By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News: Stop Military Aiid to Egypt,
Says Me and the Neocons. "American aid makes the U.S. complicit in the Egyptian army's acts," read the headline in the Washington Post back on August 1. It appeared nearly a month after the U.S. supported coup that dared not speak its name, but well before this week's horrific massacre of Muslim Brotherhood protestors. Surprising to many, including the generally anti-interventionist senator Ron Paul, the author was a neocon guru Robert Kagan, a former member of Mitt Romney's foreign policy team and a gung-ho proponent of America's "benevolent global hegemony." One of the prime organizers of the Project for a New American Century, the bright lights who used 9/11 to lure President George W. Bush into Iraq, Kagan is a founding director of the new neocon flagship, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), which is urging Obama to give greater aid to the Sunni rebels in Syria a stepping stone, I would argue to launching a military attack on Iran. But, on Egypt, Kagan and his fellow neocons and liberal interventionist allies saw the reality of the military coup well before many of our own readers here at RSN. "The stage is set for a deadly government assault not only against the Muslim Brotherhood but also against the millions of Egyptians who voted for the Brotherhood in elections over the past two years," he predicted with a flawless eye."Combined with the arrests on trumped-up charges of Morsi and others linked to the Brotherhood, the military appears intent on eradicating from Egypt's politics, jailing its leaders and followers or driving them underground." Kagan also foresaw that giving $1.3 to $1.5 billion in U.S. aid provided Washington absolutely no leverage. Why? Because the generals believed that the Obama administration would not withdraw the aid. Failed attempts to stop this week's massacre show how little influence Obama and his European allies exercised over the generals, and Obama has responded by cancelling the previously scheduled Bright Star military exercises with Egypt. Photographs of U.S. soldiers training shoulder-to-shoulder with their Egyptian counterparts would have been terribly embarrassing when juxtaposed against images of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's troops massacring civilian protestors. Earlier, Obama halted the delivery of F-16 jets. The question now is whether he will suspend the military aid. "Suspending aid now is not merely a matter of principle or even of abiding by our own laws, although that ought to count for something," Kagan argued. "As a practical security matter, we may pay a heavy price doen the road for our complicity in the military's actions over the coming months." The price will be "a whole new generation of Islamist fighters, some percentage pf whom will turn to terrorism," he concluded. "If and when we do, the United States, as the Egyptian military's great and unwavering backer, will again become a target." As early as July 8, only 5 days after the coup, Kagan and his Foreign Policy Initiative issued a statement from "The Working Group on Egypt,"which Kagan co-chairs, clearly calling for suspending military and economic aid to Egypt.