The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 17, 2013

Get tough on Egypt

Why it matters: The Obama administration's unwillingness to withhold aid hurts U.S. credibility on human rights


While the current military government does have some supporters who contend their takeover was not a coup but a “people’s revolution,” reasonable people looking at the actions would conclude it was more coup than revolution.

That is something the Obama administration should also consider. And while Egyptians condemn Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for their attempt to monopolize control of all institutions, a coup is not the answer. And for those Brotherhood members who have been documented in acts of violence against other religions, there should be justice.

Clearly, the U.S. has strategic interests in Egypt. The country is the most populous in the Middle East. It controls significant economic assets such as the Suez Canal, through which major portions of the world’s oil supplies travel. Egypt has long been a U.S. ally and could be an even bigger and better ally should it grow as a democracy.

The U.S. has long stood up for the human rights of oppressed people around the world. By hesitating on Egypt sanctions we only give our enemies fuel to their anti-U.S. rhetoric that we only back human rights when it’s in our economic interest.

The recent actions of the military government are unacceptable. Pulling aid will let them know we are serious about defending human rights around the world, first and foremost.

Other views on this topic

Los Angeles Times

When the Egyptian military overthrew Mohamed Morsi in July, little more than a year after he was elected president, it insisted that it was acting as a guardian of democracy and political pluralism. Whatever credibility that claim may have had at the time, it was shattered Wednesday by a bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters that was followed by imposition of a monthlong state of emergency.

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