furious. Sell 'em and let the market decide the winners.

  9. And you thought all Lawyers were sharks:
    Lawyer leaves Ferrari stranded in water just to keep a client from being stranded.

  10. We give the military aid.

    The military just stopped Egypt from turning into another Iran.

    I don't see the problem.

    I think you are confusing democracy with liberty. Yet democracy is perhaps the most tyrannical form of government, at least potentially. And that potential was being realized in Egypt

  11. "Do they hate us for our freedom, or is it blowback?"


    1. Thank you, sir.

      Too many attempts to reduce a multivariate problem to someone's pet issue.

      1. As this is not my pet issues I can, without bias, say that what they really hate us for is our lack of alt-text.

        1. Now it all makes sense...

        2. Oh. My. God.

          *Dramatically removes glass like Jim Gaffigan*

    2. Agree with blowback. Hate us for our freedoms? Please, explain?

        1. Yeah, well... meh....

          And why do they need to see any of that?

          I just have this Paultard like feeling that if we wouldn't fuck with them, that they would probably forget that we even exist, but that's just me.

      1. Happy to. Islamists subscribe to a viewpoint which dictates that the preferred form of social organization is that which was revealed in the Quran and the Hadith, and which they believe was best exemplified by the hyper-expansionist caliphate under the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Islamists have adapted this for use with modern nation-states as a totalitarian philosophy, and many of their founding philosophers created this movement in part as a reaction to what they saw as immoral excess in the United States.

        The presence of this ideology in immigrant communities where the immigrants in question have only ever been treated well in their countries (whether in Europe or the US), as well as the persecution of minority groups with no attachment to imperialist powers, belie the notion that Muslim and the Middle East's sentiments towards the US are mostly due to interference in their politics.

        1. That is a much longer, but far better explanation than what I was inclined to provide:

          "Look at how they treat their 'own people.'"

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