US aid and Egyptian wrath

17-10-2013 09:14 PM

Youssef Sidhom

No sooner had the American administration announced its decision to suspend part of the US military and financial aid to Egypt than the media erupted in a hostile, inflammatory harangue against the US.

 It did not stop at rejecting or denouncing the US decision; it went as far as to imply that Egypt needed no US aid in the first place and should do without it. Not only that; suggestions came up to cancel the peace agreement with Israel altogether, since US aid was stipulated as a guarantor of Egypt’s and Israel’s continued respect of the peace treaty. Other voices called for diversifying the sources of supply of Egypt’s arms, so as not to depend entirely on the US.
These reactions reflect the wrath of Egyptians at the US administration, not the American people, for its stance vis-à-vis Egypt since the 30 June Revolution which brought an end to the Islamist regime. The US administration has been sceptic about the seriousness and potency of Egypt’s Roadmap to democratic transition. It refuses to acknowledge that Mursi and his Islamist regime were overthrown for their abuse of authority and curtailment of democracy, and that their overthrow was by the will of the majority of the Egyptian people and armed forces. The US administration chose to ignore all this and assume the role of sceptical observer of all that took place in Egypt. No wonder then that Egyptians should repulse the US stance which they saw as a stubborn denial of the truth, and explain it off as a joint plot against Egypt by the US and the MB.
Egyptian repulsion is both understandable and justifiable. However, Egypt’s strategic interests and her national security cannot be governed by emotions, but should be handled within a studied, long-term perspective. I register here some thoughts that were born of an in-depth reading of the situation, hoping to avoid falling prey to sore emotions:
The US said it would only halt the delivery of Apache helicopters, Harpoon missiles and tank parts, but would not cut all military aid. The State Department said it would continue military support for counter terrorism, counter-proliferation and security in the Sinai, and would also continue to provide funding in areas such as education, health and private sector development.
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