Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tamarod to US -- Thanks, But No Thanks

The lines are getting easier to see...

For those who don't know, Tamarod (with one r) is short for "revolution" or rebellion, the new designation for the mostly secular coalition largely responsible for the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, now standing more or less helplessly in the wings as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military engage in a tug-o-war for power. 
Tamarrod starts petition to reject US aid, scrap peace treaty with Israel
Saturday, August 17

The Tamarrod movement (Rebellion) started a petition under the name "Stop Foreign Aid" aimed at rejecting U.S. aid and scrapping the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. 
On its website, Tamarrod said that the unduly meddling of the U.S. in Egyptian internal affairs and its support of terrorist groups prompted their calls to reject the U.S. aid and call off the peace treaty with Israel, so that Egypt would be at liberty to secure its borders as necessary. 
The statement further explained that the aim of this initiative is to regain Egypt's complete sovereignty and control over its internal affairs and to put an end to years of humiliation and political-dependency. 
They called on Egyptians to sign their petition, announcing that a digital version would be uploaded on the movement's website. 
U.S. president Barack Obama had recently condemned the violence in Egypt and called off joint-military exercises with the Egyptian military and made references to possible further steps. 
Tamarrod is a youth movement that called for mass protests against deposed President Mohamed Morsy, and started collecting signatures in Tahrir Square on May 1st, the Labor Day in Egypt, which led to mass protests on 30 June, on the anniversary of Morsy's inauguration.
These mostly young, modern, high-minded Egyptians have a dream and appreciation of democratic government that contrasts sharply with the autocratic forms of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military.

They see clearly that US aid to the Egyptian military is a de facto vote against democratic reforms in Egypt as well as the rest of the Arab world. (They don't understand or care that it's mostly for the benefit of the American economy via our military-industrial complex.)

They also see that Egypt and Israel are bonded, if not at the hip at least at the ankles. The occupation of the Gaza Palestinians and a growing presence of an Al Qaeda franchise in the Egyptian Sinai requires Egypt and Israel to work together controlling those two festering hot spots. .

A fragile diplomatic infrastructure is beginning to rattle. President Obama and Congress have another diplomatic.needle to thread. Which is to say no matter what position the president takes it will be a political no-win, either domestically or abroad. Money is not an issue for the Egyptian military. They really don't need American aid. Oil-rich neighbors can easily shore up gaps in the Egyptian economy. 

The question for the US is whether we can continue supporting a trend to representative democracy in Egypt and elsewhere in that part of the world while simultaneously supporting the very forces working against it. 

This post was written yesterday, August 17.
This morning the following Twitter message is in my timeline...

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