The media is reporting that members of Congress appear of two minds over whether to curtail US aid to the Egyptian military. This angst is the result of its bloody crackdown against pro-Islamist demonstrators last week. Reportedly more than 1,000 people were killed.
For some reason the media, in its bleeding heart mode, sides with the demonstrators. Several weeks ago it was the anti-Muslim Brotherhood group. Now it is the Muslim Brotherhood. This issue should be a non-issue. The only hope for stability in Egypt is the Egyptian military.
Some seem to think that it is the US’s responsibility to protect demonstrators. Why? It is these same demonstrators that brought Morsi and the brotherhood to power. For some unexplainable reason the thought is that the US will lose standing in the region if we don’t side with the demonstrators.
Egypt is a mess. Its economy is in shambles, unemployment is rampant and corruption is everywhere. What it needs right now is stability—quiet so that the underlying cause of the demonstrations—on both sides can be dealt with. Men who have jobs do not demonstrate. Men who can feed their families or earn enough to have a family do not demonstrate.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s appeal was that it would solve the ills of Egypt by following strict Sharia law, support Hamas and oppose Israel. These policies seemed to be better to the unemployed masses than the present. Unfortunately, there were no jobs in those policies and the anti-Israeli orientation created concern in this country that the Camp David Accords –that guarantees peace between Israel and Egypt and costs the US several billion dollars a year were at risk. A major confrontation between Israel and Egypt, as the US tilts to Asia, would change the entire political landscape in the region. It would also isolate the US and leave only what little leverage that it has with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperative Council countries for stability in the region.
Given the political realities the killing of the demonstrators may cause adverse press for the Egyptian military, but the demonstrators need to get off the streets and be put to work. Rather than cutting aid there should be a concerted effort to form the equivalent of the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps. Provide the youth cohort with work that improves the Egyptian life and do so without corruption.
The military is the only entity in Egyptian society that can organize such an effort and maintain stability. Once the Brotherhood Muslims are off the streets Egypt has a chance if the liberal media’s fixation on the blood does not spoil the opportunity.