Egypt

U.S.-Egyptian 'Historic Partnership' Reeks of Hypocrisy

The alliance with Egypt's military dictatorship shows the hypocrisy of President Barack Obama.

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John Kerry
U.S. Department of State / Flickr

Largely overshadowed by events in Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration is dropping its pretense at displeasure with the military junta in Egypt and restoring full support for the regime that so recently quashed the country's faltering attempt at democracy.

Secretary of State John Kerry, en route to troubled Baghdad, stopped in Cairo, where he announced that Washington would soon release a briefly withheld portion of the more than a billion dollars in aid that the Egyptian military receives each year from American taxpayers.

Kerry affirmed the "historic partnership" between the U.S. and Egyptian governments, while expressing confidence "that the [10] Apaches [helicopter gunships] will come, and that they will come very, very soon." The New York Times noted that "the Egyptian military has been especially eager" to receive the gunships.

Considering how the military government treats the Egyptian people, one can fully believe it.

Let's remember that in 2011, when Egyptians took to the streets to demand an end to the decades-long dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, the Obama administration—in particular then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—stood by Mubarak until the bitter end. Two years earlier, when asked about Mubarak's despicable human-rights record, which was documented in State Department reports, Clinton said, "I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States." That statement led some to wonder if she was the right person to be handling the Egyptian crisis for the U.S. government.

Moreover, The New York Times reported, State Department cables given to WikiLeaks revealed that "relations with Mr. Mubarak warmed up because President Obama played down the public 'name and shame' approach of the Bush administration." (Behind the scenes, the Times reported, diplomats repeatedly "raised concerns with Egyptian officials about jailed dissidents and bloggers, and kept tabs on reports of torture by the police.") Military aid to the government continued to flow.

When Mubarak's ouster was inevitable, the administration backed an abortive "compromise" that would have put Mubarak's chief enforcer in charge. Thus the U.S. government's claim that it supported the popular Arab Spring was exposed as a sham.

The Egyptian people's uprising led to their first elections and a victory for candidates associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which, despite its reputation among American hawks, had forsworn violence decades before. The one-year administration of President Mohamed Morsi was marred by repression, exclusion, incompetence, an uncooperative opposition, and public discontent, but that did not justify what followed: a military coup, the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition, violence against peaceful demonstrators, silencing of opposition media, jailing of journalists on the thinnest of pretexts, and death sentences for hundreds of Egyptians, including the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. All this was topped off this past spring by the election of former general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as president, with a suspicious 95 percent of the vote.

This is the regime that Kerry and Obama wish to work with in pursuit of their "historic partnership." Do they think the world is blind and deaf?

The U.S. ruling elite has long seen Egypt's military as a bulwark against the sort of popular political change that would conflict with the regional hegemonic program of American administrations and their ally Israel. For example, in 1978 Israel and Egypt signed an accord at Camp David under prodding by then-President Jimmy Carter in return for billions of dollars in annual military aid from America's taxpayers. With the two countries putting aside their historic differences, Egypt was removed as an ally of the Palestinians in their struggle for an independent state on the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, and in the Gaza Strip, whose borders are controlled by Israel. Mubarak helped enforce the brutal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip imposed in 2007. For that reason, Palestinians welcomed the dictator's ouster and the election of Morsi, and received the news of the coup against Morsi with apprehension.

But the coup—which the Obama administration was reluctant to identify as such—served U.S. government interests. Its alliance with Egypt's military dictatorship shows the hypocrisy of President Barack Obama's paeans to freedom and self-government. Americans should be embarrassed.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. That’s no Coup, that’s a battlestation!

  2. I can’t really find any premises or conclusions to agree with in this article.

    1. The New York Times noted that “the Egyptian military has been especially eager” to receive the gunships.

      Well, I agree that I’m eager to get a gunship.

    2. I agree with the last line. I’m pretty embarrassed by our foreign policy. Domestic polices too.

      1. I’m not at all embarrassed by ** THEIR ** foreign policy, since I regard all government as mafia, but with better PR.

        To be embarrassed, I would have to somehow identify with those thugs, which I don’t. They steal money from me and do terrible things like sell apache gunships to other thugs to possibly be used against civilians. Me being embarrassed by that would be like me being embarrassed by a random mass murderer somewhere else. Why would I feel any sense of responsibility for their deeds?

        1. “Sell”?

          They (we) are giving them to Egypt. Nothing left to cut, you know.

        2. I love anarchist high-horsing.

      2. I am embarrassed by the entire US government. The system is broken. The Administration and most of the congress is corrupt.

        1. *The system is broken.* I really wish people would stop saying things are broken. Things aren’t broken, people are broken. Their morality is broken. Their scruples are shattered.

          The system is just fine.

    3. Why?

  3. “…the regional hegemonic program of American administrations and their ally Israel.”

    JOOOOOOSS!!!11!!!11!!!

    1. It is Richman, that is a given. Has he ever posted an article without mentioning them?

      1. Yeah, it just gets a little tiresome.

        1. Interesting post from Richman a couple years ago:

          “I was pro-Israel throughout my childhood and well into teenage years. I remember celebrating the victory in 1967 at youth rallies. I was active in United Synagogue Youth. But I heard one note of dissent in my younger years: My orthodox grandfather (born in Lithuanian) was staunchly anti-Zionist; he blamed “the Jews” for the trouble in Palestine. Early in my college years (I’m 62 now) I gave up religion and theism as a philosophical matter, but not Israel. In the late 1970s I started reading historical accounts that made clear that the founding of Israel was 1) an injustice against the Palestinians and 2) a corrupting politicization of Judaism. I’ve tried to test these views through argument and reading over the years, but no one has been able to show me where they are wrong.”

          http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/…..-army.html

          Article about the influence of his anti-Zionist grandfather:

          http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/…..onism.html

          1. (the first link refers to a post by him in the comment section)

          2. Zionism is a politicization of Judaism, sure I’ll grant him that. But Zionists purchasing land (which is how Israel was founded) was an injustice against Palestine? Why the hell is Richman considered a libertarian?

            1. *er, against Palestinians

          3. I’ve tried to test these views through argument and reading over the years, but no one has been able to show me where they are wrong.

            That’s probably because he has no idea how to make or understand an argument.

          4. Notorious G.K.C.

            I’m sure you already know about the 19th Century origins of what is referred to as Zionism. You probably also know that Zionism was and is an idea to create a strictly secular (non religious/non observant) Jewish State in the Holy Land. Obviously there are Jewish people (religious and not very religious) who have always opposed this idea because they felt it would cause nothing but trouble for Jewish people.

            And of course it has, since the existence of Israel is a political reality as well as an idea. You probably also know that Muslims have never and will never accept a Jewish State of Israel mostly because they want to control Jerusalem.

            With that said, Jerusalem is the epicenter of this conflict. It always has been. Three different religions believe it (Jerusalem) belongs to them. As such, Israel is a client state of the U.S.

            What Israel is not is a byproduct of The Holocaust. Please read Israeli author Tom Segev regarding that issue. His premise is that a lot of European Jews (secular and religious) were simply not interested in going to The Holy Land (then the British Palestinian Mandate) even before the Holocaust.

    2. Hegemonic program? Does he mean the program where the Israelis kick the crap out of their enemies again and again, and the United States bribes both sides to stop fighting? That program?

    1. the publicity-loving philanthropist gave a tone-deaf performance of “We Are The World,”

      Nooooo.

    2. Dude should have stuck to his original plan. Give the cash to the homeless, not the shelter. I’d be pissed, too.

  4. At least the End Times? are proving to be VERY entertaining!

    1. And this is all just the opening act!

  5. Richman would do well not to denounce the Mubarak regime as pro-Israel. While he’s at it, he shouldn’t be glossing over what the MB is doing.

    1. Go back and read again man. He clearly says that they denounced violence long ago.

      1. On which planet?

        1. Uranus.

        2. He doesn’t really say. But, you know….the Jews.

  6. Czech. Czech. 1-2-3. Are comments working?

    1. For the time being, yes. They’ll probably go tits up sometime not long after the Mourning Lynx is posted.

  7. Ah, well in that case I meant to post this as a reply to an FoE post on Tuesday:

    Koskinen is a major Democrat donor, but I am sure that won’t prevent him from being impartial and fair during his tenure at the IRS.
    http://freebeacon.com/politics…..r-to-dems/

    1. Meant as a reply to Ted S….skwerellz or my own fat fingers? Probably the latter in this case…

  8. Military dictatorship or fanatical barbarians? Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil. Your choice.

    1. Military dictatorship or fanatical barbarians? Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil. Your choice.

      I am embarrassed to admit that I find this reference excellent.

      1. “Military dictatorship or fanatical barbarians? Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil. Your choice.”

        When I quote this comment to a couple of my buddies I am sure they will appreciate it. I’ve been trying to get them to read Reason and this can only help.

        For those of us less familiar with the terms used by Bryan C. and understood so well by Mr. Gill I can recommend this link http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw…..rAlignment

        (Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil are explained about 14 paragraphs down).

  9. And…the skwerellz attack again.

    You gotta be shitting me. Too many comments? WTMFF, who am I, Jeffrey Jones in Amadeus???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCud8H7z7vU

  10. You know, I didn’t look at who the author was. I read until I got here:

    “victory for candidates associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which, despite its reputation among American hawks, had forsworn violence decades before. The one-year administration of President Mohamed Morsi was marred by repression, exclusion, incompetence, an uncooperative opposition, and public discontent, but that did not justify what followed: a military coup, the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition, violence against peaceful demonstrators”

    Then I knew it was Richman.

    For fucks sake, this is stupid. Yes, Sharia law is so peaceful, moron.

    1. Richman is a fool. Why does Reason tolerate his crap?

  11. Testing squirrel extermination device.

  12. Testing squirrel extermination device 2.

  13. Testing squirrel extermination device 3.

  14. Testing squirrel extermination device 4.

  15. Testing squirrel extermination device 5.

  16. Testing squirrel extermination device 6.

  17. Testing squirrel extermination device 7.

  18. Testing squirrel extermination device 8.

  19. I would say that the entire U.S. strategy and diplomacy in Egypt and the adjacent Islamic/Muslim areas is to ensure the security and continued existence of Israel and access to Oil. All other considerations seem to be subordinate to that goal. Governments run by Muslim Brotherhoods and similar religious organizations are probably antithetical to that goal.

  20. Welcome to the world of realpolitik. The ends justify the means and if we have to supply weapons to kleptocratic dictators in the interests of our short term operational goals, so be it. Incoherence and the inevitable blowback are collateral damage.

  21. Dread Pirate Roberts,

    I doubt that supporting those dictators is a “short term operational goal” but has always been a long-range goal with a lot of blundering diplomacy. In any event, the real driving interest in the area (Egypt and adjacent areas) is largely a religious interest. Millions of Evangelical Protestants in the United States put a lot of constant pressure on a lot of politicians to protect The Holy Land using Israel as U.S. client state to accomplish this primarily religious goal. Clearly, a lot of not so religious Muslim dictators support this goal (for money) than do very religious Muslim dictators. If I were a U.S. politician who wanted to be re elected my goal would be to Protect Oil! Protect Israel! Cater to religious constituents!

  22. Siding with Islamists over a secular government is inexcusable, especially when it is motivated by resentment of a basically secular, peaceful, free nation. Besides, there is a real opportunity to peel Israelis from their historical association with the Neocons. The Israelis are in the beginning stages of realizing that the Neocons do not mean them well despite all the schmooze talk. The Israelis respect self-interest in foreign policy, and that is the basic foreign policy tenet of the minarchist Right. But it is antithetical to the Neocons, who demand pointless sacrifice as a matter of permanent policy from both Americans as well as Israelis. American and Israeli interests usually (not always, but usually) align, especially when you consider the long-term. Think of how much more powerful the libertarian movement would be if it stole such a key ally from the Neocons. We should find ways to exploit the conflicts that arise between Neocons and Israelis, and offer better solutions that are in both of our interests.

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