There is an argument that the United States, through its aid of $1.3 billion per year to Egypt, maintains influence over that country’s military. Some also say that this money favors peace between the Egyptians and the Israelis. But these two arguments do not hold up anymore.
Both the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, as well as the two most important Republican senators in the area of foreign policy, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, tried to convince General Sisi’s regime in Egypt to avoid violent action against the Muslim Brotherhood. Sadly, they failed.
General Sisi conducted a massacre in the first week of 2011 larger than any action of Bashar Assad before the Syrian civil war. In that era, an attack that killed 30 was considered repugnant. In Egypt, according to figures from their own military regime in Cairo, there are now more than 500 dead. That is equivalent to the victims of 20 years of the military regime in Brazil. That is one day equal to 20 years.
Peace with Israel is even less guaranteed. Ex-President Mohammed Morsi, currently imprisoned by the Sisi regime despite never having committed a crime, gave more of a guarantee of stability than the current regime and that of Hosni Mubarak. These days the Sinai is a no man’s land with the presence of al-Qaida. Mubarak was incapable of avoiding a conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in 2008 and 2009. Morsi managed to negotiate an agreement in the past year, convincing the Palestinian group to accept a truce with the Israelis.
For this reason, the United States must suspend military aid to Egypt until the general agrees to bring about a real transition to democracy and include the Muslim Brotherhood in the process. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient ElBaradei, who shamefully united with this military dictatorship, realized his mistake and renounced the fictitious post of prime minister.
What is clear is that Sisi is popular, just as Assad is popular and Pinochet was popular. Note that I am not defending the Muslim Brotherhood. The group erred when it was in power, showing a disrespect for democratic institutions and the protests of millions of people. But its demonstrations up to yesterday were for the most part peaceful with a praiseworthy argument — the liberation of Morsi, the democratically elected president. Lamentable also is the burning of the churches, although it is not clear who are responsible.