Why the United States shouldn't support Egypt's ruling generals

Nor is it in the United States’ interest to be acting so transparently contrary to its stated principles. While some hypocrisy is unavoidable in international affairs, the level of Orwellian doublespeak has been extraordinary in the past few months. As the military dictatorship of Egypt has rapidly and steadily expanded the scope and violence of its repression of all dissent, persecuting journalists and Egyptian liberals, taking obstreperous comedians off the air — not to mention ruthlessly cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its followers — senior U.S. officials have nevertheless blithely referred to Egypt’s “democratic transition” and have spoken sympathetically of the government’s move toward elections, even though everyone knows that the military’s leaders have no intention of creating a democracy in Egypt. No doubt officials feel compelled to use the strange language about “democratic transition” because Congress has required that the administration certify that Egypt is moving toward democracy in order to continue providing military assistance.

Despite this, Congress has been complicit in supporting military dictatorship in Egypt. Anti-Islamist sentiment runs high in the United States. There is a feeling across much of America that the best policy in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East is simply to let the Muslims kill each other. “Let Allah sort it out ,” as Sarah Palin so pithily put it. There is sympathy for any Arab state attempting to crush the Brotherhood and little concern about the torture, persecution and killing that the government uses to accomplish this objective.