White House: Cutting off aid to Egypt right now wouldn’t be in America’s best interest

posted at 3:21 pm on July 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

C’mon. Did anyone really think O was going to pull the plug?

“We think it would not be in the best interests of the United States” to change its aid program at this time, Carney said. Asked if that would mean the administration would be cutting off aid in the near-term, Carney repeated his response: “we think that would not be in our best interests.”

“Wait,” you say, “aren’t they required to cut aid when a country’s democratically elected leader is deposed in a coup?” Indeed, but that depends on what the meaning of “coup” is:

While not directly ordering a pre-cooked outcome of a legal review into Mohammed Morsi’s ouster last week, the officials said Monday that the White House has made clear in inter-agency discussions that continued aid to Egypt’s military is a U.S. national security priority that would be jeopardized by a coup finding. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal administration deliberations…

Some officials concede that a “no-coup” finding may become increasingly difficult to justify given the rising violence among Morsi supporters, opponents and security forces that has led to fears of a civil war.

The “no coup” finding isn’t predetermined, it’s just that the White House … strongly suggests to its subordinates that they not find otherwise. The way they’re going to finesse this, I assume, is by claiming that it’s not really a coup unless the military seizes power for itself. If they seize it with an eye to preempting an authoritarian power grab and returning power to the people (think Honduras 2009, a coup that Obama, er, infamously opposed), then it’s kinda sorta democratic and therefore not a “real” coup.

McCain disagrees:

“I have never favored, and I do not favor, one individual or party over another in Egypt. Who governs Egypt is for the citizens of Egypt to decide. Instead, I continue to stand for democratic values and the creation of effective democratic institutions that can enable the Egyptian people to determine their own future freely and peacefully. I believe the United States must support democracy in Egypt because it is the best foundation for that country’s long-term stability and prosperity and for peace and security in the Middle East…

“This is an incredibly difficult decision, but we have to learn the lessons of history and remain true to our values. If millions of Egyptians come to believe that democracy offers them no opportunity to advance their goals peacefully, it will only fuel violence and extremism. That is a path to civil conflict. Indeed, I am deeply concerned by reports today that Egyptian soldiers fired on hundreds of civilians this morning, killing at least 51 people and wounding more than 300, and by calls from the Muslim Brotherhood for a popular uprising against the military.

And so, for the first and maybe last time, the neoconservative view aligns with the libertarian/palecon view on foreign aid. In fairness to Maverick, there is a bona fide strategy at work here: A neoconservative would argue that the only way to keep Islamists peaceful and leave them utterly discredited is to be patient when they win elections and trust that they’ll screw up so badly that the voters will turn against them. You can’t persuade Egyptians that Islamism is a dead end; they need to see it for themselves, the way Iranians have seen it. (“You don’t get to arrive at Thomas Jefferson unless you first pass through Martin Luther.”) That assumes, though, that an Islamist regime would submit itself to another popular vote once it was safely elected. Egyptians feared that the Brotherhood wouldn’t, which is why they clamored for a coup. And it also assumes that a discredited Islamist movement would remain peaceful once turned out of office and keep plugging away to get reelected rather than start picking up guns. Would they?

Bottom line: Realistically, having just seen some of the largest demonstrations in world history against Morsi and the Brotherhood, there’s no way the White House was about to cross the Egyptian people again by yanking aid in protest over Morsi being deposed. Virtually every move that Obama’s made towards the Middle East since 2011 has been with an eye to making nice with post-Arab Spring populations after decades of the U.S. supporting regional dictators. (This also explains the White House’s anti-Assad posture even though the rebels seem just as dangerous to U.S. interests, if not more so.) He saw that the people wanted Mubarak out, so he sided with them. They elected Morsi, so he accepted that. Then they had a new revolution to depose Morsi, which he initially opposed because he didn’t think there was much popular sentiment behind it, but now that the realizes there is, he’s going to kinda sorta side with that. If new elections are held and the Islamists win again, he’ll accept that too. And none of this will result in any aid being yanked, for fear of alienating Egyptians further. Whatever he can do to build goodwill, in his own stumbling half-assed way, he’ll do it.

This point is well taken, though:

I can think of one thing that would make them cut off aid lickety split: War with Israel, of course. That $2 billion a year that we give them is really just a bribe, nothing more or less, not to make the region even nuttier than it is by starting something new with Tel Aviv. It might also give the White House a bit of leverage in pressuring the army not to postpone new elections, just in case they start to drift back towards a junta and away from a new elected government. But otherwise, our military aid to Egypt is simply polite extortion by the army to keep the Camp David accords intact. We’ll never do anything to stop it. They might.


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White House: Cutting off aid to Egypt right now wouldn’t be in America’s Barry’s best interest

Fixed.

hawkeye54 on July 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM

So if we overthrow this tyrant in the White House, what are we going to call it???

The word AWESOME comes to mind.

hillsoftx on July 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

White House: Cutting off aid to Egypt right now wouldn’t be in America’s best interest

See we USED to have LAWS in this Country….

..buy they’re not in MY best interests right now….

ToddPA on July 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

ditto to what logan said.

rob verdi on July 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

If they seize it with an eye to preempting an authoritarian power grab and returning power to the people (think Honduras 2009, a coup that Obama, er, infamously opposed), then it’s kinda sorta democratic and therefore not a “real” coup.

Errr, didn’t we cut off aid to Honduras after their coup? If we discontinued aid then, making this comparison isn’t really a justification for the continuation of aid to Egypt.

weaselyone on July 8, 2013 at 3:34 PM

This is just part of a 5 or 6 civil wars that eventually include a lot a of nations in the middle east into a greater war. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Af-Pak.

Oil Can on July 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

So tanks and soldiers overthrowing the elected head of state isn’t a coup unless Humpty Dumpty decides that is what the word actually means? Well this won’t be the first, or the last law that Obama ignores.

Why send money to this pesthole in the first place? They don’t go to war with Israel because they fear losing. The money has nothing to do with it.

sharrukin on July 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

So if we overthrow this tyrant in the White House, what are we going to call it???

The word AWESOME comes to mind.

hillsoftx on July 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

The word MIRACULOUS also comes to mind.

hawkeye54 on July 8, 2013 at 3:37 PM

T

his is just part of a 5 or 6 civil wars that eventually include a lot a of nations in the middle east into a greater war. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Af-Pak.

Oil Can on July 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

And a greater islamic caliphate.

hawkeye54 on July 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Law schmaw.

Akzed on July 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Hope and Change.

Spying on Americans, and Aid for Al Qaeda

faraway on July 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM

C’mon. Did anyone really think O was going to pull the plug?

Yes. Given how petty and vengefully he is inclined to behave combined with his open courting of Sunni Muslim jihadists, I would have been unsurprised to see him cut aid off entirely as a form of revenge unless power was returned to the Muslim Brotherhood.

My guess is the embarrassments in Syria and Libya have made the Obama administration pull in its horns.

Doomberg on July 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM

We all know this guy’s favorite sound is the Muslim call to prayer,
compare that to this.

Gov. Palin, what is your general philosophy about modern popular culture?

Culture matters. As Andrew Breitbart liked to say, politics is downstream of culture. If you wonder why a civilization is in decline, you have to look at the culture first.

We were both teenagers in the 1980s. Did you have a favorite band or genre—heavy metal, pop, English bands?

My favorite bands as a teen were Van Halen, Boston, and AC/DC.

ToddPA on July 8, 2013 at 3:44 PM

By
JAMES TARANTO
CONNECT

The weathermen at Twitchy.com report that novelist Joyce Carol Oates set off a twit-storm Friday with a pair of tweets about sexual violence in Egypt: The first coyly referred to recently deposed president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood: “Something dispiriting about ‘Brotherhood’ political parties–wonder what it is.” The second was explicit: “Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed & rape is epidemic–Egypt–natural to inquire: what’s the predominant religion?”

“Don’t miss @JoyceCarolOates coming out publicly as a serious bigot,” tweeted Umair Haque, an economist who writes for the Harvard Business Review. “Check out her tweets today, they’re awesomely gross!” Salon.com’s Prachi Gupta described Oates’s tweets as “Islamophobic.” Lauren Rankin–whose Twitter bio describes her as “feminist. writer. activist. graduate student. reproductive justice. sour jelly bean enthusiast”–insisted: “this is islamophobia embodied. islam doesn’t encourage rape or sexual assault. you know what does? PATRIARCHY.”

“Another day, another white woman #islamophobe,” mused Lucy Homan, another white woman “trouble-making, invisibly disabled, non-binary gender, queer, sexqueer, trans femme” whose passions include “kink, parenting, disability, polyamory, feminism, and sex talk.”

Oates defended her line of inquiry: ” ‘Rape culture’; has no relationship to any ‘religious culture’–how can this be? Religion has no effect on behavior at all? How possible?” To which Anita Felicelli responded with a tu quoque: “Do you also think that mass gun violence in schools bears a relationship to Christianity?” That turned out to be an illi quoque, for Oates answered: “Yes. There is a Christian Crusade culture. All religions are ‘militant.’ Secular law needed to restrain them.”

Here Oates goes off the rails. While the Crusades were an example of militant Christianity, there is no factual basis for asserting a connection between Christianity and “mass gun violence in schools,” whether of the psycho-killer or the street-thug kind, in 21st-century America.

As for Egypt, it’s certainly true that sexual violence is a problem. As NPR reports:

Human Rights Watch reports a sharp rise in sexual assaults here since anti-Morsi protesters took to the streets in record numbers last week. Activists report more than 100 sexual assaults in or near Tahrir Square during the past week alone, many of them gang rapes. . . .

The rights group says the latest attacks follow an all too familiar pattern since mass protests began in 2011: A few men force a girl or woman away from the people she’s with; rip off her clothes and assault her. Passersby join in the attacks, which range from groping to gang rapes that can last more than an hour.

“Key players in the current political crisis are using the attacks for political leverage,” the report adds. While the Muslim Brotherhood blames the opposition, London’s Daily Mail reports that “the assailants operated in a climate of impunity–encouraged by religious zealots within the government who had called female protesters whores and who had blamed rape victims for not staying home. It is even believed that the gangs were paid by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Enlarge Image
image
image
Associated Press

“No harassment”: a Cairo mural.

Oates’s question, then, is a pertinent one. And “Islamophobia” is no more than a conversation-stopper: one of many politically correct buzzwords that would be listed as synonyms for “shut up” if there were a Gramsci’s Thesaurus.

The multiculturalist left is not ecumenical in its taboos. Felicelli and Oates, for instance, were not testing any boundaries when they baselessly linked Christianity to violence in schools. Even for the left, it is a legitimate question whether there was something in the culture of Catholicism or the Catholic Church that led to child-sex-abuse scandals. (That, by the way, would have been a more fitting analogy, though it would have undercut Felicelli’s argument and supported Oates’s.)

There are a couple of ironies in the Oates kerfuffle. One is that she herself, a lapsed Catholic, has expressed the same sort of loftily indulgent attitude toward Christianity that multiculturalists usually reserve for Islam and other mostly foreign religions. In a 2007 interview with The Humanist, she was asked: “Do you identify as an atheist?” She dodged the question, though she implied that she is one:

I’m not averse to acknowledging it, but as a novelist and a writer, I really don’t want to confront and be antagonistic toward people. As soon as you declare that you are an atheist, it’s like somebody declaring that he is the son of God; it arouses a lot antagonism. I’m wondering whether it might be better to avoid arousing this antagonism in order to find–not compromise–some common ground. . . .

I’m not sure it’s a good idea to wave a red flag and annoy other people because we do have to live with them, even the very antagonistic and messianic fundamentalist Christians in our country.

The other is that “rape culture” is itself a politically correct conversation-stopper. Your humble columnist was accused of promoting it last month, by ThinkProgress.org and RawStory.com among others, because we defended both the rights of the accused and the proposition that women and men are equally accountable for their own actions. The case we wrote about didn’t even involve rape but an unproven allegation of a lesser sexual assault.

The slogan “rape culture” is right out of Orwell’s “1984″: “All words grouping themselves round the concepts of liberty and equality . . . were contained in the single word crimethink.” Rape is a crime, and culture is a product of thought: The parallel is perfect.

This column is sufficiently ornery that conversation-stoppers have the opposite of their intended effect on us. But no doubt they do deter a lot of people from speaking or even thinking, because they don’t want to be thought of–or to think of themselves–as mean or unenlightened.

Meanwhile, the lesson of the Oates twit-storm seems to be that for today’s politically correct left, protecting Muslims from insult is a higher priority than protecting women from sexual violence.

OmahaConservative on July 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM

screw them, we owe them nothing.
cut it all off for good.
stop spending our money.

dmacleo on July 8, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Good thing we stopped the White House tours or we wouldn’t have the money to continue aid.

Ditkaca on July 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I can think of one thing that would make them cut off aid lickety split: War with Israel…

This administration?

Fallon on July 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM

If they seize it with an eye to preempting an authoritarian power grab and returning power to the people (think Honduras 2009, a coup that Obama, er, infamously opposed)

Except that this is a case of the Obama Admin labeling a non-coup a coup, in order to punish Honduras by cutting off aid. In Hondoras, President Zelaya violated their constitution by attempting to nullify their term limits laws and running as President for Life. The Honduran Congress, led by Zelaya’s *own party* brought a suit against Zelaya, and won in their Supreme Court, Zelaya ignored that and continued with his efforts to destroy constitutional limits on Presidential power. Then the Honduran Congress *ordered* the military to remove Zelaya from power, with the backing of their Supreme Court. The Speaker of the Congress, the number two guy in Zelaya’s own party, was immediately sworn in as the interim president pending the election results several months later. At no time was the military in control of the country. Their Congress and Supreme Court ordered the military to remove a would-be tyrant, and that was that.

Since Zelaya was a Chavista, an ally of both Chavez and Castro, the Obama Admin labeled this action a coup and moved to punish Honduras. So I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is, eh??

EasyEight on July 8, 2013 at 3:57 PM

than it is by starting something new with Tel Aviv.

Hey AP isn’t the capital of Israel Jerusalem?

dentalque on July 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

The whole concept of “foreign aid” as a leverage tool is at best a relic. I frankly think that it had extremely limited value even in WW2 days.

Oh yeah, and in case I haven’t posted this yet today on some site or another: eff McCain.

I can think of one thing that would make them cut off aid lickety split: War with Israel, of course. –AP

Bahahaha! Were you being serious? Obama would up the aid.

WhatSlushfund on July 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

So there is pretty much nothing that Egypt can do that would make the Whitehouse cut off their aid? I understand that a whole bunch of that aid buys food for the common folk, but, at some point you have to quit chasing a bad investment.

Johnnyreb on July 8, 2013 at 4:02 PM

The money we give Egypt is a bribe so they won’t attack Israel.

I say stop the cash flow, and if they do attack Israel it will be the end of Egypt’s ability to attack anyone for a long time.

We save money, and the result is the same.

Akzed on July 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Bit of a catch-22!

Keep the Egyptian Military in there Operation readiness,as long as they can keep the IslamistJihadyGoons at bay!

If the Egyptian Military are compromised and are being run by the
likes of the MuslimBrotherHoodGoons and their ilk,then cut them off
cold turkey ASAP!!

canopfor on July 8, 2013 at 4:10 PM

See we USED to have LAWS in this Country….

..buy they’re not in MY best interests right now….

ToddPA on July 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I guess that means I don’t have to pay taxes then. Cool!

dominigan on July 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM

What will happen in Egypt will happen with or without our aid, so why waste it? Obama just loves to throw our money around – he doesn’t really care about the USA and so he doesn’t care about lowering our huge debt. IMO he cares more for the Muslim world.

Chessplayer on July 8, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I agree with Boehner………………………

Egypt’s President Morsi removed from power

US House Speaker Boehner on Egypt:

‘I think the military, on behalf of the citizens, did what they had to do in terms of replacing the elected president’

– @mpoindc

1 min ago from twitter.com/mpoindc by editor
================================================

https://twitter.com/mpoindc/status/354332967654531073

canopfor on July 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

That $2 billion a year that we give them is really just a bribe, nothing more or less, not to make the region even nuttier than it is by starting something new with Tel Aviv.

Don’t you mean Jerusalem? Israel’s central government is in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv.

aunursa on July 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

The law is irrelevant…..

wytshus on July 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Propping up Egypt all this time just made us responsible for the mess it became.

There was no benefit to the US heretofore that I’m aware of, and continuing to prop it up contains no benefit to the US either.

Akzed on July 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Emperor Zero can do whatever he wants and the spineless, corrupt cowards in congress will do NOTHING.

dogsoldier on July 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

This is the problem with foreign aide now isnt it?The Morsi government ceased being a democratic government when it suspended their country’s constituion and removed their supreme court and started imposing autocratic edicts.

paulsur on July 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

That $2 billion a year that we give them is really just a bribe, nothing more or less

In the muslim world they call it “jizya”. Google it.

paulsur on July 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Reuters World Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 1m

Decree by Egypt’s interim leader says the panel to review a new constitution must be formed within 15 days #breaking
====================================================

Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 2m

Egypt interim leader issues decree giving himself power to issue laws after consulting with the new government: text of decree #breaking

canopfor on July 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

A neoconservative would argue that the only way to keep Islamists peaceful and leave them utterly discredited is to be patient when they win elections and trust that they’ll screw up so badly that the voters will turn against them.

Umm, they did. Problem was, they couldn’t wait until an election.

As David Goldman, AKA Spengler has pointed out “starvation is the unstated subject” of the military coup. Badly run before Mubarek’s ouster, Egypt was on the verge of becoming a failed state, with 40% of the population facing malnutrition in the form of severe protein deficiency. Tourism, the only source of hard currency, had dwindled to nothing, and there were no foreign reserves left to purchase food (Egypt imports half of its food supply).

Egypt needs a massive bailout, and the only country with the will and the means to do it is Saudi Arabia, who loathe the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudi’s have supported the military’s action, which bodes will for Egypt in this context.

I also would not be surprised if the unstated reason for the coup was that Morsi and the Brotherhood were the ones ginning up a war with Israel. They were/are the only faction in Egypt stupid and insane enough to do so; the military has backed the peace process since the Sadat era. Rather than pursue a suicidal course ordered by Morsi, the military may have acted in its own best interest.

Mr. Arkadin on July 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Laws? What laws?

The Rogue Tomato on July 8, 2013 at 6:41 PM

$17 trillion in debt & Obama takes multi-million dollar monthly vacations, gives billions in weapons to the terrorist group that was just thrown out of office in Egypt, is giving billions to the new terrorist government that recently killed our 1st Ambsadorto be murdered in 30 years and 2 others, & gives money to countless other terrorist/extremist nations while Americans are targeted, tracked, monitored, & their rights are being violated. How about we help our vets, the homeless, those out of work & in need before we help nations who hate us?

easyt65 on July 8, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Think they’ll like us anymore tomorrow after getting more of our money than they do today even if Dr. Kissinger thinks we can? You can’t buy political friends, either.

Kissmygrits on July 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Sorry, that sentence didn’t make it clear. Need my coffee. Dr. Kissinger was on Cavuto last night ad really didn’t have a good answer about why we should still be sending money to Egypt, other than it’s strategic or something and buying a situation outcome. Actually, I don’t thing that has worked too well and I’d like my F-16s back from Morsi if someone can find him.

Kissmygrits on July 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

National interest? Since when has that remotely been a concern of the White House?

NoDonkey on July 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM