Just for the record I don’t condemn Egypt’s military for their coup or their crackdown. While I can’t be certain, there is a strong case they should have moved sooner. Morsi “supporters” have been raping, torturing, and killing Christians and torching churches. The army has finally had enough.
But that doesn’t mean that US taxpayers should be cash-cows to whoever rules Egypt at any given time. It is likely the Egyptian military delayed intervening in the murder, torture, rape, and arson because they were afraid of US disapproval—mainly because we are a money spigot for them.
But despite years of tea party activism and voting, virtually the entire GOP in the Senate is siding with Obama and the Democrats against Rand Paul. Rand Paul proposed that the US desist “funding aid to Egypt” John McCain attacked Paul’s amendment. But Paul had the law on his side.
“‘Paul punched back, noting that the Foreign Assistance Act, first enacted in 1961, requires a suspension of foreign aid to any country that undergoes a coup. ‘How do we lead by example when we’re not going to obey our own laws?’ Paul inquired. ‘When the president refuses to acknowledge that it’s a coup … Americans should be outraged and insulted by such blatant shirking of the law. Either we’re a nation of laws or we’re not.’ The remarks seemed to cause certain lawmakers to blink, if only slightly. ‘Yeah, it probably fits the definition of a coup,’ said Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) before noting that the U.S. could simply not afford to lose its leverage with the Egyptian military. ‘If it’s not going to be [U.S.-supplied] F-16s, you’re going to find yourselves with MiG-29s coming from Russia.’ ‘Why are we selling weapons to Egypt?’ added Graham. ‘If we don’t, someone else will.’ Inhofe joined 32 other Republicans in voting against the amendment, including Paul’s rumored 2016 presidential primary rival Sen. Marco Rubio. ‘Our foreign aid should be restructured, not simply cancelled,’ said Rubio.”
We go from a question of continuing to fund aid to that of selling aircraft. This is all about corporate welfare. We give or loan (at a sweet deal) the Egyptians money on the understanding that they use the money to buy American weapons.
Russian does not spend nearly as much on the military and doesn’t have our credit line to spend themselves into insolvency as deeply as we are doing. If they were to start selling planes to Egypt, Egypt would almost certainly have to pay for them. The idea that Russia is capable or even wants to purchase support in Egypt seems implausible to me.
But would Russian influence in Egypt be so bad? Let’s remember recent history. Russia didn’t want us to use Al Qaeda terrorists to kill Kaddafi and overthrow Libya to turn it into a Jihadis playground. We would all be better off if they had more influence in the region, not less. Russia doesn’t want us to do the same thing in Syria. Again: Let the Russian influence expand! If you were a Christian living in the Mid East you know you would be praying every day and night for a decline in US influence and an increase in Russian influence.
But beside all this, we are at the edge of an apocalyptic debt disaster and the Senate can only think of how to play with soldiers as if the map was a giant Risk game. We need a real Tea Party that makes the Senate know that ignoring the financial crisis in order to fund corporate welfare overseas is a direct attack on the American people.
It will also destabilize the nations even more.