Tags: lindsey | graham | egypt | aid

Lindsey Graham: Egypt Heading for Armed Insurgency

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 02:32 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Egyptian protests will shift to an "armed insurgency" in the next months as al-Qaida comes to the aid of the Muslim Brotherhood and the country will become a "failed state," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.

"There's no going back for our country for supporting strong, manned dictatorships," Graham, who traveled to Egypt earlier this month with fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, told CBS' "Face the Nation" Host Bob Schieffer.

The Muslim Brotherhood "corrupted their mandate" after winning the election that placed Mohammed Morsi in office, said Graham. Even though the majority vote won, Morsi's administration drove people away.

"It was a coup" with a great deal of popular support that ended up removing Morsi from office, Graham pointed out.

"The Egyptian people are not terrorists," said Graham. But now that Morsi has been driven out, the country is heading to be like "Algeria," which was locked in a state of civil war for more than a decade after that country's 1991 election, he said.

"The Brotherhood will go underground, al-Qaida will come to their aid, and you'll have an armed insurgency, not protesters on your hands in the next 60 days or 90 days," said Graham.

Further, the United States will have to suspend its aid to Egypt because federal law prohibits supporting a government that has been taken over in a military coup."

"Even though the Brotherhood overplaying their hand started this, we can't support what the military is doing in response," said Graham, referring to the military's crackdown on Muslim protesters.

Graham also denied that cutting aid to Egypt's military could encourage an al-Qaida-friendly government to take over in Egypt.

"Al-Qaida's never going to win at the ballot box," said Graham. "If there was a new election, the Brotherhood would get beat. The army is making these people martyrs."

Graham said the best way to solve Egypt's problems would be to "write a new constitution where everybody has a say and have new elections."

Without new elections, said Graham, the Brotherhood will be a "very formidable force on the streets" if al-Qaida becomes involved.

"That means gas prices go up for us, the Suez Canal gets compromised and Egypt becomes a staging area for terrorist acts against Israel," Graham warned. "This is an absolute disaster in the making."

Graham and McCain on Friday issued a joint statement calling for the United States to cut off all aid to Egypt, and slammed the Obama administration for making a routine "failure" to use America's "influence to shape events" throughout the world, reports Talking Points Memo.

On Sunday, Graham said he would tell the Egyptian generals holding rule over the country that "we're going to suspend all aid until you allow a democratic transition." He noted that the aid is just a symbol, and does not amount to that much money.

But if the aid is cut, Graham said, "Western tourism ends in Egypt for the foreseeable future" and "Western investment comes to a standstill."

Meanwhile, Graham said, "Egypt's future is damned, and I make that point clear ... stop this before it gets out of hand."

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