Sunday, February 20, 2011
Liz Cheney parallels (but doesn't quite match) Beldar's prescription for what Obama should say about U.S. aid to Egypt
On this morning's "Fox News Sunday," Liz Cheney made a point very similar to the one I made in my post from last Friday (my transcription from DVR; boldface mine):
[Chris Wallace:] Would you like to see him [i.e., President Obama] openly support the freedom fighters, the protesters, in Iran?
[Liz Cheney:] Absolutely! He should have done it last June. Had he done it, frankly, in June of 2009, we might have a very different Iran today. I think that — you know, you have a situation where the [Obama] Administration is constantly playing catch-up. And one of the things that they clearly are going to be doing now is adding more money to the democracy programs. As they do that, they need to be held to account: Not a single taxpayer penny should go to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Administration so far has refused to declare their opposition to that. The Muslim Brotherhood is not democratic. They clearly support the imposition of Sharia law —
[Wallace:] — You're talking of course in Egypt —
[Cheney:] — and the return of the Caliphate in Egypt. But I think they'll face this issue across the region with Islamic organizations.
Of course no U.S. taxpayer money should ever go directly, or be permitted to be funneled indirectly, to the Muslim Brotherhood. And of course Obama should make that point clearly and publicly and now.
But it's not just the cash now that's important. It's the Egyptian people's understanding of the likelihood of a continuing sustained cash-flow in the future, the cash-flow they've been enjoying since, basically, the Camp David accords in 1978. With or without U.S. assistance, and indeed despite any efforts we might make to undercut their fund-raising elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood will find plenty of sources of cash that can be used to sway a "one man, one vote, one time" election.
But that's still chump change compared to the billions of U.S. aid dollars we've been sending to Egypt year in and year out. And the Egyptians who might be tempted by the Muslim Brotherhood's pitch, or intimidated by their threats and violence, need to understand that Uncle Sam's teat is going to be permanently withdrawn if the Muslim Brotherhood even shares power in a new Egyptian government.
(Postscript: While looking for a suitable photo to pirate "fair-use republish" for this post, I was amused to see that among the companies buying advertising bandwidth from Foxnews.com is ... the New York Times. Oh, how the mighty are falling!)
UPDATE (Sun Feb 20 @ 4:15pm): This post from Andy McCarthy illustrates exactly why I think this message so badly needs to be sent, and without further delay (link his):
In another worrying sign, there are indications coming out of Egypt and Israel that the Egyptian military provided security for Qaradawi’s appearance before the throng. This, you might say, is to be expected in a potentially unstable situation with the government in flux and a throng of hundreds of thousands (at least) gathered in Tahrir Square. But the reports further suggest that the military let the Muslim Brotherhood take the lead in orchestrating Friday’s events and that opposition leaders who are not Islamists were not permitted to speak. I am not in a position to verify or disprove these reports, but if they are true that would be very ominous indeed.
It's the colonels and the generals who've been spending a whole bunch of that American foreign aid, and who need to be stripped of any illusions that it would continue if the Muslim Brotherhood were part of Egypt's new government.
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(1) DRJ made the following comment | Feb 20, 2011 6:53:24 PM | Permalink
You're in good company, Beldar. Now if we could only get our President to listen.
(2) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Feb 20, 2011 8:42:51 PM | Permalink
Dear Mr. Dyer: I still object. Who really thinks The One would ever follow through on such a pronouncement that aid will be suspended if the Muslim Brotherhood gets its hooks in, after The One's performance in closing Guantanamo, the fiasco of the Denmark climate summit, the constant bowing to foreign potentates who detest America....well, you get the idea. I also think that any money the Egyptians would lose in such a deal would be promptly replaced by the Chinese, who have a much better idea of global politics than The One. To be sure, this subsidizing of radical Islam will have consequences in China's western provinces and the Trashcanistan entities that border said provinces, but that's for the next generation of China's leaders to worry about.
What's the alternative? The US sends a big shipment of military aid to Israel, with the announcement that more may follow. Let Mearshiemer and Walt and their mob bawl; their imbecilities are predictable and easily discounted. When the Egyptians crab and squawk about this, then the public announcement can be made that further shipments to Israel will follow fastfast if the Muslim Brotherhood isn't sent packing. Follow up with a threat that any further shenanigans, and that dreadful harridan Michelle will be sent over to run Egyptian food distribution...
Okay, that last bit is almost certainly a war crime. But it underscores my point: who in world diplomacy takes The One seriously? Your proposed solution does make sense, but only if the US is taken seriously abroad. After two years of The One's remedial education in politics, who believes this? Per contra, who doubts that Israel is a bad enemy to have, and means business far more than The One and his fruitcake leftism.
(3) Larry Brown made the following comment | Mar 4, 2011 8:21:05 PM | Permalink
Of moderate muslims, there being none. Jihadis aplenty and competent diplomats, of late, being in the same numbers as the moderate muslims. I wish to bring a thought to the discourse, of Israel's quiet news of the discovery of the "Leviathan" and the their current state of "clowns to left of me, jokers to right".
The Leviathan is the discovery off Haifa of many trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and potentially billions of barrels of oil might have a bit to do with the current "democracy" movements and fomentation of general unrest in the neighborhood..?
Bibi hasn't had much to say either, eh?
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