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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Sen. Leahy: Obama Secretly Suspended Egypt Military Aid

"Approximately $585 million remains unobligated."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says the U.S. is sitting on aid money – to comply with the law regarding aid to countries afflicted by coups.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says the U.S. is sitting on aid money – to comply with the law regarding aid to countries afflicted by coups.

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The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), head of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, told The Daily Beast that military aid to Egypt has been temporarily cut off.

“[Senator Leahy’s] understanding is that aid to the Egyptian military has been halted, as required by law,” said David Carle, a spokesman for Leahy.

If it’s done as required by law, why is the U.S. government keeping it a secret that it believes the regime change in Egypt was a military coup? If it is, indeed, temporarily suspending most of the military aid to Egypt, where is the public announcement that we don’t send money to governments that were installed by a coup?

After skewering Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hard—through the good services of the NY Times—for his attempts to preserve stability in Egypt and the integrity of the peace treaty, now the administration is attempting to punish the naughty Egyptian generals, but without making a big deal out of it.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked on Monday about the suspended aid, and told reporters the aid is not officially suspended.

I suppose the Egyptians can use the officially unsuspended aid money the same way Israelis can live in the officially unfrozen homes in East Jerusalem…

“After sequestration withholding, approximately $585 million remains unobligated. So, that is the amount that is unobligated,” Psaki said.

I looked up “unobligated” and means funds that have been appropriated but remain uncommitted by contract at the end of a fiscal period. In other words, an I keep, you don’t get kind of relationship.

“But it would be inaccurate to say that a policy decision has been made with respect to the remaining assistance funding,” Psaki clarified.

In other words, I keep, you don’t get, but it’s not forever.

The Daily Beast quotes two Administration officials who explain it was the government lawyers who decided it would be more prudent to observe the law restricting military aid in case of a coup, while not making a public statement that a coup had taken place.

Bret Stephens, a deputy editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, wrote on Monday (A Policy on Egypt—Support Al Sisi):

“What’s realistic and desirable is for the military to succeed in its confrontation with the Brotherhood as quickly and convincingly as possible. Victory permits magnanimity. It gives ordinary Egyptians the opportunity to return to normal life. It deters potential political and military challenges. It allows the appointed civilian government to assume a prominent political role. It settles the diplomatic landscape. It lets the neighbors know what’s what.”

By taking the opposite approach, making it harder for the new Egyptian government to bring the internal conflict to a conclusion, the Obama Administration is promoting and prolonging chaos in yet another country. Which is why, I suspect, Senator Leahy has spoken to the Daily Beast in the first place, to stop this blind march over the cliff.

Middle East analyst Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress, told the Beast he thought the Administration was “trying to maintain maximum flexibility,” but he suggested that this horse is long out of the barn. “Egypt’s struggle has become so intense, polarized, and violent, and I worry that no matter what move the United States makes now, the competing power centers in Egypt might continue down the dangerous course they’ve headed.”

Unless, of course, the U.S. is making clear, with loud noises and a light show, that it supports stability in Egypt, and in order to hasten new elections, it will not suspend military aid to Egypt. In fact, with its financial and military might, the U.S. will do everything it can to restore stability and democracy in Egypt.

But that would require President Obama to get over the insult of the Egyptian nation ignoring his wishes and dethroning his favorite Muslim Brother president.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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9 Responses to “Sen. Leahy: Obama Secretly Suspended Egypt Military Aid”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, the Dan of Old wouldn't be all that upset if all the Egyptians, and every other Muslim, killed each other. There's only one thing better than Jews killing Arabs, it's other Arabs killing Arabs.

    On the other, I know that to harbor such feelings is wrong, to put it mildly, and I was actually horrified to learn of hundreds of people being murdered for no reason other than protesting. Isn't that what the fascist tyrants who call themselves "Communists" did 24 years ago at Tienieman Square in Beijing? Isn't that what the Russians did after the war, slaughtering about 3 million Poles, Czechs, Ukranians, and other Russians simply because they were of German extraction (this is another holocaust which doesn't get talked about much)?

    Bottom line, I don't want to say anyone killed unless they're an existential threat to others. That includes most members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. But I don't think Egypt is ready for democracy, any more than Libya is. Bring back Mubarak; he was less bad than those who succeeded him.

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, the Dan of Old wouldn't be all that upset if all the Egyptians, and every other Muslim, killed each other. There's only one thing better than Jews killing Arabs, it's other Arabs killing Arabs.

    On the other, I know that to harbor such feelings is wrong, to put it mildly, and I was actually horrified to learn of hundreds of people being murdered for no reason other than protesting. Isn't that what the fascist tyrants who call themselves "Communists" did 24 years ago at Tienanmen Square in Beijing? Isn't that what the Russians did after the war, slaughtering about 3 million Poles, Czechs, Ukranians, and other Russians simply because they were of German extraction (this is another holocaust which doesn't get talked about much)?

    Bottom line, I don't want to say anyone killed unless they're an existential threat to others. That includes most members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. But I don't think Egypt is ready for democracy, any more than Libya is. Bring back Mubarak; he was less bad than those who succeeded him.

  3. Yori Yanover says:

    Dan Silagi · If our neighbors are prosperous and happy, there's a better chance that we, too would be. It's not guaranteed, but when you compare the number of attacks on Israel from Saudi Arabia (zero) to Gaza — both areas holding identical views about us — I think it stands to reason that happy Egyptians would be better for us than repressed ones.

  4. Dan Silagi says:

    This is a choice between "bad" and "less bad." Moreover, Gaza isn't Egypt, and weren't most al-Qaeda members who attacked us on 9/11 Saudis?

    Bottom line: I support the Obama Administration in cutting off aid to Egypt. Besides, it's the law, he has to.

  5. The people of Egypt wanted Morsi out and the generals then move. Obama has always supported Islamist.

  6. No Egypt is not ready for a real democracy, she just has too many uncontrollable Muslims easily influenced by a few terrorist type individuals. Under Mubarak Egypt was stable, her economy improving. These last few years she has lost millions of Egyptian pounds from Tourism, one of her highest earners. Coptic's were well tolerated and outsiders were conscious of their existence, churches flourished and I met many Jewish couples visiting last time I was there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    we shouldn't give money to any of these countries, Israel included. We need the money here for education. My son just started 3rd grade and he has over 30 students in his class because of lack of teachers and funds. We need our money to work for american's not some foreign country in the middle east with a stron lobby called AIPAC.

  8. Egypt needs to return to British colonial rule.

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