black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

"The U.S. gives Egypt $1.5 billion a year in aid. Here’s what it does.

What do we actually give to Egypt? Between 1948 and 2011, the United States has given Egypt about $71.6 billion in bilateral military and economic aid. That’s more than we’ve given to any other country over that time frame save for Israel. …

Can you put those numbers in context? In fiscal year 2011, the United States handed out about $49 billion in military and economic aid all told. Egypt got about $1.5 billion — the fourth-largest recipient after Israel ($3 billion), Iraq ($2.1 billion), and Pakistan ($1.7 billion).

On Egypt’s end, the assistance plays an out-sized role in the budget. By one count, “U.S. military aid covers as much as 80% of the Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs.”

Why do we give Egypt so much aid? Since the late 1970s, U.S. policymakers have justified the aid as a way to stabilize the region and promote its interests. Here’s CRS laying out the official line: “Interests include maintaining U.S. naval access to the Suez Canal, maintaining the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and promoting democracy and economic growth within Egypt, the region’s largest Arab country.” …

(If it seems odd that military aid would be so crucial to Egypt’s economy, consider this: The Egyptian military is utterly gigantic, one of the largest in the world, “controlling between 10 and 30 percent of the economy and employing hundreds of thousands of Egyptians.”)”

Read on.

In a Muslim nation, where close to 25 percent of Arabs live, it also demanded of political Islam that it reject religious authoritarianism, respect differences and uphold citizenship based on equal rights for all.

Instead, Morsi placed himself above judicial review last November, railroaded through a flawed Constitution, allowed Brotherhood thugs to beat up liberal opponents, installed cronies at the Information Ministry, increased blasphemy prosecutions, surrendered to a siege mentality, lost control of a crumbling economy and presided over growing sectarian violence. For the Brotherhood, the pre-eminent Islamist movement in the region, the sudden shift from hounded outlaw to power in the pivotal nation of the Arab world proved a bridge too far.

Roger Cohen, New York Times (via washingtonexaminer)

Morsi’s reign in one paragraph. 

“As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page.
For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.
It has been two and a half years after a popular revolution against a dictatorship that had strangled and drained Egypt for 30 years. 
That revolution restored a sense of hope and fired up Egyptians’ dreams of a future in which they could claim for themselves the same dignity that is every human being’s birthright.
On January 25 I stood in Tahrir square. My children stood in protest in Cairo and Alexandria. We stood ready to sacrifice for this revolution. When we did that, we did not support a revolution of elites. And we did not support a conditional democracy. We stood, and we still stand, for a very simple idea: given freedom, we Egyptians can build institutions that allow us to promote and choose among all the different visions for the country. We quickly discovered that almost none of the other actors were willing to extend that idea to include us.
You have heard much during the past 30 months about ikhwan excluding all others. I will not try to convince you otherwise today. Perhaps there will come a day when honest academics have the courage to examine the record.”
Read on.

As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page.

For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.

It has been two and a half years after a popular revolution against a dictatorship that had strangled and drained Egypt for 30 years. 

That revolution restored a sense of hope and fired up Egyptians’ dreams of a future in which they could claim for themselves the same dignity that is every human being’s birthright.

On January 25 I stood in Tahrir square. My children stood in protest in Cairo and Alexandria. We stood ready to sacrifice for this revolution. When we did that, we did not support a revolution of elites. And we did not support a conditional democracy. We stood, and we still stand, for a very simple idea: given freedom, we Egyptians can build institutions that allow us to promote and choose among all the different visions for the country. We quickly discovered that almost none of the other actors were willing to extend that idea to include us.

You have heard much during the past 30 months about ikhwan excluding all others. I will not try to convince you otherwise today. Perhaps there will come a day when honest academics have the courage to examine the record.”

Read on.

©2011 Kateoplis