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Saudi pledge to Egypt hints at Obama secret strategy

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Saudi Arabia is stepping up and pledging enough aid for Egypt to make up for any American shortfall as Obama calls a possibly halt on aid amid growing violence there.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Yesterday, Saudi Arabia announced a pledge to bolster aid to the current Egyptian government as a response to U.S. threats to cut aid. Since the military intervention which deposed President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as a political party, President Obama has been under some pressure to cut support for the strategic African state.

U.S. law forbids military aid from being sent to countries whose regimes seize power in a military coup. The policy is designed to encourage democracy as opposed to dictatorships.

The administration has declined to use the word coup to describe the situation in Egypt, but it clearly is.

Curiously, it is a coup that many Americans and our allies seem to favor.

The government of Mohammed Morsi, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, was exclusionary and even hostile to Christians and other minorities. Quietly, it was whispered among Washingtion and regional insiders that Morsi's regime was a threat to stability.

We have since seen the true colors of the Muslim Brotherhood which is responsible for attacks on Christian churches, the murders of police and troops as well as dozens of Christians and moderate Muslims, and their firing on security forces sent to clear them from the streets.

Without their way, the Muslim Brotherhood threatens civil war in Egypt.

However, their government was democratically elected, with a majority of Egyptians choosing Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as their leadership. This is one of the shortcomings of democracy. One may not always like the outcome of the election.

So the United States has been compelled to choose between its principles of democracy and regional stability.

Saudi Arabia sees the Muslim Brotherhood, and its alleged al Qaeda ties, as a threat. The conservative monarchy has not been very supportive of the Arab Spring movement.

The Obama administration wants democracy in Egypt, however that democracy could produce a regime that is politically lukewarm towards the United States. Naturally, like Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has an interest in reforming the current political situation and the election of a more moderate government.

To accomplish this, the U.S. has publicly threatened to cut aid to Egypt. However, Obama has actually only called for a review of what aid is sent to Egypt and for that aid to be delivered in packets called tranches, instead of in a continuous stream.

Some parts of that aid, or tranches, such as military equipment, may be withheld.

Enter Saudi Arabia, a close American ally which pledges to make up for any American shortfall.

The United States would prefer to see the current effort to reform the Egyptian government succeed, hence the reticence to call the situation in Egypt a military coup. However, in order to maintain some degree of credibility as a bastion of democracy, the U.S. must also take steps, even if only symbolic, to side with democracy and oppose military intervention in governments.

While Saudi Arabia may seem to be in a position to undermine U.S. pressure aimed at restoring democracy in Egypt, it is more than likely bolstering the true and unstated intent of the U.S. government, which is to see the Muslim Brotherhood chased from power in that country and across the region.

Indeed, the Obama administration may well be the most Machiavellian one the United States has ever seen since the administration of Andrew Jackson. Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he is guided by principle only in words, and that his actions are without regard for the same. It would come as little shock then, to see that his criticism of the current situation in Egypt differ from secret actions he is likely undertaking in perfect collusion with the Saudi government.

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