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News Link • Egypt

U.S. assistance to Cairo breaks American law, is hurting Egypt

• Doug Bandow, Detroit News

Egypt is a disaster veering toward catastrophe. The Obama administration’s decision to ignore the law by continuing U.S. assistance is making the situation worse. Indeed, the administration’s main achievement has been to make America the target of both sides in Egypt.

Cairo has been a top aid recipient since Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel. It was a simple geopolitical bargain since foreign “aid” there, as elsewhere, did more to hinder than advance economic progress.

Nevertheless, the stability hopefully purchased appeared to be a good deal. No longer.

First, the law requires that the funds be halted. If the administration doesn’t want to obey it should urge Congress to amend the law. Only by using a Clintonesque definition can what happened in Cairo — arresting the president and top aides, prosecuting opponents, shutting television stations down and shooting demonstrators — be called something else.

Second, Washington’s influence dissipated long ago when Cairo realized it could count on receiving the money no matter what.

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