Support for Cutting Off US Military Aid to Egypt Growing in Washington; Saudi Arabia Ready to Step In

Voice of America and Iran's Press TV agree


also mubarak may be released from jail soon
Hossam el-Hamalawy/

The death toll in Egypt has surpassed 800, by the government's own figures, as the post-coup violence in the country continues. Egypt's military government is mulling a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood, which it blames for unrest in the country, and has cracked down on the Islamist group that was banned in the country for much of the 20th century until coming to power in the country's first democratic elections last year. The military government also arrested the brother of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a Morsi ally who is accused of trying to bring armed men into a mosque security forces were trying to raid. Mohammed al-Zawahiri claimed credit for the violent protests and assault on the US embassy in Cairo last September 11. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood last month called for the US embassy to be stormed again. US Ambassador Anne Patterson was, before the coup, accused by some Egyptians of helping the US prop up the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

The continuing violence in the country is nudging politicians in Washington toward finally cutting off military aid to the country. Last month, the US announced it was suspending shipments of fighter jets to Egypt, although when Rand Paul's legislation to cut off aid to Egypt reached the Senate floor a week later, only 13 senators voted for it. Nevertheless, support is now growing for such a move (something reported by media outlets ranging from Voice of America to Iran's Press TV). John McCain this weekend accused John Kerry of making statements while in Egypt that suggested US legitimization of the Egyptian regime, though continued US aid to the country (which McCain now also opposes) probably does a lot more for legitimizing the regime than John Kerry's words.  

Anticipating possible changes in the arrangement whereby the US sends billions of dollars to Egypt's military, Gulf monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia, pledged $12 billion in aid to Egypt last month. Today, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said his country would replace any Western aid to Egypt that was cut off. Saudi Arabia's willingness to spend money where the United States may no longer wants to illustrates that America's status as an "indispensable power" is only as indispensable as American politicians want it to be.

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  1. Egypt’s military government is mulling a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood

    I’m glad they’re finally coming around to the Western way of thinking. Bans on bad things have turned the US into a veritable paradise on earth.

    1. Meh. I suspect the Italians are glad the Red Brigades, and the Germans are glad the Baader-Meinhof Gang were banned.

      1. Here’s a question: When will Germany lift the ban against Nazis? One hundred years from now? One thousand? Never?

    2. Except I’m actually not willing to say the Muslim Brotherhood is an unalloyed bad thing. I mean, in the long run, more than likely. But by my reading, they won the election fair and square, and the former regime saw an opportunity to take power back by making it look like hip kids using Twitter were behind it.

      1. Democracy is great, until you’re outnumbered.

      2. I really should have specified “whatever the people in charge think is bad,” but that would have blown my commitment to brevity.

        1. I needed a venue to reference hipsters and twitter… you provided the perfect opportunity.

  2. “post-coup violence”

    WTF? Again with the moral equivalence? The Muslim Brotherhood is burning Christian churches and associated buildings to the ground, and “call[ing] for the US embassy to be stormed again,” and we’re talking about cutting off aid to the *government* of Egypt? We didn’t cut off aid to the Mubarak regime (which was just as nasty to the MB as the current regime), didn’t cut off aid to the Morsi regime (which wiped its ass on the rule of law), and now we’re going to cut off aid to the people who are trying to keep the church-burning, embassy-threatening MB *out* of power?

    What did Lenin supposedly say about the West providing the rope for its own hanging?

    I would support a bill to cancel aid to Egypt for, say 10 years, so long as this cut-off applied to any regime which might take power in that unfortunate country. But to cut off aid to the anti-Islamist regime, while dangling the carrot of aid in front of the Islamists, sounds beyond suicidal.

    1. I’m all for cutting off aid, permanently. Fuck ’em, every last one of them. Let them go suck on the Saudi and Emirati teat for awhile.

      1. +1 Riyal

        1. That would be a great idea – unfortunately, what I’m hearing from the Europeans and even (sadly) from Rand Paul is to suspend aid so long as the “coup plotters” remain in power, with a wink and a nudge that the aid can resume as soon as the government reaches a deal with the MB.

          What ministerial positions would you like the MB to get as a result of such a deal? Religious Affairs? Interior? Defense?

          Maybe the Egyptian govt, based on the situation on the ground, will feel obliged to cut a deal with the MB wackos. I’m not Egyptian, and I’m not going to urge further bloodshed on the government if there’s a negotiated solution. But I don’t want foreign powers pressing such a solution if the govt thinks it can crush the rebellion. That choice should be up to them, not concern-trolling outsiders.

          1. I can’t argue with you there. I, for one, am not getting the vapors about what the Egyptian army is doing. The MB are nihilistic scum and would be doing the same if they had the guns. In fact, they are doing the same to the Copts because …what else would you do if the govt. is bring the hammer on you.

            In the mean time I feel to need to fund a backwards country filled with a paranoid, hatemongering population.

            1. It’s only *part* of the population burning churches and threatening foreign embassies, but yes, foreign aid can be fairly cut off so long as it applies to all possible regimes, rather than serving as a carrot to get the MB back in power.

              And the Saudis seem to be belatedly realizing that supporting radical forces in other countries is against their own interests. By all means, let them take a step back, cancel their aid to Islamist fanatics, and support law-and-order forces.

          2. Paul’s been on the end aid to Egypt wagon for a while

          3. I am pretty sure Rand Paul wants to cut aid forever.

            He was for cutting aid long before any of this crap went down and has been consistent about it throughout the whole thing.

            He wanted to cut aid to Mubarak, he wanted to cut aid to the elected government and he wants to cut aid now that the military runs the place.

            Of course we gave aid for all three regimes so we are now to blame for everything each regime did.

    2. WTF? Again with the moral equivalence?

      What did the Morsi regime do that was morally equivalent to killing hundreds of people occupying a public square for the crime of not dispersing?

      1. Let me see, checking Professor Wik. I. Pedia:

        “In a speech to supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 30 June 2012, Morsi briefly mentioned that he would work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, along with the many Egyptians who were arrested during the revolution.[62] A Brotherhood spokesperson later said that the extradition was for humanitarian reasons and that Morsi did not intend to overturn Abdel-Rahman’s criminal convictions…

        “On 19 October 2012, Morsi traveled to Egypt’s northwestern Matrouh in his first official visit to deliver a speech on Egyptian unity at el-Tenaim Mosque. Immediately prior to his speech he participated in prayers there where he openly mouthed “Amen” as cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, the local head of religious endowment, declared, “Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.”

        1. Those are really not morally equivalent to killing hundreds of protestors in the street, dude.

          American posts worst statements here every day.

          1. In American’s defense, his supporters don’t burn churches to the ground.

    3. Saudi Arabia said they would cover it.

      Let them hang themselves.

  3. I just read that Mubarak was acquitted and will likely be released.

    1. Maybe this is a huge case of mob buyers remorse and Egypt wants Mubarak back again?

    2. On his own recognizance?

  4. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood last month called for the US embassy to be stormed again. US Ambassador Anne Patterson was, before the coup, accused by some Egyptians of helping the US prop up the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your monocles are functioning fine….I bring you the most sophisticated country in the Arab worlds. They are as conspiracy laden/politically foolish/dumb as us here in America. And that can take some doing.

    (Anyone know how to say “Kochtopus” in Arabic?)

    1. (Anyone know how to say “Kochtopus” in Arabic?)


      1. I think you got it!

        +1 Qasr el Yahud

    2. It’s not really a conspiracy theory. It’s a logical outgrowth of the total chaos on the ground and our bizarre policy.

      We favor “stability”. Unfortunately, that means that when Morsi was in power, we gave them aid. When the protests against Morsi began, we did not call for Morsi to step down. That led anti-Morsi Egyptians to conclude that we were pro-Morsi.

      When Morsi fell, we still favored stability. And we didn’t want to lose “leverage” per John McCain. So we supported the generals who had deposed Morsi. This led pro-Morsi Egyptians to conclude that we were anti-Morsi.

      It’s too tangled up to fix now.

  5. We should double aid to Egypt. I bet nobody will expect that!

    1. You’ve been reading Joe Biden’s notes again?!

  6. Didn’t Rand Paul say that cutting off foreign aid after a coup is required by the law? (Does anyone know which law?) If that is the case, why is there even a debate?

    Once again, impeach!

    1. Didn’t Rand Paul say that cutting off foreign aid after a coup is…

      You know it depends on what the word “is” is?

  7. Springtime for Arabs!

  8. Anticipating possible changes in the arrangement whereby the US sends billions of dollars to Egypt’s military, Gulf monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia, pledged $12 billion in aid to Egypt last month.

    But, but, but…WORLD POLICE!!! We must give money to Egypt, otherwise, we won’t be respected as a big boy country!

  9. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said his country would replace any Western aid to Egypt that was cut off.

    This is the best news i have read all week.

    We can free ourselves at anytime now!!! Let the Arabs deal with their own shit pile.

    Sadly the media and the warmongering Obama administration will claim this is even more of a reason to give even more money to Egypt in order to preserver our influence.

  10. Dear Edward Snowden, Come Back to the US

    Melissa Harris-Perry will even send you a pair of tampon earrings to show her solidarity as you rot in a prison for the rest of your natural life.

    1. Dammit, wrong thread!

    2. What a snarky sneering open letter. She’s so far up Obamas ass all I can see is the bottoms of her pumps.


    While we do not know what will succeed in the Middle East, we do know what has failed. Nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq has left us bleeding and near bankrupt. Our flipping and flopping in Egypt’s turmoil has alienated all sides. Our wars have accomplished what?

    Perhaps lowering our profile and shutting up would serve us better. This part of the world will be decades sorting out its future in light of the political, religious, ethnic and ideological forces unleashed by the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamism.

    A phrase from the America of a century ago, when Mexico was in turmoil, comes to mind. Why not a period of watchful waiting?

    1. Watchful waiting == doing nothing. This is not a do-nothing administration.

  12. On the one hand, Morsi seemed to be following the “one man, one vote, one time” playbook.

    On the other hand, it’s legitimate to call his removal a coup; on the other other hand it isn’t necessarily meaningful.

    On the other other other hand, we really shouldn’t be arming a foreign military to help it slaughter its own citizens. On the other other other other hand, the group of citizens in question seem an awful lot like brownshirts, what with their political violence and Christialnacht and all.

    Fuck, I’m out of hands.

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