The Obama Administration seems fine with staying the course on Egypt, which means bankrolling the military junta that seized power last month. After five days of massacres leaving huge numbers of people dead, a lot of people are having second thoughts.
Even Senators who stake out pro-aid positions as a matter of course like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) and Bob Corker (R – TN) are now on the side of cutting aid, insisting that it can’t possibly be sustained after the violent crackdowns on protest.
Not that everyone’s on board. Rep. Peter King (R – NY) is still on the coup bandwagon, insisting that the ousted government had “not demonstrated a commitment to democracy,” despite being actually elected in real elections. King says the US needs to keep the aid, $1.5 billion annually, flowing toward Egypt’s military.
Administration officials have argued that the aid is buying the US influence, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have amounted to much, far too little to prevent the military from killing huge numbers of civilians in the streets. Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY), one of the leaders in the call to end aid, says that the funds aren’t “winning the hearts and minds of the Egyptian people.”
Indeed, if anything the aid is buying a lot of anti-US sentiment, as a brutal crackdown continues apace with a de facto US imprimatur, and US funding. Meanwhile, the junta is suggesting they’re “reconsidering” ties in retaliation for the extremely tepid criticism the US has offered to this point, though this seems unlikely as well since from their perspective US ties just means cashing the occasional $1.5 billion check.
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