Rand Paul and Ted Cruz wanted to terminate our aid to Egypt. The majority of the GOP sided with the Democrats in the Senate and the Obama White House. It would be irresponsible to end aid to Egypt, they insisted, because we would be pushing Egypt toward the baleful influence of Russia.
But wait. The US is halting “most” aid anyway! They are doing so “secretly.”
How can it be a secret if we are reading about it in the newspaper without the Administration going on another whistleblower witch hunt? Here “secretly” really means unofficially. If the Obama Administration officially followed the anti-coup law that says aid must end to a country where a democratically-elected ruler is unseated by a military uprising, then there would be no legal turning back. We would have officially declared Egypt’s present government to be illegitimate. As much as it pains me to admit it, I think Team Obama is wise not to want to limit themselves in that way. While I don’t have any hope they will adopt a wise foreign policy of butting out of the business of other nations, they are right in this instance not to take an official position on who governs Egypt.
So is Russia now purchasing the hearts and minds of Egyptian generals in the “dangerous” power vacuum we are allowing in the Mid-East? No. Local governments in the region are filling in the perceived slack.
“In recent days, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has publicly condemned the Muslim Brotherhood, sent field hospitals to Egypt and in rare public comments vowed continued support. The foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, traveled to Europe, where he pushed back against efforts to punish Egypt’s rulers. And Saudi Arabia delivered a blank check to Cairo, promising to shower it with money as needed. ‘The kingdom stands with Egypt and against all those who try to interfere with its domestic affairs,’ King Abdullah said Friday in a televised speech.”
I’m no fan of the dynasty that names their region of domination after their family name (and the fact that they are our closest ally while we go export “democracy” with troops and drones is quite revealing). But the fact remains that they probably do not want to see Russian influence spread to Egypt, especially since the Sauds are major supporters of the Jihadists trying to overthrow Syria. So they are taking care of their own problems—problems that are right next door to them.
So at this point, whether or not we should even care if the Egyptians buy MIGs instead of F-14s, the scenario of Russia’s influence suddenly growing in Egypt is not materializing. The world is not simply the playground for superpowers, other smaller nations can look after themselves without our help.
And while I know it is politically-motivated and hypocritical, I’m still astounded that the rousing condemnation of the Muslim Brotherhood came from the Saudi king and not from the American President.
I probably shouldn’t be surprised.