Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald examines the lunacy of American foreign aid to Egypt:
Egypt is the center of anti-Americanism in the Arab and Muslim world. Its press is violently and hysterically anti-American and antisemitic (not just anti-Israel). The government claims it can “do nothing” about this, whenever questions are raised — but just let a single item appear about the grooming of Mubarak’s son for the presidency, or a hint of the stratokleptocracy (rule by corrupt and thieving military men), and that paper, and the writer, are read the riot act. Apparently anything that damages the standing of Mubarak can be controlled, but the same control is impossible when murderous hysteria and hatred are whipped up against America and Israel.
Why does Egypt receive military aid at all? Against whom will this aid be used? Is it mighty Libya, now mostly disarmed? Could it be that Egypt, outraged at the behavior of the northern Sudanese Arabs, will attack them? So far, Egypt has not shown the slightest indignation about the Jihad being conducted from Khartoum over the past 20 years, though it will, to “please the Americans,” engage in some desultory attempts to persuade the Sudanese government to pretend to engage in pretend negotiations.
That weaponry can only be used in three ways. First, and obviously, against Israel — either directly, or by funneling weapons to jihadists in Gaza or elsewhere. Second, it can be used by the Egypt decides to bully Ethiopia with the threat of military force, should that drought-and-famine afflicted African country dares to divert any of the Nile headwaters for its own desperate irrigation needs. Egypt believes it has a divine right to the Nile waters. No other countries need apply, especially not if they are black Christians, as Ethiopians are seen to be still — despite the widespread and deliberate efforts from within Ethiopia by Muslims to carry out da’wa and overwhelm the Christians.
And third, all such weaponry potentially can fall into hands even more malevolent and deadly than those of the plump Egyptian generals. It is known that many in the Egyptian ruling class were in the pay of Saddam Hussein, and delivered military secrets to him that likely included secrets about American weaponry, American plans. The Muslim Brotherhood, of course, is growing again in power and influence, and made immense gains in the last election. Egypt is full of people who are sympathizers with Al Qaeda and Gemaa Islamiyya; many are well-placed. The celebrated Ayman al-Zawahiri, for example, a former surgeon, comes from a most important Egyptian family. His great-uncle was Azzam Pasha, the Secretary of the Arab League, who back in 1948 threatened the Jews of Mandatory Palestine with a “massacre the likes of which would not have been seen since the days of the Mongols.” The notion that all of these people are marginal, or easily identified and rooted out, is nonsense.
Back in the early 1980s, there were battles royal over military aid to Saudi Arabia, most notably that involving the AWACS. Every Saudi hireling jumped into the lobbying picture to present Saudi Arabia as what it was not then and never has been — a “staunch ally” of the United States, a “friend” whose good will we needed. No, we needed nothing of the sort. We needed to bring Saudi Arabia to heel, or at least to see it clearly as the hostile polity with a hostile ideology that it is. Had we done so, we might have begun to impose taxes on gasoline and similar taxes, in order to recapture oligiopolistic rents. But the siren-song began in earnest; the choirmaster was Prince Bandar, he of the Plantagenet hunting-lodge Wychwood, and the Aspen estate, where a small mountain was knocked down at his demand so that he might better enjoy the view. Joining in were all those ex-ambassadors who came trooping in, and the Fred-Dutton P.R. campaign, and every single company doing business with Saudi Arabia, including the Whitney Corporation with its hospital contracts, and United Technologies, and of course the oil companies — oh, they all certainly had American interests in mind, didn’t they? Just the way those companies that are today lobbying for a continuation of the absurd foreign aid to Egypt have our best interests in mind. That aid now amounts to nearly $60 billion. It is being sent to a country that has opposed every element of American foreign policy, that has failed to meet a single one of its solemn commitments under the Camp David Accords, and that in its controlled media (just try making fun of Mubarak’s son) fans the anti-American and anti-Israel flames throughout the Arab and Muslim lands.
What exactly would Egypt have to do in order to get the American government to cut off all aid? Anything short of an outright invasion of Israel, it would seem, will not do it. The Bush Administration has a chance to show that it understands that no Muslim country can be permitted to acquire major weaponry — that all of it is a potential threat, whether in Iraq, or Iran, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or Egypt itself. It should make an intelligent attempt to stop the self-defeating farce of “aid to Egypt.” After all, what is it that the Egyptians threaten? What can do if such aid is cut off? Cease to be so wonderfully cooperative? Start an anti-American campaign in their press which has been so pro-American? Stop their scrupulous adherence to the requirement, under the Camp David Accords, that they will cease all “hostile propaganda” against Israel? Start behaving badly toward the Copts, whom the Muslims in Egyptian have treated so very wonderfully? Oppose our taking strong measures to disarm Iraq, or possibly Iran?
What, exactly, could the Egyptians threaten that they do not already do? The example of the threat to cut a mere $30 million from American aid quickly got Egypt’s attention and made it hastily arrange a new trial for the “reformer” Saad Eddin Ibrahim. What might a threat to cut it all accomplish? And if it were to be cut, and the American aid no longer seen to be propping up the corrupt regime, would that lead to an increase in anti-American feeling? Would it make Egypt more threatening to Infidel interests if it had to go hat in hand to rich Arabs? Or would that going hat in hand cause Egyptians to rediscover the only thing that might save them, at this point, from pan-Islamism (i.e. Islam)? That one saving thing is not a return to the pan-Arabism of Nasser, but rather a renewed emphasis on Egypt, on “Egyptianness.” This can be encouraged by clever political figures, including the small secular opposition, which is now forced to navigate between the Scylla of Mubarak’s Family-and-Friends Plan and the Charybdis of Akef’s Muslim Brotherhood. It could also be encouraged by the Copts, who must come to understand that their only hope is some new direction for Egypt that will deemphasize both Islam and Egypt’s supposed “Arab” identity. Even the latest monumental archeological discovery can be put to political use: pyramids and mummies from Egypt’s pre-Islamic past should be more than a way to inveigle tourists.
American taxpayers should not be funding those who, fundamentally — and not just the “fundamentalists” if we may continue the polyptoton — do not wish them well, and indeed, hate them. For we are Infidels. And it is not right that we should prosper while they do not. Islam is “to dominate and not be dominated.” The world, for Muslims, is turned upside down. It is contra fidem, contra naturam. It cannot be. The topsy-turviness must end. It is Islam that should prevail, always and everywhere. And if we can convince the Infidels to fund us, through Combat and Call, possibly more of the latter and less of the former, well — all the better.
Those in Washington should get a grip. Think about Islam, think about what Egypt has done, has voted, has spoken, has acted (or failed to act) over the past 30 years.
Yes, Sadat was wonderful (actually, he wasn’t), and so in lieu of flowers it was awfully grand of you Americans to keep sending $2 billion a year. But really, he’s been dead a while, hasn’t he?