Skip to main content

Stop using taxpayer money to aid Egypt's Morsy

By Rand Paul, Special to CNN
July 3, 2013 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy clash with riot police during the swearing in ceremony of Adly Mansour as interim president in Cairo on Thursday, July 4. Egypt's military deposed Morsy, the country's first democratically elected president, the country's top general announced Wednesday. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/04/middleeast/gallery/egypt-after-coup/index.html'>View photos of Egypt after the coup.</a> Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy clash with riot police during the swearing in ceremony of Adly Mansour as interim president in Cairo on Thursday, July 4. Egypt's military deposed Morsy, the country's first democratically elected president, the country's top general announced Wednesday. View photos of Egypt after the coup.
HIDE CAPTION
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Photos: Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Photos: Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
Protests in Egypt
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rand Paul: Why is the U.S. supporting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy?
  • Paul: I argued that Morsy is not someone the U.S. should necessarily embrace
  • He says despite Egyptians' discontent with Morsy, we continue to give him aid
  • Paul: What kind of example do we set when we side with the enemies of freedom?

Editor's note: Rand Paul, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Kentucky.

(CNN) -- On the one-year anniversary of President Mohamed Morsy's inauguration, tens of thousands of Egyptians marched in the streets of Cairo in an effort to remove him from office.

The Associated Press described the protesters as "an array of secular and liberal Egyptians, moderate Muslims, Christians — and what the opposition says is a broad sector of the general public that has turned against the Islamists."

You would think these protesters represent an Egypt more favorable or in line with American interests. Unfortunately, our government supports the current regime of Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood. Earlier this year, we sent Egypt's government 20 F-16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks and other military aid.

Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul

I introduced an amendment that would halt the transfer of advanced weapons to Egypt. I argued that the situation in that country was too volatile and that Morsy was not someone the United States should necessarily embrace.

My amendment was defeated in the Senate, 79 to 19.

Last week, President Obama deployed more than 400 Army soldiers to Egypt as part of a nine-month "peacekeeping mission," which could include responding to protests—or even riots—led potentially by Egyptians seeking a more secular or moderate government.

Our government insists on calling Morsy an ally. Morsy, on the other hand, has called Jews "bloodsuckers" and has said they are the "descendants of apes and pigs."

American killed in Egyptian violence
Egypt's military issues ultimatum
Is Morsy on the brink?

The Obama administration announced in March that we no longer had enough money to continue giving White House tours because of the sequester. That same month, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Morsy and pledged $250 million in additional aid to Egypt.

Before America supported the Muslim Brotherhood, we supported Morsy's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. For decades, we aided the Mubarak regime to the tune of about $60 billion in total.

When Egyptians protested Mubarak in January 2011, F-16 jets were used by Mubarak to intimidate protesters. Those jets were supplied to Egypt by the United States.

When hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Tahir Square to protest three decades of martial law, Mubarak doused them with tear gas made in Pennsylvania and paid for with American taxpayer's money.

Mubarak abused and tortured his people for decades, while we subsidized his government. As Egyptians marched in the streets to remove this dictator from power in early 2011, former Vice President Dick Cheney said we should stand by Mubarak and called him our "good friend."

For many Egyptians, the United States was Mubarak. In their eyes, we were the same. To some, we are now undoubtedly Morsy. Indeed, the weapons that were once given to Mubarak or bought with U.S. dollars are now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt is just one example of our misguided foreign policy. There are multiple examples of our government aiding and abetting despotic regimes in ways that ultimately work against American interests.

The same Washington leaders who were eager to aid Mubarak, and now Morsy, were also once the loudest voices for supporting Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. They are the same Democrat and Republican hawks who later insisted we back the Libyan rebels. They are the same people who now demand we fund the Syrian rebels, even though al-Nusra and others who belong to the resistance are also affiliated with al Qaeda.

The problem with constantly intervening in these troubled parts of the world is that there are often no clear good guys or bad guys. Today's ally can quickly become tomorrow's enemy. This should be a paramount and obvious concern, but in Washington it is almost always treated as an afterthought.

Also, what kind of message does funding despots send to the rest of the world? When Mubarak was our "good friend," he was certainly no friend to the Egyptian people. Judging by the protests in Cairo on Sunday, the same can probably be said of Morsy's regime.

You cannot give people liberty. They must fight for it themselves.

People around the world seek to emulate and embrace our concept of freedom. America should continue to lead, something we often do best by example.

But what kind of example do we set when we side with the enemies of freedom? How can we have influence in troubled parts of the world when we cuddle up to regimes responsible for much of the trouble?

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rand Paul.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 13, 2014 -- Updated 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)
To prevent war with North Korea over a comedy, what would Dennis Rodman say to Kim Jong Un? Movie critic Gene Seymour weighs in.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Michael Werz says in light of the spying cases, U.S. is seen as a paranoid society that can't tell friends from foes.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Eric Liu explains why in his new book, he calls himself "Chinese American" -- without a hyphen.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1512 GMT (2312 HKT)
John Bare says hands-on learning can make a difference in motivating students to acquire STEM skills.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
Karl Alexander and Linda Olson find blacks and whites live in urban poverty with similar backgrounds, but white privilege wins out as they grow older.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says a poll of 14 Muslim-majority nations show people are increasingly opposed to extremism.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says spending more on immigation enforcement isn't going to stop the flow of people seeking refuge in the U.S.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Faisal Gill had top security clearance and worked for the Department of Homeland Security. That's why it was a complete shock to learn the NSA had him under surveillance.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1841 GMT (0241 HKT)
Kevin Sabet says the scientific verdict is that marijuana can be dangerous, and Colorado should be a warning to states contemplating legalizing pot.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 2047 GMT (0447 HKT)
World War I ushered in an era of chemical weapons use that inflicted agonizing injury and death. Its lethal legacy lingers into conflicts today, Paul Schulte says
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
Tom Foley and Ben Zimmer say Detroit's recent bankruptcy draws attention to a festering problem in America -- cities big and small are failing to keep up with change.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Mel Robbins says many people think there's "something suspicious" about Leanna Harris. But there are other interpretations of her behavior
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
Amy Bass says Germany's rout of Brazil on its home turf was brutal, but in defeat the Brazilian fans' respect for the victors showed why soccer is called 'the beautiful game'
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 2107 GMT (0507 HKT)
Aaron Carroll explains how vaccines can prevent illnesses like measles, which are on the rise
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Aaron Miller says if you think the ongoing escalation between Israel and Hamas over Gaza will force a moment of truth, better think again
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
Norman Matloff says a secret wage theft pact between Google, Apple and others highlights ethics problems in Silicon Valley.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 2237 GMT (0637 HKT)
The mother of murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khder cries as she meets Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on July 7, 2014.
Naseem Tuffaha says the killing of Israeli teenagers has rightly brought the world's condemnation, but Palestinian victims like his cousin's slain son have been largely reduced to faceless, nameless statistics.
ADVERTISEMENT