Hugh Fitzgerald comments on the sale of advanced military materiel to Egypt:
Egypt should not be done any favors. And if it is suggested that if “we don’t sell them” this equipment then Egypt will “buy it elsewhere” (the usual nonsense offered in defense of such things) then we have to ask — where will Egypt get the money for buying this and other military equipment?
Egypt has been receiving Jizyah, nearly $60 billion, from the American taxpayers. It started out, apparently, as a reward to Saint Sadat, designed to ensure that Egypt would not, despite getting back the entire Sinai, despite getting those Israeli airbases and those developed oilfields, not break the “Camp David Accords.” But Egypt did break the Camp David Accords. It failed completely to live up to its non-tangible, but nonetheless important commitments to end hostile propaganda and acts toward Israel. It has continued, and increased, such hostile propaganda, to the point where Egypt, its press, and radio, and television, is a world center of antisemitism as well as of anti-Americanism. Yet the money is taken from us, the Infidel taxpayers, and given to Egypt as classic Jizyah, that is, as a tribute paid by Infidels to Muslims, who have been given to understand that it will be received as if by right, and should be given in a spirit of recognizing that should that Jizyah (that foreign aid) be stopped, then the reaction of the Muslim to whom such Jizyah is owed will likely be most hostile, and otherwise unpleasant.
Does anyone think that the Jizyah paid to Mubarak, who has crushed the opposition, and come down much harder on the liberals (Ayman Nour, for example) than on the Ikhwan, is fostering democracy — Democracy on the March — in ways big or even little? He is not. He is there to stay, and then after him, in his Family-and-Friends Plan, of course he is grooming his slick and oily son to continue the Dynasty, the Nasserian Dynasty that goes Nasser-Sadat-Mubarak, and that will continue the stratokleptocracy (the corrupt military rulers) that is merely a variant on the family kleptocracies of Saudi Arabia and other monarchies.
Any such military equipment supplied to Egypt is one more headache for Israel. We know, only a fool would not know and a greater fool would claim not to know and expect to be believed at this point, that any military equipment sent to Egypt will be used against Israel. It is not Libya that Egypt intends some day to attack or if not to attack, to threaten along with other nations. It is not the Sudan.
The Egyptians are already threatening, with ever greater ferocity, Ethiopia about the latter’s attempt to irrigate, as it has every right to do, using the headwaters of the Nile. Meanwhile, Egypt backs to the hilt the Sudanese government, protecting it at the U.N. from any effective intervention in Darfur. Yet nothing happens to Egypt. Egypt, here and there, does a few things for us. What are they? It has taken some terrorist suspects off our hands and dealt with them as we would not. And so? If Egypt collaborates on this, it is only doing what comes naturally — torturing Muslims who are of course opposed to the regime in Egypt, not because it is genuinely opposed to Jihad (it isn’t, not at all), but because that regime is corrupt, just as the Al-Saud are corrupt. But those who oppose this corruption can only define their opposition, can only think of their opposition, using the language and concepts of Islam. A despot’s theft of national wealth means nothing, if that despot is a “Muslim.” So those like the Al-Saud or Mubarak who must be opposed must be described, and treated, as “Infidels.” And that is why the Egyptian regime gladly will do what it does to Al-Qaeda suspects, or to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a matter of its own self-interest, not of doing something as a favor to the Americans.
Egypt is not an ally of the United States. It never has been. Under Sadat, it was willing to substitute, when the Soviet aid proved to be second-rate, American money for Russian money. Egypt has no intention of observing a permanent peace with Israel, but is working mightily to disarm Israel, to strip it of the only thing that really keeps the peace in the Middle East, which is Israel’s nuclear weaponry. Egypt is not only an ally of the Sudan. It is playing a double-game, pretending it is “talking sense” to the rulers in Khartoum just as it intermittently steps in, and then engages in ostentatious discussions with the “Palestinians” to demonstrate just how wonderful, how useful, what a “moderating” influence — Egypt, “our staunch ally,” is said to be.
And the Jizyah keeps flowing, and flowing. If there were a vote tomorrow in this country on whether or not to end the Jizyah of foreign aid to all Muslim states or entities, it would win overwhelmingly. It would arouse the public as they were aroused over the Dubai Ports Deal. All that needs to happen is for one Senator or one Congressman to tell the truth about this Jizyah, and to demand a halt. And then not all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, the army of Western hirelings of the Arabs — diplomats, journalists, P.R. advisers, former intelligence agents, businessmen hoping to recycle petrodollars through contracts temptingly dangled before their eyes — would be able to put the Arab propaganda machine, enormous as it is, back together again.