Unity: McCain, Graham, Paul, Cruz all call for suspending military aid to Egypt; Update: State Dep’t ducks question of whether army used U.S. weapons

posted at 5:21 pm on August 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Not jointly, of course, and not for the same reasons, but the bottom line is that they’re each pushing in the same direction for once.

We’re all wacko birds now, my friends.

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on the latest developments in Egypt:

“The massacre of civilians this week in Egypt has brought our longstanding relationship with that country to a fork in the road. The interim civilian government and security forces – backed up, unfortunately, by the military – are taking Egypt down a dark path, one that the United States cannot and should not travel with them.

“We condemn all acts and incitement of violence against civilians, including those that supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi have committed against Christians and other Egyptians. At the same time, we cannot be complicit in the mass slaughter of civilians. It is neither in our long-term national interest nor consistent with our values and laws to continue providing assistance at this time to Egypt’s interim government and military. We urge the Obama Administration to suspend U.S. assistance to Egypt and make clear to the current leadership of the country what steps we believe are necessary to halt Egypt’s descent into civil conflict and ultimately to restore our assistance relationship, which has historically served U.S. national security interests.

If you’re keeping score, McCain initially called for halting aid to Egypt more than a month ago, on grounds that the military’s removal of Morsi was a coup. Then, when Rand Paul brought an amendment to the floor calling for aid to Egypt to be cut off, McCain voted against it on grounds that it would only end up hurting Israel. Now he’s back to wanting to suspend aid. Either the sight of Egyptian soldiers cracking heads changed his mind or he suspected that Paul’s amendment would lead to terminating aid to Egypt permanently rather than simply holding it in abeyance until they hold elections again. Or, of course, maybe he just wanted to deny Paul a political victory. Oh, that Maverick.

Paul blasted his colleagues in Congress yesterday for voting down his amendment, saying of the “engagement” caucus, “When you’re protesting in the streets and you’re run over by an American tank, you’re not going to be appreciative of American engagement.” As for Cruz:

“When a military coup occurred, [the White House] failed to follow current U.S. law and suspend aid to Egypt, something that could have been done to encourage the new government to move swiftly toward democratic reforms. Not illogically, the Egyptian military took this as permission to act with impunity against the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turn is provoking violence and committing savage crimes against Coptic Christians.

“The one sentiment uniting these disparate groups—as President Obama noted in his remarks—is to blame the United States, the country that continues to pour taxpayer dollars into Egypt. The situation demands recognition that our country’s current aid system is utterly and irretrievably broken. Not only are we giving arms and money to people who hate us around the world—in Egypt, we are managing to give arms and money in a way that makes our former friends hate us. It must stop now…

“But the President concluded his remarks, tellingly, with, ‘We don’t take sides with any particular party or political figure.’ That was his policy in 2009 when he failed to vigorously support the Green Revolution in Iran. It was his policy in 2011 when he failed to swiftly call for the removal of the Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad when there was a unified, peaceful and secular opposition to him. And it has been the basis of the Obama Administration’s failed policy in Egypt, which, by refusing to use our leverage to advance U.S. interests and priorities, has contributed to that country’s descent into chaos.”

As usual, Cruz is trying to walk a line between the McCain and Paul positions. Although condemning the military’s abuses against protesters, McCain’s real issue with Egypt is the anti-democratic nature of the coup. Neoconservatives believe the only path out of Middle Eastern madness is through elections, even when a loathsome outfit like the Brotherhood wins. The military’s massacre of MB members gives him another reason to renew his call to cut aid for that deeper reason. Paul, while also condemning the coup and the abuses, wants foreign aid canceled more broadly as an exercise in futility that a broke country can’t afford. If we’re not bankrolling primitive, America-hating “allies” like the Brotherhood, we’re funding goons who are shooting them in the face during sit-ins. No good can come of it. Cruz borrows a page from both — he’s with Paul, seemingly, on perceiving broader problems with U.S. foreign aid (“utterly and irretrievably broken”) but then he raps Obama for not intervening more aggressively in Iran and Syria when he had a chance. That’s how it’ll be for the next two years. I wonder if Rand won’t be drawn slightly more towards interventionism to counter him.

By the way, it’s not only Republicans who want aid cut, even if temporarily. Carl Levin and Pat Leahy also want it suspended — and interestingly, pretty much everyone involved is citing the fact that Morsi’s removal was a “coup” as grounds for doing so. They don’t have to do that; the argument could simply be that the military crackdown this week was a bridge too far, whether or not the current government took power in a coup or not. By framing it that way, the senators are further alienating the anti-Morsi coalition that wants his ouster seen as a populist revolution, not a military power grab. And of course they’re making things harder on O, who’s strained mightily to avoid using the word “coup” for that reason. Anyway: Looks like we really, truly might finally see aid cut to Egypt, along bipartisan lines no less, if only for the simple reason that the aid we’re sending now has bought us basically zero leverage. The threat of being cut off didn’t stop Mubarak from crushing dissent, it didn’t stop Morsi from consolidating power, it didn’t stop Sisi from going ahead with the coup, and it didn’t stop the Egyptian military from rolling over Islamist protesters in the street. It’s free money. Why not yank it?

Update: Via the WFB, a brutal exchange. Expect Paul to mention it sometime next week.


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I understand Rand Paul’s position, but if Civil War is breaking out shouldn’t we choose the side most likely to support US interests?

rob verdi on August 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

McCain already got what he wanted. Almost all of Eygpt’s Christians are dead or on the run.

tetriskid on August 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM

and hope they win.

rob verdi on August 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Unity: McCain, Graham, Paul, Cruz all call for suspending military aid to Egypt

I understand this from McCain and Graham as they are big supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, but I didn’t know Paul and Cruz were.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

It’s free money. Why not yank it?

They are shooting the Muslim Brotherhood so there is that reason to support keeping it, but obviously none of those ‘Religion Of Peace’ countries should be getting cash.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM

As long as it is mostly militants in the MoBro that are being killed, why would we want it to stop?

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

As usual, Cruz is trying to walk a line between the McCain and Paul positions.

Not exactly Reaganesque.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I understand Rand Paul’s position, but if Civil War is breaking out shouldn’t we choose the side most likely to support US interests?

rob verdi on August 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Oh, you mean Egypt. Never mind.

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

If we’re not bankrolling primitive, America-hating “allies” like the Brotherhood, we’re funding goons who are shooting them in the face during sit-ins.

This is Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. Who would fall for it?

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM

How does any of this foreign aid help the life of the average US citizen?

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

0 owns Egypt. It too will fall.

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM

pretty much everyone involved is citing the fact that Morsi’s removal was a “coup” as grounds for doing so.

This is a lie. It was a counter-coup to keep Morsi from being Pharaoh after winning what was likely a fraudulent election and not one for Pharaoh anyway. An estimated 17 million Egyptians came out to demand that Pharaoh Morsi be removed.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

How does any of this foreign aid help the life of the average US citizen?

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Each time a scary Muslim is killed, it sends a tingle up VorDaj’s leg. So there’s that.

EddieC on August 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I understand Rand Paul’s position, but if Civil War is breaking out shouldn’t we choose the side most likely to support US interests?

rob verdi on August 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Neither side supports US interests, and the Muslim Brotherhood is the worse of the two. Let them fight it out. We shouldn’t be giving any financial aid or military aid to Egypt or any other Muslim country anyway. It does us no good. We may as well flush it down the toilet.

WhatSlushfund on August 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Even Cruz doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about anymore.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Each time a scary Muslim is killed, it sends a tingle up VorDaj’s leg. So there’s that.

EddieC on August 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I kind of get a woody myself.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Each time a scary Muslim is killed, it sends a tingle up VorDaj’s leg. So there’s that.

EddieC on August 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Are you Chris Matthews?

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM

While the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood from power is a good thing, if the United States continues military aid, no one knows who will be using our weapons against whom. It is very possible that the MB or Salafists could infiltrate the Egyptian army, and then use our weapons against innocent civilians, or against Israel.

It’s better for us not to take sides, at least militarily, and let Egyptians settle this for themselves. We wouldn’t want any of our weapons have the same fate as those 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen from Benghazi, or the Fast and Furious guns in Mexico.

Steve Z on August 16, 2013 at 5:43 PM

The world cheered for obama.

Now you have him, you utter idiots.

Schadenfreude on August 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Eqypt has now got money bags Saudi Arabia and Russia as allies now so they don’t need Obama or McCain or Graham or Paul or Cruz. The Eqyptians aren’t even answering Obama’s and Kerry’s and Hagels’s phone calls anymore.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

How does any of this foreign aid help the life of the average US citizen?

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I’ve never quite understood why the US sends billions to Egypt in the first place. That’s been going on for a long time. The only thing dumber than that is sending $$$ to the Palestinian Authority. I don’t get it.

JetBoy on August 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Facebook is causing the dreaded HotAir “content encoding errors” again.

Specifically: “s-static.ak.facebook.com”

viking01 on August 16, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Eqypt has now got money bags Saudi Arabia and Russia as allies now so they don’t need Obama or McCain or Graham or Paul or Cruz. The Eqyptians aren’t even answering Obama’s and Kerry’s and Hagels’s phone calls anymore.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Embarrassing isn’t it?

Key West Reader on August 16, 2013 at 6:05 PM

What a mess… how sad

Obama, get your ass back to Washington you clown.

Key West Reader on August 16, 2013 at 6:09 PM

What’s wrong with us being against the people who burn churches?

bobs1196 on August 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM

What’s wrong with us being against the people who burn churches?

bobs1196 on August 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Unless they are white males or Christians, anyone who gets their butt kicked is immediately the good guy regardless of what they have done in the past. See Palestinians, Al-Qaeda in Syria and Trayvon Martin, and Mumia for details.

sharrukin on August 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM

New Steyn…

Idiot Big Brother

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

If anything, we should be increasing aid to the Egyptian military at this critical moment.

sartana on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

State Dep’t ducks question of whether army used U.S. weapons

Not any other countries making M113 tracks.

But, what are they gonna use against this armed rebellion, this war against Egypt? Donkeys carrying quad-50′s?

These correspondents? Idiots. Couldn’t tell a M48 tank from a duece and a half.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

By suspending aid to the military backed government, the US will remove Egypt’s incentive to honor the peace accord with Israel and replace it with a confrontational policy toward the Jewish state to divert the Egyptian people’s attention from their domestic woes.

Rich H on August 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Why not support the military? Isn’t the goal to crush the Muslim Brotherhood?

rrpjr on August 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Jake, I once respected you, a bit…not anymore.

The Army is killing the Moslem Brotherhood.

The Moslem Brotherhood is killing civilians.

Tools of slaughter?

C’mon, Jake.

Stop being such a tool.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

If anything, we should be increasing aid to the Egyptian military at this critical moment.

sartana on August 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I agree. This strikes me as an emotional “wave” decision, not one based on reality and long-term US interests. Obama, the cultural Left and MSM have decided to demonize the military when in fact they encouraged this mess by promoting the moronic “Arab Spring” and embracing the incontinent and violent Brotherhood which of course then gained power.

rrpjr on August 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Tappy takes his orders from the Obama admin and don’t ever forget it.

clnurnberg on August 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

The money would literally be better spent by giving it to a crackhead. Or just burning it.

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I understand Rand Paul’s position, but if Civil War is breaking out shouldn’t we choose the side most likely to support US interests?

rob verdi on August 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Rule Number One of civil wars: Don’t get involved in them…

JohnGalt23 on August 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

McCain, Graham, Paul, Cruz all call for suspending military aid to Egypt

Sorry, this is a BAD IDEA. They are all four wrong.

This is a ploy instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood to put pressure on the Egyptian military as they are trying to rid their country of this cancer (called radical Islam).

If McCain and Lindsey Graham are for it….it’s a disaster.

Cruz and Paul and even Glenn Beck are wrong wrong wrong. This will do nothing but weaken the hand of the Egyptian military and THEY are the ones (currently) fighting for western style freedom for the people in that nation. Who does this Possum Holler lover side with?…..the people of Egypt that want FREEDOM, not those that want to drag Egypt back to the 7th century. And is Morsi or the Military most likely to help that happen? Easy, the military.

Keep up the aid, as long as it’s going to the Military, and being used to clean out the nutty radicalist Muzzie Brohoods.

Ask yourself…..have McCain and Graham (who bashed Michelle Bachmann and Louis Gomert and 5 others when they wanted to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. State Department) been right about ANYTHING lately?

And funny that this agitation comes after they recently went to Egypt for Obama, mmmmmmm, did they stir up trouble or even ENCOURAGE THIS INSURRECTION in some indirect way?

Seems a bit coincidental.

PappyD61 on August 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

PappyD61 on August 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Paul and Cruz should read this. McCain and Graham are too insane so it wouldn’t do any good for them to read it.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 7:32 PM

And funny that this agitation comes after they recently went to Egypt for Obama, mmmmmmm, did they stir up trouble or even ENCOURAGE THIS INSURRECTION in some indirect way?

Seems a bit coincidental.

PappyD61 on August 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

When in Eqypt, McCain and his pet poodle, Graham, supported the Muslim Nazihood so it probably encouraged them at least some, including to go kill some more Christians.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM

PappyD61 on August 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I can understand why certain people in government and other high places might get worked up over this, but it baffles me why any commenter on HA would give a flying fig about the internal strife of Egypt unless they have some sort of direct connection to the country.

Why is anyone wasting their energy about who controls Egypt? How does this affect anyone here personally? Seriously, I don’t know. If I had to guess, it would be to secure our interests in the ME, specifically as it relates to oil. But wouldn’t all the time being spent here wringing our hands over Egypt be put to much greater use by actually working to open up our energy resources here? I mean, am I crazy or is this ONLY an issue because we refuse to “exploit” our own natural resources?

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

One thing you can say for sure about Barry’s “Foreign Policy”. It’s always a day late and a dollar short.

GarandFan on August 16, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I have no use for the first three, and Mr. Cruz’ eligibility for President is doubtful. So, I don’t really give a hoot. Nor do I think that any of their opinions matter. They’re all Senators and I doubt that any of them will be the next President.

As for the basic issue, I’ve never liked subsidies to Egypt, but we might have a treaty obligation. The purpose was to buy peace with Israel, and if they were willing to keep the peace, I’d be willing to keep our bargain, but that deal was made with Sadat and his successor, Mubarak. By allowing them to elect the Muslim Brotherhood, we let things slip out of our grasp. The only leverage we’ve got left is to yank our aid, and not reinstate it without a new strong leader with control of the military, like Sadat, who will renounce war with Israel. Unless they elect such a leader on their own, we can’t trust a democratic state in Egypt. They haven’t shown that they can make it work.

“Smart diplomacy” FAIL. Not all that smart, after all.

flataffect on August 16, 2013 at 8:02 PM

…arm Senator Senile and his sister!

KOOLAID2 on August 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Arabs killing Arabs…

In Syria, the military is killing al Queda…

in Egypt, the military is killing the muslim brotherhood…

Where’s the downside?

We should be doing more to encourage this.

Solaratov on August 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Even Cruz doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about anymore.

VorDaj on August 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Looks like the last hope for someone with a shred of sanity is slipping away.

We should double our aid to the Egyptian military immediately.

If they declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, then quadruple the aid.

The military is the only sane actor in the entire mess.

Doesn’t anyone in our government have a frikkin’ clue about Islam?

I may have to go full Allen West 2016 and the hell with the rest these historically shallow wimps.

profitsbeard on August 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM

The money would literally be better spent by giving it to a crackhead. Or just burning it.

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I agree.

The one thing such foreign aid does at this point is underline that the US government doesn’t have money to pay its debts but it does have money to throw away on foreigners who will hate America regardless.

David Blue on August 17, 2013 at 6:22 AM

We should be giving them more weapons; they are killing Muslim Brotherhood (al-Qaeda) by the bushel.

fleiter on August 17, 2013 at 7:22 AM

I hope they did use our weapons – it would be nice if some part of the U.S. was fighting terrorists instead of HELPING them take over their own countries!

easyt65 on August 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The money would literally be better spent by giving it to a crackhead. Or just burning it.

iwasbornwithit on August 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Foreign aid to any nation not under direct threat of land invasion like Israel or Japan should’ve been suspended decades ago. It has not made us friends or prevented hostilities or done anything else halfway worthy of the treasure expended.

MelonCollie on August 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM