How To Get More Egyptian Blood On Our Hands

by Patrick Appel

A National Review editorial urges America to “back Egypt’s military.” It claims that the “military’s horrific violence … does not alter the U.S.’s calculus”:

The Muslim Brotherhood and the military government are now at war, and the latter remains the best hope for securing American interests and, ultimately, a free Egypt. We should therefore continue our financial and matériel support for the Egyptian military and maintain as close a relationship as possible to push the government toward our objectives.

In Commentary, Michael Rubin is more unhinged:

So long as the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to turn back the clock, impose its hateful and intolerant ideology upon Egyptians of all religiosities and religions, and refuses to abide by the pathway to transitional elections, and so long as it continues to fight in the streets, then it should suffer the consequences of its actions. And if those consequences result in exponentially higher Brotherhood casualties than army casualties, then so be it. That is the truest path to peace.

Ali Gharib pushes back:

The Muslim Brotherhood is a retrograde, conservative religious movement. In their ham-handed year-long reign over Egypt, they exposed themselves as lacking a serious commitment to democratic principles, such as inclusion and protection of minority rights. But it’s also the largest and best organized political force in Egypt. Rubin’s notion that the Brotherhood should be bloodied into submission represents exactly the same foundational flaw seen in the Brotherhood’s brief rule. Rubin demands, in fashion of old, hard-nosed Republican realists, that the U.S. continue its partnership with the Egyptian military, even amid its massacre of its own citizens. He’s their perfect, and willing, partner.

Larison counters National Review:

The NR editors find the violence earlier this week to be “horrific,” but their preferred policy ensures not only that there will be more of it, but that the U.S. will be actively supporting the most heavily-armed side as it commits new outrages. Instead of distancing the U.S. from the crackdown in Egypt, they would like Washington to be a full partner in it. That means having “as close a relationship as possible” with the government that just committed what is by some accounts the worst one-day massacre of civilian protesters by government forces since Tiananmen.