Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs spoke about Egypt yesterday on the Brian Lehrer Show. Here is an segment of his response to the question of why the US has continued to support the military rulers (listen here):
The US has a relationship with the Egyptian military, has had a relationship essentially the kind of old one it had with Mubarak, right, which is: you deliver stability and peace with Israel and you become essentially a nice docile American client, and we’ll not push you too hard on domestic concerns that you care about. [We will] let you get a pass on that…American policy doesn’t want to fundamentally alienate the powers that be that are going to be ruling Egypt and keeping American interests secure in the region. So, they don’t want to put too much pressure on the military.
Oh, how mundane propping up torturous dictatorships has become. It’s just hard to muster the outrage these days, even if about 1 percent of Obama voters actually know that his administration is working tirelessly to squash any genuine move towards democracy for millions of Egyptians.
The Supreme Council of Armed Forces has usurped new powers, disqualified leading presidential candidates, given itself sweeping control over the budget and drafting Egypt’s new constitution, and has moved to dissolve the newly elected parliament. The U.S. is still sending billions of dollars in aid to Egypt and continues to arm the military rulers, even as they have brutalized peaceful protesters and inhibited a swift return to civilian rule.
As the Cato Institute’s Malou Innocent wrote this week, “U.S. aid continues to support a brutal regime that maintains its authority through the denial of free speech, arbitrary imprisonment, savage repression and routine torture.” Innocent also challenges the notion that propping up Egyptian tyranny is effective for US interests from the perspective of the foreign policy establishment in Washington.