America just cannot seem to stop supplying weapons and military equipment to our enemies–or to countries who will very likely very quickly become our enemies. Lately Egypt has been on good terms with Iran, ever since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt after the protests and ousting of Mubarak. Iran has been keeping the world on the edge of its seat with their new-found capabilities to produce nuclear power, and has recently supported Palestine in their struggle with Israel. Iran has also expressed sympathies with the government of Syria, and the brutal crackdown of Assad’s regime on protesters and rebels.
America has condemned the violence of Assad in Syria and called for his removal. America has also placed sanctions on Iran, issued warnings, and is monitoring their nuclear capabilities closely. And now, more violence has erupted in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood supporters of President Morsi, and the anti-Morsi protestors. So how will America respond to Egypt simultaneously cozzy-ing up to our enemies, and brutally cracking down on what started as peaceful protests?
Well it does not seem that America is too concerned about Egypt, because America is giving–not selling–20 brand new F-16 fighter jets to the Egyptian government as part of a billion dollar foreign aide package, according to a Fox News article. Where do I start?
Let’s start with the obvious. America is in $16 trillion of debt, not counting unfunded liabilities, and has had $1 trillion deficits for the past 4 years. This money should not be being sent to our enemies, it should be used to pay off our debt, or be returned to the taxpayers to stimulate the economy. Furthermore, America has a history of supplying weapons to countries it will one day fight. This happened when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and America supplied Bin Laden and al-Qaeda with weapons to repel the invasion. We are still fighting the people we supplied. Seeing as Egypt is now on good terms with some of our most ardent enemies, it is not a stretch to think that these 20 fighter jets could be used against the U.S. within a few years. So by giving away fighter jets to a country that Obama claimed was not really an ally, we are wasting American money, and strengthening our enemies, which obviously makes America less safe. Now who can explain to me how this is a sound defense tactic?
With Egyptian sympathies favoring Palestine, especially with the new Muslim leadership, America has just put Israel, one of our ally’s, at risk. But America has also put the Egyptian people at risk. Much like the campaign of oppression Assad has released on the people of Syria, tensions are mounting between the people of Egypt, and the new Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian government.
Opponents of Morsi accuse his Muslim Brotherhood supporters of unleashing highly trained cadres – fired up with religious slogans – to crush their political rivals. They fear last week’s violence was a signal that the Brotherhood will use force to push its agenda and defend its political gains in the face of a persistent protest movement demanding that Morsi withdraw a draft constitution largely written by his Islamist allies.
According to this article from the Associated Press, although the Muslim Brotherhood claims it was simply defending the palace against violent protests, videos and first hand accounts contradict this story. By the time the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood cracked down on the supposed violent protesters (who had reportedly numbered in hundreds of thousands), the number of protesters had shrunk to about one hundred, and they were participating in a tent sit in. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood were organized into military like units as they wielded clubs, and shot protesters with bird shot, wounding 9. They also threatened to torch the tent sit in, and chanted religious slogans. On top of the violent clashes in the streets between the anti-Morsi protesters, and the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood, the government set up a detention center, where rebels are said to have been tortured and interrogated.
During last Wednesday’s fighting, nearly 140 anti-Morsi protesters were detained, tortured and interrogated at a makeshift center set up by the Brotherhood along the walls of the presidential palace, according to witnesses. The detained protesters were filmed making forced confessions that they had received foreign funds to join the protests, according to some who were held and an Egyptian journalist who snuck into the site.
The detention center was guarded and protected by official police from the Egyptian government, although it was run by pro-Morsi members of the Muslim Brotherhood. As the violence in the street got worse, more protesters showed up, and more pro-Morsi fighters were bussed in. A resident of the area says that by the time the conflict reached about 12,000 Morsi supporters, and a few thousand protesters,
Morsi supporters operated by what appeared to be a well-rehearsed plan. They came prepared with metal sheets to set up as barricades, motorcycles with small trailers attached brought loads of stones to the front lines to pelt protesters with.
All of this evidence, along with examples of how similar countries have used American aide in the past, paints a bleak picture of what can be expected in Egypt. What is easily predicted, however, is that the 20 fighter jets sent to aide Egypt will be used against either Egyptian civilians, Israeli’s, or America when we enter the next middle east scuffle. Of course a good way to avoid all this would be to stop all foreign aide, refuse to help human-rights-abusing governments, and refuse to enter middle east wars (opting instead for a defense strategy, not an offensive strategy). We have been paying protection money to middle-east thugs for far too long, its time it stops.