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New Egyptian war: Americans lose, again

sheidayi20130708015913837Looking at the banners in the massive Egyptian protests last week, we saw many anti-American slogans. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that was deposed by the military last week was very critical of what it saw as U.S. support for the coup. Why is it that all sides in this Egyptian civil war seem so angry with the United States? Because the United States has at one point or another supported each side, which means also that at some point the U.S. has also opposed each side. It is the constant meddling in Egyptian affairs that has turned Egyptians against us, as we would resent foreign intervention in our own affairs.

For more than 30 years, since the U.S.-brokered Camp David Accord between Israel and Egypt, the U.S. supported Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. Over that period the U.S. sent more than $60 billion to prop up Mubarak and, importantly, to train and seek control over the Egyptian military. Those who opposed Mubarak’s unelected reign became more and more resentful of the U.S., which they rightly saw as aiding and abetting a dictator and denying them their political aspirations.

Then the U.S. began providing assistance to groups seeking to overthrow Mubarak, which they did in 2011. The U.S. continued funding the Egyptian military at that time, arguing that U.S. aid was more critical than ever if we are to maintain influence. The U.S. Administration demanded an election in Egypt after Mubarak’s overthrow and an election was held. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won a narrow victory. The U.S. supported Morsi but kept funding the Egyptian military.

After a year of Morsi’s rule, Egyptians who did not approve of his government took to the streets to demand his removal from power. The U.S. signaled to the Egyptian military that it would not oppose the removal of Morsi from power, and he was removed on July 3rd. With the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government came the arrest of many politicians and the closure of many media outlets sympathetic to them. Then the U.S. government warned the same Egyptian military that undermined democracy that it needed to restore democracy! Is it any wonder why Egyptians from all walks of life are united in their irritation with the United States?

Despite the Egyptian government being overthrown by a military coup, the Obama Administration will not utter the word “coup” because acknowledging reality would mean an end to U.S. assistance to the Egyptian government and military. That cannot be allowed.

Instead, we see the same Obama administration that is on a worldwide manhunt for pro-transparency whistle-blower Edward Snowden demand that the Egyptian military exercise “political transparency” in its dealings with the ousted Muslim Brotherhood-led government.

So, successive U.S. administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military. There is only one side that the U.S. government has never supported: our side. The American side. It has never supported the side of the U.S. taxpayers who resent being forced to fund a foreign dictatorship, a foreign military, and foreign protestors. It has never supported the side of the majority of Americans who do not wish to get involved in the confusing internal affairs of countries thousands of miles away. It has never supported the side of those of us concerned about blowback, which is the real threat to our national security. Unfortunately, U.S. administrations continue to follow the same old failed policies and Obama is no different. More intervention, more foreign aid, more bullying, more empire.

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