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Once Again, a Day Late and a Dollar Short

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In this case, the US is $1.5 billion short.

Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, last Thursday, November 22, “issued constitutional amendments that placed him above judicial oversight,” and “decreed immunity for the Islamist-dominated panel drafting a new constitution from any possible court decisions to dissolve it.” Morsi did all this after receiving “lavish praise from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for mediating an end to eight days of fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.” As Andrew C. McCarthy wrote, “Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood.” That is the same Muslin Brotherhood that, in October 2010, called for a jihad against the US.

President Barack Hussein Obama, in his infinite wisdom, released $1.5 billion of military aid (money we don’t have) to Egypt, now controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi. He did this despite the wishes of Congress.

Now it seems that Obama, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and the rest of the Obama administration are having second thoughts.

The State Department, on Friday, November 23, issued a statement of “concern” about Morsi’s power-grab. The statement, by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, while not specifically naming Morsi, said:

The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community. … The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments.

Have I somehow missed a statement from Obama and/or Clinton pledging (or even offering) support for all the Egyptians who took to Tahrir Square to protest for democracy? After all, the MSM has said that an “Arab Spring” of democracy has broken out across the region.

The European Union (EU) also joined the condemnation. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said, “It is of utmost importance that democratic process be completed in accordance with the commitments undertaken by the Egyptian leadership.”

The Supreme Judicial Council, Egypt’s highest judicial authority, said the decree was an “unprecedented attack” on the independence of the judiciary.

As DaTechGuy says, “Hmmmm: sounds like we’ve replaced a Pro-American dictator, with a pro-Islamist dictator.” Is Morsi going to give the $1.5 billion back? Has he already done so, and I just missed it? Or can Obama pick ’em, or what?

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Dr Hussein Dreadful

    President Barack Hussein Obama, in his infinite wisdom, released $1.5 billion of military aid (money we don’t have)

    Do we have any money at all? Should US federal spending, in your opinion, be zero?

    Turning to the concerns of those of us who prefer to live in the real world rather than the alternate universe that subsists solely on Obama-bashing, here’s a compelling reason, courtesy of Pro Publica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism organization, why the administration might have wished to bypass Congress’s obstinacy on this issue:

    “Military aid – which comes through a funding stream known as Foreign Military Financing – has held steady at about $1.3 billion since 1987. American officials have long argued that the money promotes strong ties between the American and Egyptian militaries, which gives the U.S. all kinds of benefits. U.S. Navy warships, for instance, get “expedited processing” when they pass through the Suez Canal.

    Here’s a 2009 U.S. embassy cable released by WikiLeaks that makes essentially the same point:

    ‘President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as “untouchable compensation” for making and maintaining peace with Israel. The tangible benefits to our mil-mil relationship are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, and the U.S. military enjoys priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace.’ “

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Um, Warren –

    If we really wanted to defund terrorism, we’d stop subsidizing Big Oil with billions in taxpayer dollars every year…which dollars often find their way into the pockets of Saudis who support terrorism.

    But to more directly address your article, there’s something you should learn about, something that most modern-day Republicans flatly reject: diplomacy…and many, many times diplomacy comes in the form of “international aid” – also known as “bribes”.

    Now why would Obama be bribing the Egyptians? I figure a lot of Republican whack-a-doodles would claim it’s obviously because Obama’s Muslim, too. But in the real (Faux-News-free) world, ask yourself this: how expensive would a new war between Israel and, say, a Saudi/Egyptian axis be for the American taxpayer? That’s a particular can of worms I’d hate to see opened, because even though I’d personally sit back and let Israel fight it on her own, we’d probably be forced to get involved. And then there’s the possibility of nukes being used.

    Do you really want that? I should hope you don’t.

    So how do we keep from that happening? First, we would want the Egyptians to need us. Second, we say nice things about them and refrain from meddling in their internal politics. While these may be nauseating to you, just remember that Obama’s policies of not forcefully meddling in internal politics led to thousands of people in Libya protesting FOR America, and when Assad falls in Syria (and he eventually will), the people there will also be more pleasantly-disposed (or at least less hatefully-disposed) towards the U.S.

    Again, I know that nauseates you, but IMO that’s infinitely better than pursuing Republican-style “do-as-America-says-or-we-find-an-excuse-to-invade” aggressive diplomacy that just winds up costing us more blood and treasure.

  • Igor

    Military aid to Egypt and Israel was the price that Pres. Carter paid for peace between Egypt and Israel, which has lasted for 30 years. Pretty cheap. Better to bribe Egyptian and Israeli politicians than to spend a trillion dollars fighting a war in the middle east (ala Afghanistan and Iraq).

    Thus, we learn that Carter was much smarter than GW Bush. Also, apparently much smarter than republican critics who complain endlessly about Carter.

    Let’s see: at a measly couple billion a year for 30 years Carter bought peace in the middle east between it’s two greatest troublemakers. that’s, maybe, 100 billion net cost. A lot less than a trillion dollar Bush war. And most of that money was earmarked to buy American military equipment, so the money cam back home.

    That Carter guy looks pretty damn smart, to me. And that Bush guy looks even dumber than anyone thought before.

    I guess we could have known that from their histories as businessmen, Carter having built a successful peanut business from scratch, and Bush just pissed away $500k of his dads money on a failed oil company (Spectrum), then getting a small fortune by peddling dads influence in Texas to get a stadium built for the Rangers at county expense, thus deriving his personal fortune from TAX MONEY!

  • Re: comment # 1, Doc, you can cite all the source you want, but the fact still remains that Obama gave $1.5 billion to people who, in 2010, called for a jihad against the US. And isn’t ironic that the State Department statement says, “The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law…,” something Obama doesn’t seem to adhere to himself. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Re: comments # 2 and 3, Glenn and Igor, call what Obama did a bribe, or whatever. The fact still remains that Obama gave money to self-proclaimed enemies of the US. And terrorism has nothing to do with his actions. Y’all are, indeed, in a parallel universe if y’all think that money won’t come back here.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Warren, the $1.5 billion was given to the Egyptian government, not the Muslim Brotherhood, though I can see how the distinction would be too subtle for you.

  • Igor

    That $1.5billion has a huge ROI in the middle east in terms of the reduced cost to Israel and thus to us. It would be cheap at twice the price.

    Warren, you pay too much attention to what people say and not enough to what they do. Talk is cheap.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I see Warren thinks that war between Israel and Egypt (and perhaps other nations) is cheaper than bribes to Egypt. I guess he never thought about the $2T that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost us – quite literally, a thousand years of such bribes to Egypt would not equal what those wars cost us.

    But as we can see by the Republicans’ praise of the Paul Ryan budget, mathematics is not their strong suit….