Daily Beast: Obama's Account of Egypt Aid at Odds with History

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 12:33 PM

By Lisa Barron

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As protesters in Egypt continued to demand the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi this week, President Barack Obama claimed that the administration has allocated aid to the regime in accordance with the government’s respect for democracy and the rule of law.

Speaking in Tanzania on the final leg of his African trip, Obama said on Monday, "The way we make decisions about assistance to Egypt is based on are they in fact following rules of law and democratic procedures.”

But that is not what the record shows, reports the Daily Beast, noting that since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the White House has fought against nearly all restrictions on the nearly $1.6 in annual aid to Egypt proposed by Congress.

"Obama's statement constitutes a revisionist history of what they have been doing over the past two years," Michele Dunne, executive director of the Atlantic Council's Pacific Hariri Center for the Middle East, told the publication.

"We have not exercised the kind of support for demographic progress that we should have. That’s why people still think to this day that the Obama administration is just fully in support of the Muslim Brotherhood," she said.

Stephen McInerney, the executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, agreed, saying, "This is simply an inaccurate description by the president of his administrations' decision-making process with regard to U.S assistance to Egypt."

He continued, "The administration’s decisions about U.S. aid to Egypt have been based primarily on short-term conceptions of preserving security."

The Daily Beast also pointed to the approach taken by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During a September 2011 visit to Cairo after Mubarak's resignation, she told an interviewer, "We believe in aid to your military without any conditions, no conditionality. I’ve made that very clear."

She later put words into action, waiving restrictions passed by Congress on aid to Egypt despite the Cairo government's crackdown on foreign NGOs.

Secretary of State John Kerry has continued that policy, according to the Daily Beast, secretly waiving all congressional restrictions on aid to Egypt as recently as April.

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