by Jacob G. Hornberger
During her trip to Egypt over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pelted by tomatoes, shoes, and chants of “Monica, Monica, Monica” from Egyptian protestors. Playing the role of the innocent as she met with the head of Egypt’s military council and Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsy, Clinton pointed out that the United States doesn’t take sides in Egypt’s internal politics.
What? How can Clinton say such a thing with a straight face? The U.S. government has taken sides in Egypt for decades by taking the side of Egypt’s brutal military dictatorship. And it continues to take the side of the military dictatorship by continuing to send $1.5 billion in foreign aid directly to the military, primarily in the form of weaponry. That weaponry, needless to say, fortifies the omnipotent power of the military dictatorship over the Egyptian people.
Egypt has been ruled by the military for decades. Mubarak, a military general, was appointed to serve as president. By wearing civilian clothes, he was supposed to create the appearance of a civilian government. But it was always a military dictatorship, one that governed the Egyptian people with an iron hand, which it continues to do to this day.
A good comparison is Chile under Augusto Pinochet. The ultimate power lay with the Chilean military, not with Pinochet. He was simply the man the military chose to rule the country. Even when Pinochet wore civilian clothes, Chile was still governed by a military dictatorship, one that the U.S. government also fully supported with U.S. foreign aid, just as it has the Egyptian military dictatorship.
The recent presidential election in Egypt is necessarily a sham. Any election that is conducted under military dictatorial rule is bound to be warped, distorted, and perverted. The only genuine election would be one under total civilian control, with no military dictatorship within the country.
Clinton announced, “I have come to Alexandria to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for their democratic future.”
What? How can she say such a thing when the U.S. government continues to furnish $1.5 billion to the Egyptian military dictatorship, which has made it very clear that it will never relinquish its dictatorial position over the Egyptian people?
No wonder that those Egyptian protestors were chanting “Monica, Monica, Monica.” They know that Clinton is fibbing, just as her husband fibbed about Monica Lewinsky.
Don’t forget: Most of that $1.5 billion goes to Egypt’s military in the form of weaponry — rifles, bullets, tanks, etc. — that fortify the military’s dictatorial power over the Egyptian people.
That’s in fact why the Egyptian military can dictate to the newly elected Egyptian president what his powers are going to be. It’s why the military can dissolve the Parliament and refuse to permit it to reconvene. It’s why it can decree martial law whenever it wants. It’s why it has the Egyptian judiciary in its pockets. Everyone knows that the military has the weaponry that can overcome with force any resistance to its dictatorship.
And where did that weaponry come from? From the U.S. government, complements of American taxpayers. For decades, the U.S. government has reinforced and strengthened Egypt’s military dictatorship with cash and weaponry. Why, don’t forget: the U.S. government even chose Egypt’s military to serve as one of its rendition-torture partners in the “war on terrorism.”
It all goes to show why the U.S. government has no business getting involved at all in the internal affairs of other countries. Interventionism, including foreign aid to pro-U.S. dictatorships, does nothing but engender anger, animosity, and hatred toward our country, which are then used as the excuse to suspend our freedoms here at home, including the power of the U.S. military and CIA to spy on Americans, monitor their emails and telephone calls, and take Americans into custody as “enemy combatants,” torture them, incarcerate them, and even assassinate them.
All those billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt for the past several decades have done nothing positive for the American people. It’s no surprise that despite (or because of) all that U.S. foreign aid, the overwhelming majority of Egyptians have a negative opinion of the United States. Clinton’s visit to Egypt only makes things worse.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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