Shhhhhh! We’re Suspending Aid to Egypt

Josh Rogin has an exclusive at The Daily Beast that Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) told him that President Obama has quietly suspended military aid to Egypt, although without finding that there was a coup.  But we are acting, at least temporarily, as if there was a coup.

I have no problem with sending a message by delaying aid briefly, just as we would send a message by recalling our ambassador temporarily.  But I think overall we should support the military.

Neither side reflects our values, so we need to go with the folks who represent our interests, and that is clearly the military.

Just as I oppose political Christianity here, I oppose political Islam there.  The Muslim Brotherhood is awful for the 10% of Egyptians who are Christian, awful for women’s rights, and awful for the many, many Egyptians who are Muslim, but want a modern, secular goverment.

After waiting for 85 years to take power, the Muslim Brotherhood did a miserable job.  Morsi refused to reach out and run an inclusive government that tried to represent all Egyptians, he refused to be bound by the Constitution, and basically steered the country more and more toward a theocracy.  I’m sure the military did all it could to “help” him fail, but he did a pretty spectacular job himself.

It would have been better to postpone elections until moderate, secular forces had an opportunity to organize, but that didn’t happen.  After Mubarak was overthrown, there was no Jeffersonian alternative waiting in the wings.  If the choice is between autocracies, and right now it is, I’ll go with the secular one, thank you very much.

It makes no sense that much of the GOP has been criticizing Obama, other than that whatever he does, they automatically feel obligated to oppose him.   I can’t help but believe that if Obama had immediately taken a hard line against the military and called for the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the right would have asked, “What do you expect from our Muslim, terrorist-supporting President?”  They would have been yelling and screaming about the threat to our fly-over rights, to our ability to jump the line at the Suez Canal, to Israel’s security.   Instead, you had the bizarre spectacle of John McCain and Lindsey (“Butters”) Graham defending Morsi against the military.  Do they really believe Egypt is better off in the seventh century?

We Knew This Was Coming

As expected, the Egyptian military is clearing out the pro-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo.  There are reports of hundreds killed and wounded.  They have also declared a state of emergency, which imposes a curfew and means that people can be arrested and held without charges.

Counter demonstrations are occurring all over the country.

The Obama Administration has condemned both the violence and the state of emergency.

The Mess We Left Behind

As we focus on Syria and Egypt and Afghanistan, let’s not forget the mess we left behind in Iraq, where Sunni-Shiite violence just gets more intense.

There have been almost 3,000 deaths from sectarian attacks this year, with more than 500 so far this month.  This weekend, car bombs in Baghdad have killed almost 40 people.

Not to mention the rapprochement between Iraq and Iran that we created, which is a strategic disaster for us.

I hope that as Bush 43 assumes more of a public profile again, and as Dick Cheney campaigns for his daughter Liz in Wyoming, they will get asked, “WTF?”