Friday, August 16, 2013

A coup is a coup, and a massacre is a massacre

[Sent by email.  Adapted versions sent to Senators Heinreich and Udall of New Mexico, and Representative Steve Pearce.]

Dear Mr. President,

It has been stunning and horrifying to watch our disastrous and morally bankrupt policy regarding Egypt unfold, giving courage as well as concrete aid to a coup regime that has engaged in a lethal massacre of its citizens and imposed a month-long "state of emergency" that no one believes will be over in a month. 

Before the July 3 coup, our government quietly warned the military that a coup would forbid us from sending them aid.  They went ahead anyway, on the assumption we would not in fact cut off aid.  And they were right.  Following the coup, the department of state engaged in embarrassing and laughable doublespeak in its effort to disregard our law and avoid labeling this coup a coup. 

And now, as a reign of terror emerges including a civilian massacre and the detention, beating, and killing of journalists, you have responded by suspending a joint military exercise.  Presumably, our aid relationship continues, and we, the people of these United States, must live knowing that (1) we are helping pay for this Egyptian killing field and (2) our government, having no influence over the Egyptian military's actions, will continue to send aid.

I am familiar with technocratic foreign policy that has led us to support one dictator after another, in Egypt and numerous other countries.  But it is the wrong course for us to take. 

It is, at best, questionable whether our aid is a strong inducement to Egypt at this point anyway.  But there are other reasons to suspend it.  For God's sake, Mr. President, *I* am helping to pay these butchers mow down their own people.  I am disgusted by my government’s complicity in this action.

Do you foresee this policy leading to more democracy in Egypt?  Are we going to pretend, anew, that a military dictatorship improves peace and stability in that region?  Do we believe the Muslim Brotherhood will be content to engage in electoral politics now?  Does this really contribute to real peace for Israel? 

I call on you and Secretary Kerry to announce an immediate suspension of aid and cooperation in light of massive human rights violations and the suspension of democracy, coupled with a promise to reset relations and consider aid when the campaign of violent repression is ended and clear, verifiable steps to institute some measure of democracy are taken.


This raw video of our Egyptian ally restoring democracy to its people is disturbing and is suggested for mature audiences only.

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