Don’t Cut Off Aid to Egypt

Cartoon reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen http://www.drybonesblog.blogsp…

— by Steve Sheffey

What is going on in Egypt is terrible. But we should not cut off aid to Egypt, at least not yet. Several authorities whom I respect say we should cut off aid to Egypt, but I am not sure that anything happening now should affect our rationale for providing military aid to Egypt. Aid at the current level began after the Egypt signed its peace agreement with Israel. Its purpose is to promote military and intelligence cooperation between Egypt and Israel, which enhances regional stability and is in the best interests of the United States.

We gave aid when Sadat oppressed the Egyptians. We gave aid when Mubarek oppressed the Egyptians. We gave aid when the Muslim Brotherhood, whose values are antithetical to our values, was elected. Many thought that the Brotherhood would never give up power, much as Hamas has never given up power in Gaza after winning a democratic election. We will never know.

Now, the Egyptian military has killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members. Bad things are currently happening to bad people. But the reasons for providing aid to Egypt remain valid. Could aid to a repressive regime make the Egyptians hate America? They are oppressing the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood already hates Americans. There is no reason to believe that cutting off American aid to Egypt would turn the military into angels. If we cut off aid, we could remain with the same killing on the streets, plus less military and intelligence cooperation. How does that help? Unless we have a good reason to believe that military and intelligence cooperation will continue without U.S. aid, we should be very wary of reducing the current level of assistance.

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