The Skeptics

The Inanity of “Butting Out” of Egypt

Some commentators have argued that the United States should abstain from taking sides in Egypt’s unfolding political crisis. What a curious and ill-informed line of thinking.

Since 1979, the United States has provided Egypt with an annual average of $2 billion in economic and military foreign assistance—that totals more than $60 billion over the last 30 years. Newsflash: the United States is already involved. From NBC’s Richard Engel:

Most Egyptians see the United States as having stood solidly by President Mubarak while the government here grew more and more corrupt. And they see the Americans as complicit in it. And just today, for example, when we were out on streets this is what a lot of people were showing us about American involvement. If you can see in my hands this is one of the tear gas canisters and very clearly written in English on it, it says "Made in the USA by Combined Tactical Systems from Jamestown, Pennsylvania.” And they say this is the kind of support that the United States has been giving to the Egyptian government and bears some responsibility, although today it is trying to say that it never backed Mubarak so much, it has been calling for reforms for a long time, Egyptians don't see it that way.