As Secertary of State Hillary Clinton and her colleagues walked back to her motorcade following a visit to the newly reopened U.S. Consulate in Alexandria, Egyptians threw tomatoes, shoes, and water bottles in her direction while berating her with chants of “Monica.” It quickly became quite clear that she wasn’t a very welcome guest.Citizens within the embattled nation distrust and disapprove how Washington is handling their situation, many seeming to believe that the Obama administration is trying to take sides in the battle over power between President Mohamed Morsi and Egypt’s military and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces leader, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
In April, details of a $1.3 billion foreign aid package to Egypt were released, reported by the NY Times. Almost immediately, opponents abroad and from America began tearing into Obama, accusing his administration of funding the Muslim Brotherhood, a party that they’re quick to point out was banned under Egyptian law until just recently.
Americans, more specifically conservatives, claimed the money was not only a frivolous expenditure when the nation is already accruing a huge deficit, but also blasted the funding to a group, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), that called for a jihad against America just two years ago, according to the National Review.
Egyptians, on the other hand, were more concerned with the fact that America was in effect conceding to a government that has clearly failed thus far in its attempts to create some sort of functioning democracy.
Upon further inspection though, it seems that while the Egyptian qualms hold some water, the American complaints appear to be more recognisable as mere partisan discourse. The money, said to be intended for the MB, is actually for the Egyptian military and is obligated to be used to pay U.S. defence and security companies providing equipment and support for the military, according to the Guardian.
Even given that stipulation, some Democrats expressed similar sentiments as Egyptians, voicing their displeasure with the decision to waive certain “democracy requirements” and send the aid regardless.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee which oversees foreign aid and operation, was among those disappointed. He recommended sending the aid in stages as the Egyptian government fulfilled the democratic requirements it seems to be falling short of, reports the Guardian.
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