Egypt is a corrupt country out of control. By permitting successive governments to count on American support, the viciousness and corruption are allowed to continue without any consequences. From 1882 to 1922, the British brought some semblance of efficiency and a reduction of corruption to the Egyptian Civil Service. Even when they left, the experience of their presence, the English presence, and obvious Western power and civilizational superiority, allowed for signs of secularism. Few women, for example, wore a hijab in Egyptian cities in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s. And advanced Egyptians, conscious of being “Egyptian” and not “Arab,” sought (vainly) to find a way to “reform” Islam; Abduh and Afghani had not yet been challenged, and overwhelmed by, the Muslim Brotherhood. But the ancien regime of fat Farouk came to an end when Gamal Abdel Nasser and Naguib and the other colonels arrived on the scene. There was the famous rioting against Jews, Copts, and Europeans, in Alexandria. Almost overnight, Greeks, Italians, Jews, and many others who had lived there had their property stolen by the Egyptians, who called it “nationalization.” The Egyptian Muslims who ran everything took billions of dollars in property, the fruit in some cases of family entrepreneurial activity that had gone on for a century or more.
Following Nasser was Saint Sadat: the same Sadat imprisoned by the British for his pro-Nazi activities during World War II. He had been a loyalist of the intolerable Nasser, whose pan-Arabism, like all pan-Arabism, has been traditionally presented in the West as an alternative to Islam, hostile to Islam and its goals. It is true that both Nasser, and Saddam Hussein, the two most famous despots with ambitions to be leaders with pan-Arab appeal, were often described, inaccurately, as “secularists” because the opposition that most concerned each was mosque-based: in the case of Nasser, the Muslim Brotherood; in the case of Saddam Hussein, Shi’a mosques of the Shi’a majority opposed to his Sunni despotism. And each dealt with his respective political opponents with wonted ruthlessness. But Pan-Arabism should more accurately be seen as a subset, a limited version with more modest initial goals — today Arabdom, tomorrow the world. And since Islam is a vehicle for Arab imperialism, pan-Arabism means, necessarily, promotion of Islam, and vice-versa. The goal of a unified Arab state, the goal that Nasser was said to embody, was merely a way-station on the path — fi sabil Allah — to spreading Islam until it, and therefore the Arabs (the “best of peoples”) would everywhere dominate. Pan-Arabism was not, as so many wrong-headed analysts would have it, a movement hostile to Islam or to what is often called, misleadingly, “pan-Islamism” (which is merely the geopolitical dimension of mainstream Islam).
Jimmy Carter rewarded Saint Sadat for deigning to accept all of the Sinai — territory that morally Egypt had no right to receive back yet again. Egypt, after all, had lost in a war of aggression started when Nasser demanded that U Thant pull out the U.N. peacekeepers, and then proceeded to block the Straits of Tiran in May 1967. Yet Carter rewarded Sadat and Egypt with nearly $2 billion a year in American foreign aid — which foreign aid became automatic, a tribute never to be interrupted, in other words, Jizyah. After Saint Sadat died, possibly in his dubious honor, the American government continued to give Egypt huge amounts of aid.
This was essentially a bribe to get the Egyptians to pretend, minimally, to be living up to the Camp David Accords, imposed by Carter and Brzezinksi on the hapless Begin and his equally hapless associates. There was no need to bribe Egypt. It was getting quite enough with Israel’s scrupulous handover, in three closely-timed tranches, of the entire Sinai, which Egypt did not deserve, and which Israel had been under no obligation to hand back. “Defensible and secure borders” under Resolution 242 — itself a doubtful matter — would certainly have included a large part of the Sinai, perhaps the same large part that only became part of Egypt, remember, in the 1920s.
But the Americans, Americans such as Carter, have for a half-century at the State Department mismanaged America’s relations with Muslim Arab countries, and above all with the sinister Al-Saud who claim ownership of Saudi Arabia. They have failed completely to have understood Islam as any Western scholar of Islam, in the days before the Great Inhibition, would have understood it, or as John Wesley, John Quincy Adams, Alexis De Tocqueville, Winston Churchill, and a great many other important figures in the Western world grasped the nature of Islam. These men of the West grasped the nature and menace of Islam. Some (Churchill) had seen Muslim society though they never lived in Dar al-Islam, because they were very learned and very intelligent, and had wide experience of men and events. And others, who grew up within Dar al-Islam but managed to escape to the West, and in the free West were able to develop their thoughts more clearly, to compare the West with what they had known, and further, to express their thoughts even though murderous attempts are made to frighten and silence them. We know their names, added to every day: Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, and so many other articulate defectors from the Army of Islam.
Long-suffering American taxpayers have given Egypt, a country that is not “our friend” and not “our ally” and because of Islam never can be “our friend” or “our ally,” more than $60 billion. For that we have received nothing in return. Egypt remains a despotism. Egypt is one of the most anti-American and anti-Western countries in the world today. Egypt remains a world center of antisemitism, and all of those solemn commitments made by the Egyptian government about improving relations with Israel, about ceasing hostile propaganda toward Israel, and so on, have never, not in the slightest way, been honored. The agreement has always been a fraud and a farce, and yet neither the government of Israel nor the government of the United States has dared to call it that.
If there is an absence of open warfare between Egypt and Israel, that is only because there is the same absence of open warfare between Israel and Saudi Arabia, or Israel and Iraq. That is, the peace, narrowly defined, is kept only because of the perceived power of the IDF, and not for any other reason.
Time to end the disguised Jizyah of aid to malevolent Egypt, which behind the scenes is also running interference for the government in Khartoum, and to force Egypt to ask the rich Arabs for money. They can afford it. They are getting billions of dollars every single day, without lifting a finger. They can spare just a day’s revenues, can’t they, for Egypt, and those Egyptian members of the Umma?