Will We Cut Egypt’s Aid? Ctd

Elliott Abrams supports suspending aid:

Some argue that a suspension of aid, which is clearly required by U.S. law when there is a coup, is foolish right now because we need to stay close to the Egyptian military. Others say the vast majority of Egyptians rose up to throw the Muslim Brotherhood out, so an aid suspension would insult and enrage them. Still others say there was not really a coup, because what the military did responded to the millions of Egyptians who went to the streets to eject President Morsi. …

Look back at all those things we want for Egypt, and the answer should be obvious: We will do our friends in Egypt no good by teaching the lesson that for us as for them law is meaningless. To use lexicographical stunts to say this was not really a coup, or to change the law because it seems inconvenient this week, would tell the Egyptians that our view and practice when it comes to law is the same as theirs: enforce the law when you like, ignore the law when you don’t. But this is precisely the wrong model to give Egypt; the converse is what we should be showing them as an ideal to which to aspire.

But the illegal occupation and settlement of the West Bank? Not a problem. I’m with George Washington: in favor cutting all military aid to both Israel and Egypt. From the other end of the political spectrum, Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi seconds the motion:

On July 5, I watched a group of American men on CNN threatening to cut off aid to the revolutionary Egyptian people. And I laughed out loud. I hope that they cut off this aid! Since the time of Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, this aid has destroyed our political and economic life. This aid helps the U.S. more than anyone else. This aid goes directly into the pockets of the ruling class and corrupts it. This aid has strengthened American-Israeli colonial rule in our lands. All that the Egyptian people have gained from this aid is more poverty and humiliation.

Brad Plumer considers what would happen if we cut off aid:

Probably not much at first. Military aid to Egypt for 2013 was already disbursed back in May, and there likely wouldn’t be another round of funding until next spring. But cutting off aid would certainly reshape the U.S.-Egypt relationship — and mark a big break from the past 65 years.

Back in 2012, Shana Marshall doubted that the US would cut aid to Egypt, partially because, although “domestic interest groups are rarely invoked in the debate over military aid to Egypt, the $1.3 billion in annual assistance represents a significant subsidy to U.S. weapons manufacturers.”

More Dish on the debate over Egypt’s aid here and here.