Egypt To West: We Don’t Need Your Aid
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  • ljgude

    The Egyptians need food and to get that they need order, political stability. The MB flubbed it. The people rose up and Sisi pulled the plug. The military has always ruled Egypt in its present form. Nothing has changed. They have never been anything close to a democracy and have no democratic infrastructure. The question is can the Egyptian elites actually change the situation on the ground. Make the country safe for tourism again (doable) and pursue agricultural reform and actually increase food production(I doubt it). Posturing about democracy to hungry people is a good way to hated even more and that seems to be what is happening.

  • Blaton Hardey

    I don’t get it. If you want to give financial aid, just give it. If not, don’t. But it’s a real messed up way of “aid” if you try to use it as leverage. It’s called bribery. Nothing wrong with bribery, but to then call it “aid” is arrogant and patronizing. And I think a lot of Egyptians are sick of being patronized by an administration that barely gets its own (explicit) together.

    • Thirdsyphon

      The aid is mostly military, and our decision to extend it was made decades ago, which is to say, before the current management of Egypt took over. Also, while there’s always a quid-pro-quo to be expected for *anyone’s* help, it suits everyone concerned if we couch our aid as the U.S. magnanimously helping our clients with economic and military support and if our clients in turn pitch their resulting cooperation with U.S. goals as them magnanimously extending their hand to a friend in need in (for example) the war on terror.

      Obviously, in reality these are business deals and not unrelated exchanges of favors between close friends; but polite fictions like this are an important part of diplomacy. Some might even say that they’re the necessary precondition to engaging in diplomacy at all. To see an example of the train-wreck that diplomacy would turn into if everyone suddenly decided to tell the unvarnished truth, see the Melian Dialogue in Thucydides’ masterful History of the Peloponnesian War.

  • wigwag

    “American leaders often deceive themselves as to the extent of America’s importance to the rest of the world. Nevertheless, if this is a bluff, it’s potentially a costly one for the Egyptians: $7 billion in combined Western aid certainly ain’t peanuts. With America’s leverage over what’s going on in Egypt ebbing anyway, President Obama may find it politically expedient to call Fahmy’s hand sooner rather than later.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    Actually, Professor Mead, the $7 billion in question is peanuts. Between them, the Saudis and the Gulf States have close to $1.5 trillion in foreign reserves and the oily dollars flow in by the bucketful every day. Making up for a reduction or elimination of Western aid is pocket change for the Arab supporters of the Egyptian military.

    Remember, the IMF negotiates with Morsi’s Government over $1.5 billion for a year; the Saudis delivered $12 billion to the Egyptian generals practically over night. That $12 billion is more aid then the United States has given Egypt over the past six years combined.

    There’s alot of talk in the media now about how the United States has lost all its leverage with the Egyptian generals; that’s true enough. But there’s been little discussion about how the United States has lost all its leverage with the Saudis, the Kuwaitis and the rest of the Gulf Arabs. While Obama urges restraint, the Saudis and their friends are laughing in his face by urging the Generals to do whatever it takes to crush the Brotherhood. No one; absolutely no one in the Middle East cares what Obama thinks any more. Americans may habitually overestimate how influential American support is, but there’s been no time since the end of World War II that an American president has been as disrespected by the entire Middle East as Barack Obama is.

    Even the Israelis are getting in on the act. There are reports all over the newspapers that Israel plans a massive campaign to oppose cutting of aid to the Egyptian generals in Washington, D.C. and European capitals. The Israelis, like the Saudis are spitting in the President’s face with no fear of retribution.

    Good for them.

    A smarter President might see this confluence of interests between the Israelis, Jordanians, Egyptian Generals, Saudis, Kuwaitis and other Gulf Arabs as something to nurture and build on, but not this President. He’s far to wedded to nurturing “moderate” Islamists who think Jews are the “descendants of apes and pigs,” Zionism is a “war crime,” Muslim women should be sexually mutulated and Copts and their churches should be annihilated.

    Of course, we should not forget that Obama isn’t the only fool in Washington. He has plenty of company with his idiot dopplegangers, John McCain and Lundsey Graham not to mention Senators from the bizarro universe like Rand Paul.

    • Pete

      “…but there’s never been a time since the end of World War II that an American president has been as disrespected by the entire Middle East as Barack Obama is.”

      And I must say that Obama deserves ever bit of the disrespect he receives and then some.

      Obama is a man-child; he never grew up.

    • FrankArden

      “Even the Israelis are getting in on the act. ”

      Yes, and it’s more than just about US money as I read this morning

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/

      “’Over the last month we’ve seen both a rise in Jihadist elements operating in Sinai and improved cooperation between the Israeli and Egyptian militaries to counter this,’ Ephraim Kam, a retired Israeli army intelligence colonel and senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, said in an interview.”

      “[It] represents an unprecedented operation beyond the limits to military operations in Sinai that Israel and Egypt agreed to in the 1978 Camp David Accords, Kam said.”

      Well. Our two most important allies in the Middle East are acting in concert in the Sinai to protect their mutual security interests while Mr. Obama dithers about money and encourages their common enemy, the MB Jihadists, to fight on.

      The last thing Egypt and Israel need is for the Sinai to be militarized the MB’s Islam/Jihads. From the Sinai, either country’s assets and citizens could be targeted. Including the Suez Canal.

      Israel gave authorization to Egypt’s
      security force increase in the Sinai beyond the treaty’s limit (of one division) only last month. This Bloomberg piece was the first I heard of it.

      Wig, do you know what the US reaction was?

      • wigwag

        The U.S. supported Israel’s decision to grant Egypt’s military permission to increase its presence in the Sinai.

        • FrankArden

          I assumed that was the case, but what was le rationale for the support?

          Did the US support Israel’s “dicision” to allow Egyptian forces only into the Sinai?

          As I understand it, Israel sent no additional troops into the Sinai while Egypt increased its presence exclusively under US support.

          While Obama fiddles and the Middle East burns, was the US afraid the Suez might be attacked with the ominous implications for the price per gallon of oil?

          • wigwag

            The Obama Administration supported Israel’s decision to acquiesce to more Egyptian troops in the Sinai for both reasons you cite. As bad as he is, Obama is not so nefarious that he actually wants Egyptian Jihadis to be able to shoot missiles from Sinai towards Southern Israel.
            The Administration also rightly supports preventing any disturbance to the vitally important Suez Canal. It’s more than oil, eight percent of all of the world’s shipping traverses the Canal in any given year; that’s a lot.
            It also pays to remember that Israeli warships and especially the new Israeli Dolphin Class submarines given (free of charge) to the Israelis by the Germans, transit the Canal on a regular basis. Even Morsi when he was in power didn’t put a stop to this.
            Many people believe that the Israelis have modified the torpedo tubes in these subs so that they can carry nuclear tipped missiles.
            Israel undoubtedly has these submarines patrolling the shores near Iran. If Iran was ever to get nuclear weapons, these subs would give Israel a second strike capability which is a necessary ingredient to deterrence.
            These submarines are diesel powered not nuclear powered. They cannot carry enough fuel to get from Israel to the shores off Iran and stay submerged long enough to be useful unless they can traverse the Suez Canal.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Interesting speculation, but I don’t think that it is likely.
            The current Indian work towards a nuclear sub isn’t going all that well Yes, they lit off the sub’s reactor recently, but the rest of the work on the sub is going very slowly and it is unlikely that the sub will even go to sea for serious trials before 2015, if not later. Even if they were successful building a useful SSBN (which is what you are talking about here, and SSN is rather pointless), the Indian’s themselves have a pressing need for several of these little toys, and it is reasonable to assume that their own navy would get them before any export was attempted.
            You also seem to ignore the problems in adapting the Jericho-class missles for SSBN operations. Given the Jericho’s dimensions, this would not be a trivial problem, even for an aerospace industry as talented and innovative as the Israelis, and would certainly take considerable resources which may or may not be available. Going with a cruise missile solution might be easier, but that would seriously undercut the value of the sea-launched leg as a second-strike force, as cruise missiles can be shot down rather more easily than ballistic missiles.
            Finally, the domestic consequences (not to mention the international ones) of selling an SSBN to the Israelis would be enormously consequential for the BJP (and that is who we are talking about doing this deal, after all), giving Congress a huge boost to its own prospects. Indian politicians are far too opportunistic to provide their opponents with such excellent ammunition…
            More likely: The Israelis will deploy sub tenders to provide at-sea replenishment of the Dolphins, and keep them equipped with cruise missiles as they do now. They will continue to update the Jerichos (a new mod is near testing now), and emphasize missile defenses to maintain their viability as both a first and second-strike option. Finally, the Israelis are likely to be quite serious about not tolerating a nuclear armed-Iran…their actions along those lines I leave to your imagination….

  • USNK2

    “…At stake is nearly five billion euros ($6.7 billion) in loans and grants promised by the world’s top aid donor to Egypt for 2012-2013. It includes one billion euros from the EU with the rest from European banks the EIB and EBRD.
    EU aid however has been made contingent on political and judicial progress …
    But Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Twitter last week: “Our aid consists primarily of support to human rights and women’s organisations. Not so wise to suspend that right now.” ”
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130819/eu-foreign-ministers-hold-urgent-egypt-talks-wednesday-0

    [I do not think loans from EU banks should count in this total. Also, it was EU pressure that enabled Erdogan to defang Turkey’s military, so maybe the EU should focus on salvaging Libya, since destabilizing Libya was an EU idea. Actually, I think the EU should stop meddling outside the EU – they are doing more than enough to destroy Europe from within the bureaucratic monstrosity named EU]

    • wigwag

      Bravo!

      • USNK2

        ah wigwag, a bravo from you makes my day! I always come to TAI/viaMeadia to read your comments.

        • wigwag

          Thank you. I really appreciate the kind words.

    • Corlyss

      “I think the EU should stop meddling outside the EU – they are doing more than enough to destroy Europe from within the bureaucratic monstrosity named EU.”

      I agree wholeheartedly. The FFs of the EU created a roving commission to do good and it has all the malicious and misguided instincts of a hyper-religious spinster aunt, i.e. they can’t speak from practical experience regarding the nations they presume to dictate to, their remedies are untested but look soooo righteous, and in the end they screw up more than they help while never accepting blame for any of the chaos they leave behind and never finding any cause to be humble about their efforts.

  • rheddles

    The $1.5 billion is protection money for Israel. If we stop paying, the deal is off. Seems like a cheap price to pay for peace.

    • say

      There will be no peace under this deal…

  • Corlyss

    “American leaders often deceive themselves as to the extent of America’s importance to the rest of the world.”
    Well, if that’s the case, then we now suffer thru an administration determined to cut us down to size, i.e., make of us just another state, no better and often a lot worse [because we hog so many resources that “equality” and “fairness” would dictate be distributed to other nations] than every other state in the international system.

  • wigwag

    The other thing worth reflecting on when it comes to Obama’s abdication in the Middle East is that like nature, politics abhors a vacuum, and a vacuum is exactly what Obama is creating in that part of the world. It’s a vacuum that will be filled quickly; in fact, we can already see that staring to happen.

    Now that Saudi Arabia, the new Egyptian rulers, Jordan, Kuwait and the other Gulf States have lost faith in Obama and the United States there will be other suitors delighted to replace our nation in the affection of the oil rich sheikdoms.

    Putin is already stepping up to the plate promising the Egyptian Generals that he is happy to replace any weaponry that the United States declines to provide to the Egyptian military and the Saudis have already agreed to finance any Egyptian purchase of Russian armaments.

    It won’t be long before China starts competing for the attention of the Saudis. While thanks to shale gas and fracking the United States doesn’t rely on the Middle East for its energy supplies; China is critically dependent on Middle East oil. In fact, China is already far and away the largest and most important customer for Saudi crude. Even before the current Egyptian imbroglio, China and Saudi Arabia were flirting; how long will it be before the United States is jilted and the Saudis and Chinese commence a passionate love affair?

    The amateurs in the Obama Administration may not think any of this is particularly important and the idiotic Republicans waxing eloquent about their desire to bring democracy to Egypt may be to dimwitted to notice, but in the Middle East, an ascendant China and Russia and a declining America will have negative consequences for both American interests and American values.

    Have Obama and the Senate Republicans stopped to consider what the consequences will be if the Egyptians transfer their allegiance to Russia and/or China rather than the United States?

    The U.S. military enjoys special privileges which allows naval and marine vessels to jump the queue (which can be quite long) at the Canal. What happens if the Egyptians withdraw this privilege and instead grant it to China (which doesn’t have much of a navy) or Russia (which does)?

    Just yesterday, The USS Harry Truman, along with two guided-missile destroyers and two cruisers, transited the Suez Canal on a mission to provide air support to American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. The Truman was entering to relieve the U.S.S. Nimitz which had been on patrol for months. In part as a warning to Iran, the navy has adopted a policy of keeping one carrier on patrol in the region at all times.

    As the United States withdraws tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment from Afghanistan many of these troops and much of this equipment will return home on ships that need to transit the Canal.

    According to the Fifth Fleet, 45 naval ships a year (including several aircraft carriers) pass through the 120 mile link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean on an annual basis.
    The idea that Russia or China might some day enjoy the special privileges at the Canal now afforded to the United States is frightening. If this came to pass, American lives would be put at risk and our ability to deter or defend against attack would be jeopardized. If the Egypt and its Saudi patrons decide that the United States is no longer dependable, this is an outcome that is entirely plausible.
    Why would Obama put all this at risk? Because he would rather put his faith in “moderate” Islamists like the Muslim Brothers (the parent organization of Hamas which lobs missiles at Israeli civilians on a regular basis) who believe that Jews are little better than apes and pigs and Christians are heathens
    whose churches should be burned to the ground?
    Why would Republicans put all of this at risk? Because some are isolationists who don’t understand that this is 2013 not 1813 and others are starry eyed nut jobs who think that former President Morsi resembles James Madison. These same Republicans can’t distinguish between the Muslim Brothers and the victims of the Prague Spring or Poland’s solidarity movement.
    The damage that Obama threatens to inflict on America’s place in the world is real. That his allies in destroying American leadership in the world includes at least half of the Republican members of the United States Senate is both ironic and depressing.

  • say

    Fahmy is bluffing

  • Guest

    You all discussed the matter as Childs that know
    nothing in strategy, Obama said he know that the Egyptian will asked hem to help…and
    this had been already don, so the hole of yours complicated analysis & planning
    that reflect mostly the stupid limited side of one interesting party… is wrong
    conclusion and USA must support It’s moral value, go to sleep.

  • say

    You all discussed the matter as Childs that know
    nothing in strategy, Obama said he know that the Egyptian will asked hem to help…and
    this had been already don, so the hole of yours complicated analysis & planning
    that reflect mostly the stupid limited side of one interesting party… is wrong
    conclusion

    and USA must support It’s moral value, go to sleep.

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