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 30, 2014 -- Updated 1941 GMT (0341 HKT)
Stuart Gitlow says pot is addictive and those who smoke it can experience long-term psychiatric disease.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Gabby Giffords and Katie Ray-Jones say "Between 2001 and 2012, more women were shot to death by an intimate partner in our country than the total number of American troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined."
July 29, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
Alan Elsner says Secretary Kerry's early cease-fire draft was leaked and presented as a final document, which served the interests of hard-liners on both sides who don't want the Gaza war to stop.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT)
Vijay Das says Medicare is a success story that could provide health care for everybody, not just seniors
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
Rick Francona says Israel seems determined to render Hamas militarily ineffective.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1743 GMT (0143 HKT)
S.E. Cupp says the entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner thinks for himself and refuses to be confined to an ideological box.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
A Christian group's anger over the trailer for "Black Jesus," an upcoming TV show, seems out of place, Jay Parini says
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 2028 GMT (0428 HKT)
LZ Granderson says the cyber-standing ovation given to Robyn Lawley, an Australian plus-size model who posted unretouched photos, shows how crazy Americans' notions of beauty have become
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
Carol Dweck and Rachel Simmons: Girls tend to have a "fixed mindset" but they should have a "growth mindset."
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
A crisis like the Gaza conflict or the surge of immigrants can be an opportunity for a lame duck president, writes Julian Zelizer
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)
Carol Costello says the league's light punishment sent the message that it didn't consider domestic violence a serious offense
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
Danny Cevallos says saggy pants aren't the kind of fashion statement protected by the First Amendment.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
Margaret Hoover says some GOP legislators support a state's right to allow same-sex marriage and the right of churches, synagogues and mosques not to perform the sacrament
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Megan McCracken and Jennifer Moreno say it's unacceptable for states to experiment with new execution procedures without full disclosure
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
Priya Satia says today's drones for bombardment and surveillance have their roots in the deadly history of Western aerial control of the Middle East that began in World War One
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1635 GMT (0035 HKT)
Jeff Yang says it's great to see the comics make an effort at diversifying the halls of justice
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Rick Francona says the reported artillery firing from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)
Paul Callan says the fact that appeals delay the death penalty doesn't make it an unconstitutional punishment, as one judge ruled
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2225 GMT (0625 HKT)
Pilot Robert Mark says it's been tough for the airline industry after the plane crashes in Ukraine and Taiwan.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
Jennifer DeVoe laments efforts to end subsidies that allow working Americans to finally afford health insurance.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1533 GMT (2333 HKT)
Ruti Teitel says assigning a costly and humiliating "collective guilt" to Germany after WWI would end up teaching the global community hard lessons about who to blame for war crimes
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)
John Sutter responds to criticism of his column on the ethics of eating dog.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says it's tempting to ignore North Korea's antics as bluster but the cruel regime is dangerous.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1850 GMT (0250 HKT)
To the question "Is Putin evil?" Alexander Motyl says he is evil enough for condemnation by people of good will.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
Laurie Garrett: Poor governance, ignorance, hysteria worsen the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
Patrick Cronin and Kelley Sayler say the world is seeing nonstate groups such as Ukraine's rebels wielding more power to do harm than ever before
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 2205 GMT (0605 HKT)
Ukraine ambassador Olexander Motsyk places blame for the MH17 tragedy squarely at the door of Russia
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
Mark Kramer says Russia and its proxies have a history of shooting down civilian aircraft, often with few repercussions
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1853 GMT (0253 HKT)
Les Abend says, with rockets flying over Tel Aviv and missiles shooting down MH17 over Ukraine, a commercial pilot's pre-flight checklist just got much more complicated
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Mark Kramer says Russia and its proxies have a history of shooting down civilian aircraft, often with few repercussions
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1637 GMT (0037 HKT)
Gerard Jacobs says grieving families and nations need the comfort of traditional rituals to honor the remains of loved ones, particularly in a mass disaster
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1413 GMT (2213 HKT)
The idea is difficult to stomach, but John Sutter writes that eating dog is morally equivalent to eating pig, another intelligent animal. If Americans oppose it, they should question their own eating habits as well.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
Bill van Esveld says under the laws of war, civilians who do not join in the fight are always to be protected. An International Criminal Court could rule on whether Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocketing are war crimes.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1209 GMT (2009 HKT)
Gordon Brown says the kidnapped Nigerian girls have been in captivity for 100 days, but the world has not forgotten them.
ADVERTISEMENT