When it comes to Egypt, take note of American actions, not words (+video)

Secretary of State John Kerry talks tough on mass death sentences in Egypt. But US actions signal a far different take on Egypt’s authoritarian about-turn.

Imagine you know nothing about Egypt and US policy towards it. Then consider the following chain of events.

Staff writer

Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor’s international desk, focused on the Middle East.Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.

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Since the late 1970s the US government has been Egypt’s chief benefactor, providing about $60 billion in military and economic aid. This was a reward forPresident Anwar Sadat’s peace accord with Israel and a subsequentquid pro quo for Egypt keeping the peace, as well as for allowing US warships to pass through the Suez Canal and sharing intelligence with US agencies.

A change of tack came after Sept. 11, 2001: The Bush administration began leaning on Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, to democratize. The neocons around Bush reckoned that “democratization” was an answer to the world’s ills, and started to hint that the gravy train would derail unless Mr. Mubarak began moving in that direction.

This US pressure declined after Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood polled well in the first round of 2006 parliamentary elections (fraud in later rounds tipped the scale back to the ruling party.) But the rhetoric of democracy promotion carried on, and ramped up again under the Obama administration.

Then came Egypt’s 2011 uprising that unseated Mubarak. Egypt’s military took charge and promised to be a caretaker administrator while democracy was finally rolled out in the Arab world’s largest country. US government money poured in via democracy promotion groups like the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

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When it comes to Egypt, take note of American actions, not words (+video)

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May 2, 2014   Posted in: Egypt |

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