— The Erimtan Angle —

The Israeli propaganda broadcaster InfoLive TV reports on American threats to cut aid to Egypt on 31 January 2012: ‘[t]he US Congress has threatened to cut military and financial aid to Egypt, citing harassment of non-governmental organizations. The recent tug of war between Cairo and Washington began when a number of US citizens working to promote democracy and human rights in Egypt were barred from leaving the country. Egyptian officials have defended the raid as part of legitimate investigation into the groups’ work and funding. American aid to Egypt includes a yearly stipend of $ 1.3 billion to the army and an additional $300 million in economic aid’.

But the news agency Reuters late last year reported that ‘[a]id to Egypt is set at $1.3 billion, similar to previous years, but with conditions attached. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is required to certify that the Egyptian government is supporting the transition to a civilian government, including holding free and fair elections. The secretary of state also must certify that Egypt’s government is meeting its obligation under the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. She can waive the requirements if she feels it is in the U.S. national security interests’.   But, Reuters’ Susan Cornwell never adds that the new “legislation provides $42.1 billion in regular funding for the State Department and foreign aid in 2012, which is a cut of more than $6 billion from the 2011 level”, adding significantly, that, “when another $11.2 billion in war-related foreign aid for Afghanistan and Iraq is added in, such as money for counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance, the total for 2012 is $53.3 billion. That total is actually an increase of some $5 billion over the comparable amount for 2011”.

In the Wall Street Journal, one can read that a ‘group of senior Egyptian generals landed in Washington on Sunday [, 29 January] to try to mend one of the most serious rifts in years with the U.S. . . . The Egyptian delegation will be in Washington for more than a week, U.S. officials said, for meetings at the State Department, with members of Congress and at the Pentagon. The raids and travel bans [imposed by the Egyptian government on pro-democracy and human-rights groups and several of their American employees] are likely to be discussed, these officials said. They said the State Department will make clear that U.S. financial assistance to Egypt could be cut if more progress isn’t made on democratic reforms in coming months’.

The WSJ’s Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley draw attention to “Ms. Abul Naga, one of the most powerful women in Egypt today and an outspoken foe of the U.S.”. About half a year ago, she already stated: “I am not sure at this stage we still need somebody to tell us what is or is not good for us—or worse, to force it on us”.   Levinson and Bradley opine that in “recent months, Ms. Abul Naga has emerged as one of the interim government’s most visible faces. Her growing popularity has led to speculation that she could be considering a presidential bid in the June election. Under former President Hosni Mubarak, she carved out a power base by cultivating close ties with the military, according to people close to the former regime. To some Egyptians, a secular female president who enjoys the military’s trust would be the perfect antidote to fears of an Islamist takeover”.   Will the world now be about to view the spectacle of an Egypt with a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament led by an uncovered woman, vocally opposed to the American Empire???

(1) Susan Cornwel ,“U.S. foreign aid escapes slashing cuts in fiscal 2012Reuters (19 December 2011).
(2) Susan Cornwell ,“ U.S. foreign aid escapes slashing cuts in fiscal 2012”.
(3) Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley, “Egypt Seeks to Smooth Ties With U.S.The Wall Street Journal (30 January 2012).
(4) “Egypt Opposes U.S.’s Democracy FundingLongshore & Shipping News (21 June 2011).
(5) Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley, “Egypt Seeks to Smooth Ties With U.S.”.


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