“They kept saying, ‘What do you think of the Muslim Brotherhood? What are the Egyptian military officers telling you about [Mohamed] Morsi?’” the general recalled, shaking his head in frustration. “I told them, ‘We had our own Arab Spring, now we have a democratic government, we have acute poverty, civil wars and al-Qaeda. Can you please stop talking about Egypt and start talking about Yemen?’”
As for Egypt, it seems now that its main relevance in regional and global affairs is as a potential source of trouble. Its combination of instability, corruption and ineptitude makes Egypt fertile soil for radicalism and Islamist militancy. And Washington should treat it as such. It should stop pretending Egypt is an important player in Arab affairs, and pay more attention to countries that are.
It should stop giving the generals $1.5 billion a year. That money is better spent on countries where the democratic experiment still has a chance of success. Instead, the U.S. should prepare for the humanitarian crises that will inevitably accompany continued military brutality and economic misery. And it should be alert for the growth of a new al-Qaeda franchise on the Nile.
For as long as I can remember we have been giving Egypt billions of dollars worth of aid and war making machinery every year. Everyone says it is because they are our main allies in the Middle East. Never mind that Bin Ladin and the majority of the 911 terrorists were citizens of that country. Never mind that they are really no more stable than any other country in that region of the world. We give them billions because they let us use their land to prepare to bomb other countries in that part of the world.
Now that Egypt has overthrown their one year experiment in democracy and are now controlled, as is typical for the region, by the military establishment. Those who are avowed enemies of the U.S. have pretty much taken up residence there. I wonder if we will be giving them their annual stipend next year? If we do will it be coming back to us via a terrorist attack?
We need to just get used to the fact that no country in that part of the world is stable enough to be called a trustworthy ally. If we could only get rid of our stupid dependence on their oil we could step back and let them go at each other like we do in so many other parts of the world and like they have already been doing for a century or more. The instability and our meddling in it is the primary reason so many there seem to hate us. It just amazes me that our government never seems to learn this simple lesson…..