McCain and Graham flipflop on aid to Egypt– after AIPAC speaks up

Israel/Palestine
on 116 Comments

Two conservative senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, went to Egypt this week to urge Egyptian leaders to show more respect for democracy. McCain and Graham may be Republicans, but they have a lot of clout. They were reported to have the blessing of the Obama administration in making this embassy.

Why do they have such clout? One reason is that they are extremely responsive to the Israel lobby. In fact, both men lately flipflopped on a principled statement– cutting off aid to Egypt — evidently at the urging of AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby organization.

Here is the sequence.

Back in early July, McCain went on CBS’s Face the Nation saying that the U.S. should cut off aid to Egypt.

“Reluctantly, I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election.”

McCain had good company: libertarian Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham too.

McCain and Graham made clear that this was a matter of principle. They wrote a long op-ed in calling for a cut-off of aid to Egypt in the Washington Post last month:

We know that many of our friends in Egypt and the region do not want the United States to suspend assistance. But we are fully committed to encouraging the Egyptian people’s efforts to build an effective and enduring democracy. And if Egyptians join together and move their country toward the democratic future that so many of them have risked so much to achieve, we will be the first to call for a full restoration of U.S. assistance to Egypt.

The op-ed cited “our democratic values” and the wisdom gained from the U.S. experience in the Middle East:

If events in Egypt and the broader Middle East over the past three years have taught us anything, it should be that we may pay a short-term price by standing up for our democratic values, but it is in our long-term national interest to do so. Ultimately, that is the best thing the United States can do to support our friends in Egypt and around the world.

Hold on, guys. Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, formerly McCain and Graham’s wingman in the neoconservative caucus called the Three Amigos, weighed in. From the National Review, July 15:

The retired Democratic-turned-independent senator expressed guarded optimism about the state of affairs in Egypt, and declared that, contra his former ally John McCain, the U.S. shouldn’t cut off its aid to the Egyptian military.

He explained to Sean Hannity today… “I’m actually going to disagree with my buddy John McCain; I don’t think we should suspend military aid.”

Then the other shoe drops. AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby group, also speaks up. Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“We do not support cutting off all assistance to Egypt at this time, as we believe it could increase the instability in Egypt and undermine important U.S. interests and negatively impact our Israeli ally,” AIPAC said in a letter to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), its top Republican.

The letter is the first public signal since the army coup that deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in early July that AIPAC is actively opposing efforts to cut aid to Egypt.

And McCain and Graham sided with AIPAC. The Senate killed Rand Paul’s bill to end aid to Egypt on July 31, with McCain and Graham harping on Israel:
 

The floor debate was virtually everyone versus Paul. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said cutting off aid to Egypt would also hurt Israel, a close ally.

Here’s the transcript of that debate. (Which Ali Gharib reported first). Graham and McCain repeatedly cited AIPAC.

“As you know, Egypt is the largest Arab state in the Middle East and has played a vital role in advancing key U.S. interests in that region,” said the [AIPAC] letter, read into the Senate record on Wednesday by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Graham said that if Egypt becomes a failed state, “it would be a nightmare for Israel, and it would take the whole region down a path that would be at best chaotic.”

McCain called Rand Paul an isolationist and an American Firster and also cited the AIPAC letter: 

I think the vote on this amendment has even larger implications than that of whether we should cut off all assistance to Egypt. By the way, my friends, I don’t think it is an accident that APAC, our friends there who represent the interests of the State of Israel, have opposed this amendment. If there is further upheaval in the Sinai, and if there is a collapse of the rule of law in Egypt, I don’t think there is any doubt that the threat to Israel is dramatically increased.

McCain made a statement about Israel’s interests that many have quoted since:

Again, isn’t the question whether the Senator from Kentucky knows what is better for Israel or Israel knows what is better for Israel? The fact is, AIPAC and the Israelis are adamantly opposed to this amendment; isn’t that correct?

It certainly appears that the two men abandoned a position of principle because AIPAC told them to. You’d think they would be buffoons. But they’re not. They haven’t lost any political capital for this abdication of principle. No, they’ve gained political capital. The Times said the senators went to Egypt this week “at the request of President Obama.” And as Jeff Klein, who pointed me to this story, says, No one in the press is calling them out for flipflopping. It’s just not a story when powerful senators dance to AIPAC’s tune. 
 
This is a demonstration of how central AIPAC’s ideas are to American foreign policy. As neocon Lee Smith once said, the central plank of the last dictatorship in Egypt was the peace treaty. That is all that matters to the U.S. We’re willing to throw everything else overboard for the sake of preserving Israel’s security.
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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116 Responses

  1. amigo
    August 8, 2013, 10:19 am

    “McCain called Rand Paul an isolationist and an American Firster”.

    How dare you Mr Rand put American interests and security before Israel.

    • chris_k
      August 8, 2013, 11:44 am

      Where McCain got that phase would be an interesting story. Of course, his POW yarn makes him a better originator for that line than, say, Eric Cantor. I presume it won’t be used much and if it does it will backfire, despite it probably getting more play on the media than Israel Firster ever did. Rand Paul has creatively groveled to Israel unlike his father, and a Senator too old for 2016 may be baiting him into a reaction that leads to the tidal wave Ron Paul and Hagel faced. At times, Rand P. has himself talked as if Israeli interests were more important than US interests to US Senators.

    • Krauss
      August 8, 2013, 11:48 am

      McCain called Rand Paul an isolationist and an American Firster and also cited the AIPAC letter.

      Hahahaha! Brilliant!
      But you kind of stop laughing quickly when you realize how two senators can be such whores to a foreign lobby. How does the old joke go? Israel wouldn’t want to become the 51st state because then it’d only have 2 senators, instead of all 100.

    • Justpassingby
      August 8, 2013, 2:08 pm

      Lol exactly isnt americans supposed to be putting US interests first? Mcain is obviously a senile man.

  2. atime forpeace
    August 8, 2013, 10:53 am

    Great article Phil. I love how Paul skirts Israel altogether when it comes to foreign aid, he is speaking to the base of the GOP that he wants to enlist as his followers…which is why he uses the language of ” those who burn our flag” and other choice phrases to appeal to those within The GOP whose sacred cow is “protecting the homeland”.

    I am keeping an eye on the seething contempt growing within the Intel establishment at some levels against our BFF in the middle east.

    Phil Giraldi is one voice that reflects what must be a angry mob, building within the establishment…when this pot starts to boil we shall be closer to the head on collision that i expect. Right now i see this as kids picking sides to see who is going to be on which team out in the schoolyard. The Politicos are usually the last to find out that the wind has shifted since they are too busy listening to the orders being given to them by the forces that govern their positions.

    Published opinion is not necessarily public opinion.

    link to original.antiwar.com

    As I have become accustomed to nearly every type of outrage here in the land of the BushObamas, it takes quite a bit to either surprise or shock me. But last week was a twofer and I’ll start with the shock. On Thursday morning I was reading my way through a rather silly piece “Rand Paul rebuked by fellow Republicans on foreign aid” by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who clearly does not understand the meaning of “isolationism.” Then I hit the last few paragraphs. The article provided background and spin on the defeat of the recent Paul motion to cut aid to Egypt and included “[Senator Lindsey] Graham read aloud a letter from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) opposing Paul’s amendment…[Senator John]McCain needled Paul. ‘The question here is whether the senator from Kentucky knows what’s better for Israel, or Israel.’”
    Paul was clearly caught flat footed but, to his credit, called the AIPAC letter a “canard,” and, according to Milbank, “challenged the ‘so-called leadership’ of AIPAC.”

  3. Citizen
    August 8, 2013, 11:03 am

    Things can’t get more obvious. It’s disgusting.

    • Krauss
      August 8, 2013, 11:48 am

      They should be tried for treason for loyalty to another country. And throw in the people who run AIPAC too.

    • American
      August 8, 2013, 1:17 pm

      One thing I’ve ever found in the bible that is borne out by the cycles of history……

      “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
      A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
      A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;”

      The dominance of zionist in the US will pass away…it’s just another season..

  4. Taxi
    August 8, 2013, 11:58 am

    McCain and his girlfriend Lindsey, like all the ziontologists in D.C. and tel aviv, are freaking out over the ‘safety’ of the Camp David Accords in the hands of the Egyptian army. It’s all about Camp David.

    All you mw folks out there who were raving that the WH is in cohoots with General Sisi, think again.

    Here’s what I had to say about it a couple of days ago:
    link to mondoweiss.net

    • American
      August 8, 2013, 12:50 pm

      ‘All you mw folks out there who were raving that the WH is in cohoots with General Sisi, think again.”….Taxi

      I am not one who thinks the WH or US is in cohoots with Sisi…I think Sisi is more internal to certain interest or old status quo interest in Egypt.
      With some input from other interested parties like Saudi who also want to preserve the previous ‘regional status quo’ for their own sakes.

      • Taxi
        August 8, 2013, 3:33 pm

        Sisi’s interest is in the welfare of Egypt and the Egyptian army. His interest, like most Egyptians, is in returning Egypt to the Arab fold and outside the clutches of America. His interest is to re-establish Egypt as a leader of the Arab world: especially militarily. This is his power point: to have the Egyptian army as regional top dog.

        Now if you have any detailed information on your claims of Sisi’s affiliations to “certain interest or old status quo”, then please share; I’d love to know.

        Actually, American, what you might find interesting is knowing about a Mr. Hamdeen Sabahu, the Egyptian presidential candidate that America and israel are scared sh*tless of:
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        His vision of Egypt is currently gaining ground across the land.

        Welcome to the new middle east. Stitch by stitch.

      • American
        August 9, 2013, 12:52 am

        ”Actually, American, what you might find interesting is knowing about a Mr. Hamdeen Sabahu, the Egyptian presidential candidate that America and israel are scared sh*tless of:..”…..Taxi

        I read it…..he sounds like the perfect leader for Egypt’s needs—- but let’s see if Sisi the ‘revolters’ support him.
        I dont trust Sisi…….dont like how he has handled this….he has ‘agitated” and strutted his ass around…….when he should have ‘calmed’ things down.

      • MRW
        August 9, 2013, 3:07 am

        Colonel Pat Lang seems to agree with you, Taxi.
        link to turcopolier.typepad.com

      • miriam6
        August 11, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Taxi@;

        Sisi’s interest is in the welfare of Egypt and the Egyptian army.

        Correction.

        Sissi’s interests lie in strengthening still further the Egyptian military’s stranglehold on Egypt , grabbing power for himself and further undermining democracy and the Arab Spring.

        Sissi’s so -called vision is to perpetuate the undemocratic ,totalitarian past.

        Taxi ;-
        Explain exactly how could a military coup could possibly be in the interests of the Egyptian people? or for democracy in Egypt ?

        The coup against the Morsi government , which was democratically elected ,now means that now every potential civilian democratically elected government in the future will have to cower in trepidation and fear of the power of an Egyptian military to oust them just as they ousted Morsi’s government

        Those repercussions are explored in this article by Fawaz Gerges;


        Egypt coup: the military has not just ousted Morsi.

        It has ousted democracy.

        Future governments in Cairo will not now dare defy the army. A political-ideological clash could become a life-and-death one

        link to theguardian.com


        Egypt’s coup : a ruinous intervention. Those who believe the Egyptian army’s priority is to preserve freedom will soon be disappointed.

        Steele was correct.

        By July 27 2013 200 Egyptians were dead including the 50+ massacred by the military just days after the coup..

        link to theguardian.com

        200 dead , 4500 wounded all Morsi supporters … and some are still in denial or blame it on the victims… Militarism kills and lies.When a government asks the people to demonstrate it is always aimed at justifying oppression or treason.

        link to twitter.com

        link to aboujahjah.org

    • Justpassingby
      August 8, 2013, 2:07 pm

      Actually your arguments are very “zionistologist” for you defense of Sisi and the coup. The only two states actively backing Egyptian coup is US and Israel and the saudis.

      • Taxi
        August 8, 2013, 3:46 pm

        “The only two states actively backing Egyptian coup is US and Israel and the saudis.”

        Is that why McCain and his girlfriend, Lindsey, got the boot at their meetings in Egypt? LOL! Yeah right and they didn’t go there on behalf of isreal either, right?

        You keep swallowing that ziopulp if you want to.

        And by the way, “US and Israel and the saudis” makes for THREE states and not “two”.

        Yeah I know, all this Egypt stuff, it’s confusing for you.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 7:07 pm

        Is that why McCain and his girlfriend, Lindsey, got the boot at their meetings in Egypt?

        They are both on the defense appropriations committee, and seeing as their flip flop was driven by AIPAC, the answer would be YES.

        Is that why McCain and his girlfriend, Lindsey, got the boot at their meetings in Egypt?

        Got the boot?

        And by the way, “US and Israel and the saudis” makes for THREE states and not “two”.

        True. So Egypt is the bitch they all get to share.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2013, 12:03 am

        seeing as their flip flop was driven by AIPAC, the answer would be YES.

        The fact is that they were playing good cop bad cop in Egypt. They were telling the Egyptians that they personally wanted to keep the funding going, but would be unable to do that if Morsi and other political prisoners remain jailed or excluded from the government. They also advised that others in the Congress not only want the funding stopped, they want the relationship with the Egyptian military ended for good.

        The L.A. Times is not reporting a flip-flop on the ground in Egypt:

        McCain and Graham called on the Egyptian government to release members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, many of whom have been jailed on what are widely seen as politically motivated charges, including murder. The Brotherhood, which has organized a sit-in of thousands of Islamists at the Rabaa al Adawiya mosque, has vowed not to end its protests until Morsi is reinstated.

        “In democracy, you sit down and talk to each other,” Graham said. He added that it “is impossible to talk to somebody who is in jail.”

        He also warned that U.S.-Egypt relations could be damaged: “Some in Congress want to sever the relationship. Some want to suspend the aid,” he said. “We have to be honest to where the relationship stands…. We can’t support Egypt that is not moving to democracy.”

        Graham touched on Egypt’s confounding political landscape by saying: “The people who are in charge were not elected. The people who were elected are in jail. The status quo is not acceptable.”

        link to latimes.com

        Frankly the coup provisions of the appropriations statutes are not the only obstacle to continued military aid. There are separate prohibitions against providing military assistance to any regime that has openly committed crimes against humanity, like killing hundreds of civilian demonstrators and jailing so many political prisoners.

      • Shingo
        August 9, 2013, 12:06 am

        There are separate prohibitions against providing military assistance to any regime that has openly committed crimes against humanity, like killing hundreds of civilian demonstrators and jailing so many political prisoners.

        Agreed, which is why the supporters of the coup are having such a hard time trying to sell this coup as a democratic outcome. They”re starting to sound like the supporters of the Cast Lead.

    • Shingo
      August 8, 2013, 6:52 pm

      It’s all about Camp David.

      Which is why the Egyptian military got rid of Morsi. Now do you admit the military is serving US interests?

      This just proves that WH is in cohoots with General Sisi, it certainly doesn’t refute it.

      Here’s what I had to say about it a couple of days ago

      And I responded to your piece of wishful thinking. Remember that it was AIPAC that made Graham and McCain flip, not Obama.

  5. rensanceman
    August 8, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Taxi: why make malicious, homophobic reference to L.Graham’s sexuality (I.e. McCain and his girlfriend…..). If you are attempting to minimize the duo’s gravitas via a giggling/snorting smear, reference their whorish relationship with AIPAC. McCain receives more campaign contributions from the Israel lobby than any other senator. That fact, plus the looney tunes stridency of their agenda regarding Israel is more important than speculating who might be the top (or bottom) in their relationship.

    • Taxi
      August 8, 2013, 4:36 pm

      “homophobic”. LOL how the hell did you get to that hole? Okay, I guess you’re not a fan of irony, not a fan of puns, not a fan of political goofies – nah not today anywayz.

      “… their agenda regarding Israel is more important than speculating who might be the top (or bottom) in their relationship.”.

      So how come your good self is indulging in their Kama Sutra strategy? Don’t you have “more important” prickly points to make?

      I think they make a shafty cute couple.

      LOL I’m just dicking around.

      • maggielorraine
        August 8, 2013, 11:29 pm

        Taxi, you might just be “dicking” around but it isn’t funny. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to me as a lesbian, as a woman, and as a human being. You were attempting to mock Senator Graham by implying he was female. What, exactly, is funny or insulting about being a woman? Or being feminine? Were you trying to imply his passivity? And if so, what is the link between female gender and passivity?

        Your second comment was even worse. They make a cute couple? What is funny about that? Third graders run around calling each other gay. It’s juvenile and bigoted. Grow up.

        Here’s a tip. When someone calls you out for being homophobic or sexist, don’t laugh it off. Apologize instead. We are all supposed to be allies here, and Palestinians need all the solidarity they can get. So help build a stronger movement by not alienating people.

        And rensanceman, using slut-shaming words like “whore” isn’t any better.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2013, 2:19 am

        Take a chill pill maggie and get yourself a funny bone while you’re at it.

        You don’t find it funny – fair enough, but you’re certainly reading waaaaaay too much into it.

        You’ve clearly never been to a gay standup comedy club – if you have, you’d mostly likely be working to shut the club down cuz I can’t see non of the gay comedians apologizing to YOU for making hilarious blue jokes about sexuality and sexual politics.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 9, 2013, 10:16 am

        “And rensanceman, using slut-shaming words like ‘whore’ isn’t any better.”

        Give it a rest. There’s nothing wrong with refering to a politician’s relationship with a special interest as being “whorish.”

      • rensanceman
        August 9, 2013, 2:25 pm

        Pardon my insensitivity, although I use the term to label behavior modified by the desire to achieve a goal. Men are prone to fall victim to this impulse, as well as women. Whenever you witness someone groveling before someone with power and influence with wider than normal smiles, you can also expect a compromising if one’s values. Maybe the word “prostitute” (applied to both sexes) would have been a better word.

      • ckg
        August 10, 2013, 8:01 pm

        maggie–you are certainly one of the most insightful, passionate and lucid commenters on this site. Please comment more!

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 12:46 am

        No one can disagree with your sentiments Maggie, and you have articulated them very eloquently, but in Taxi’s defense, Graham and McCain and such despicable characters that they tend to elicit some very powerful negative reactions. While I have always refrained from attacking the gender ambiguity of people like Graham, I have to confess that it has crossed my mind on many occasions.

        Your observation was humbling to read, so thank you.

        And thank you for drawing our attention to the sad fact that comparing affeminite men to women is still tolerated.

      • maggielorraine
        August 11, 2013, 1:15 am

        I’m not reading too much into your comment. You didn’t think about the implications of your little joke and how it is bigoted. That’s the nice thing about being privileged though isn’t it? You don’t have to think about how your words have a larger meaning and hurt people in a lesser position than you.

        I have a question for you, Taxi. Are you gay? I’m guessing no, but I apologize if I’m wrong. Because here’s the thing….if you aren’t, you don’t get to run your mouth about gay people, whether we do or not. Like black people reclaiming the n word, women reclaiming the word bitch, or speaking freely and frankly about our social condition. People who belong to cultures founded on oppression finding humor in our predicament is not the same thing as a straight (or white, or cisgendered, or able-bodied, or whatever it is) man using his privilege to make jokes at our expense.

        Like I said before, you’re an ally. I respect that. You should respect the fact that people who are different from you in myriad ways are also a part of this community and you owe it to them to treat their identies with dignity. We are not here to be the butt of your jokes.

        There are plenty of ways of insulting McCain and Graham without resorting to childish bigotry. Stop being lazy and apply yourself.

      • American
        August 11, 2013, 2:28 am

        ‘And rensanceman, using slut-shaming words like “whore” isn’t any better.”…maggie

        Well I think that part of your complaint is a bit ridiculous……I dont like the word ‘slut’ and never use it, but I do use ‘whores’ in connection with politicians all the time.
        I dont make moral judgements on women or men engaged in prostitution, if they want to do that it’s their business and as far as I am concerned it should be legalized so there is more protection for the parties involved in those transactions..
        But it perfectly describes what our politicans ‘do” and it is acceptabe to me to use that word for them.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    August 8, 2013, 12:51 pm

    RE: . . . McCain and Graham sided with AIPAC. The Senate killed Rand Paul’s bill to end aid to Egypt on July 31, with McCain and Graham harping on Israel . . . ~ Weiss

    ● FROM MAPLIGHT.ORG:

    Pro-Israel contributions

    • Top Senate Recipients Funded

    Recipient | Amount
    Mark Kirk $925,379
    John McCain $771,012
    Mitch McConnell $430,925
    Carl Levin $346,478
    Robert Menéndez $344,670
    Richard Durbin $327,212
    Kirsten Gillibrand $326,937
    Mary Landrieu $296,409
    Benjamin Cardin $267,542
    Harry Reid $261,708
    Bill Nelson $259,250
    Charles Schumer $248,149
    Timothy Kaine $245,820
    Barbara Boxer $245,179
    Ron Wyden $222,431
    Sherrod Brown $221,891
    Claire McCaskill $214,271
    [CONTINUED AD NAUSEAM]

    SOURCE – link to maplight.org

    ● A HIGHLY RELEVANT QUOTATION:
    “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” ~ Mark Twain (Meaning that one’s opinions can be told based on where that person got their bread.)
    SOURCE – link to grammar.about.com

    ● ANOTHER HIGHLY RELEVANT QUOTATION:
    “You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!” ~ From ‘The Education of Henry Adams’, By Henry Brooks Adams, 1838-1918 (American journalist-historian-academic-novelist; grandson of President John Quincy Adams; great-grandson of President John Adams)
    The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams – link to gutenberg.org
    The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Google eBook) – link to books.google.com

    ● ONE LAST HIGHLY RELEVANT QUOTATION:
    “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” ~ Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh (in 1966), Speaker of the California Assembly from 1961 to 1968

    ● P.S. ON HIS INTERNET BROADCAST/PODCAST TODAY, SAM SEDER WAS BEMOANING THE FACT THAT COREY BOOKER WILL PROBABLY BE THE NEXT SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY, AND HE REFERRED VERY FAVORABLY TO RUSH HOLT’S CANDIDACY. THE PRIMARY IS ON AUGUST 13, SO IT IS TIME TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION IF YOU CARE TO.
    • Rush Holt for U.S. Senate - link to rushholt.com
    • Rush Holt blasts Cory Booker in ad – link to politico.com

    • James Canning
      August 8, 2013, 2:15 pm

      $771,000 for John McCain, from “pro-Israel” groups and individuals. Almost one million dollars for Mark Kirk, surely one of the most aggressive stooges of the Israel lobby in the Senate.

    • ziusudra
      August 9, 2013, 3:38 am

      Re.: Dickerson,
      Thanks & it all come back from monies that they appropriated to Zionistan that comes back to pay off Aipac to pay them off.
      ziusudra
      PS The founding Fathers thought that they had constructed a fool proof concept of freedom & democracy, but like the Assassini killed off the leaders of their enemies, Zio Golem pays them off, and with their own money to boot.

  7. HarryLaw
    August 8, 2013, 1:17 pm

    The Saudis and United Arab Emirates are pumping 8 billion dollars into Egypt..link to willyloman.wordpress.com this figure dwarfs the US contribution and presumably buys a lot of influence, they are afraid of democracy of course.

    • American
      August 8, 2013, 1:50 pm

      @ Law,

      Yes, Saud and circle of friends prefer the old balance of power in the ME that has allowed them to keep their thrones.
      The fact that Saudi has started ” visibily” meddling in the region a lot more than they use to suggest to me they are very worried about both changes and the fading US power and influence in the ME….so they got active on some threats on their own instead of leaving it to the US.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 2:18 pm

        @American – - Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was rather sceptical of foolish American intention of invading Iraq in 2003.

        And he wanted an end to Israel/Palestine problem.

        Bravo on both counts.

      • American
        August 8, 2013, 2:48 pm

        @ James,

        None of which invalidate what I said about Saudi wanting to maintain the ‘regional’ status quo.
        Actually adds to my opinion—-Saudi does want a I/P settlement because although the throne doesnt care, their ‘street’ does and the throne wants no street revolts.
        Saudi opposed Iraq invason because it would be an ‘upset” and chaos that wouldn’t go away and it hasnt.

      • Taxi
        August 8, 2013, 3:50 pm

        American,

        Your reading of saudi is spot on.

        Since the 1920′s, when oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia, and also when there were no borders between Arab countries in the Arabian peninsular, the ruling royal family has endeavored to fortress themselves, divide the region and keep it divided, so as not to have to share the oil wealth with other Arabs – as the koran instructs Arabs to be united and sharing of faith, of war duties, and of natural resources. Since 1948, Saudi policy was to take advantage of the zionist invasion of Palestine as this, they knew, would keep the region in turmoil and to their advantage. The Saudi have been selling the Palestinians down the river since 1948 – and they ain’t gonna stop supporting the zionist occupation of the holy land any time soon. That is why liberating Palestine must include the targeting of the Saudi family as well as tel aviv and aipac.

      • American
        August 8, 2013, 3:55 pm

        BTW…..

        Sources: Saudi Arabia Proposes Russia Scale Back Assad Support

        link to voanews.com

        Saudi Arabia offered to buy up to $15 billion of Russian weapons, as well as ensuring that Gulf gas would not threaten Russia’s position as a main gas supplier to Europe.

        Evdently Putin didnt say yay or nay.
        Western diplomats said Putin unlikely to trade Moscow’s recent high profile in the region for an arms deal, however substantial.

      • Taxi
        August 8, 2013, 5:03 pm

        This story broke in the mideast, last Monday, I think.

        Yet further proof of more cracks in our empire: when our Arab best friend, the saudis, send the reclusive but powerful Bandar, best friend with both the WH and the Pentagon – send him grovelling to the Russians cuz America can’t help him secure his monarchist project so effectively no more – well, I call that a visible seismic crack.

        Putin musta relished the moment.

        But glee aside, the weakening of USA-israel-gulfies axis brings with it a very dangerous and real possibility: as losers, they will push hard to ignite a regional war, in the hope that warfare would change their declining fortunes. Insanely irresponsible, as we all know there are no guarantees in war, and many, many innocent people will be killed.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 7:15 pm

        I agree Taxi,

        An Juan Cole explained, if you picture Saudi Arabia as one big bank in the middle of a ghetto, and if you owned such a bank, you would want to build a fortress around you.

        The Saudis might be worried, but they have managed to turn Egypt into it’s door bitch.

        The Saudi have been selling the Palestinians down the river since 1948 – and they ain’t gonna stop supporting the zionist occupation of the holy land any time soon.

        Neither is Egypt while the military – which is nothing more than a corporation enriching the sleazy and massively corrupt generals – and they aren’t going to allow anything to stop the gravy train, especially now that Saudi Arabia has thrown them a massive brown paper back full of cash.

        That is why liberating Palestine must include the targeting of the Saudi family as well as tel aviv and aipac.

        …and the leaders of the Egyptian military and Egypt’s deep state.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 7:37 pm

        Israel increasingly seeks to tie US relationship to Gulf monarchies to itself. Obvious reason is to deflect Gulf pressure on Israel to get out of the West Bank and Golan Heights.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 7:42 pm

        Yet further proof of more cracks in our empire:

        Indeed it is, but the Egyptian military is a component of that empire.

        as losers, they will push hard to ignite a regional war, in the hope that warfare would change their declining fortunes.

        Agreed, but again, it cannot be ignored that they own the Egyptian military and that the military dictatorship – is part of that losing team.

      • Inanna
        August 8, 2013, 7:45 pm

        the weakening of USA-israel-gulfies axis brings with it a very dangerous and real possibility: as losers, they will push hard to ignite a regional war, in the hope that warfare would change their declining fortunes.

        Exactly. And Lebanon is that battleground and Hezbollah the target. That’s why the Israelis are sending their soldiers over the border (nevermind that they mined the hell out of the border areas themselves) and that’s why buckets of money are heading from Saudi to groups in Tripoli etc. They want to bring what is happening in Syria to Lebanon.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 7:48 pm

        A few years ago, Prince Bandar bin Sultan proposed to the Russians that they become principal weapons suppliers to SA, with a view toward gaining Russian support for getting Israel out of the West Bank.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 7:49 pm

        You might want to link to that report James. That sounds pretty far fetched to say the least.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 7:50 pm

        @Taxi – - Didn’t Iban Saud conquer the Hejaz before oil was discovered? He also would have liked to conquer or take over Qatar, Oman, etc.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 8:00 pm

        @American – - Crown Prince Abdullah wanted, and wants, at least minimum justice for the Palestinians.

        And he feared civil war in Iraq if US invaded and disbanded Iraqi army etc. So, he got express agreement from G W Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, et al., that Iraqi army etc would be kept intact.

        Idiot neocons then betrayed the Saudis by disbanding Iraqi army etc and creating civil war.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 8:02 pm

        Idiot neocons then betrayed the Saudis by disbanding Iraqi army etc and creating civil war.

        I am not sure what you mean by betrayed. The neocons have always been hostile to the Saudis. Some of the motives they had for going into Iraq was to break OPEC and overthrown the Saudis.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2013, 8:17 pm

        James Canning,

        Idiot neocons then betrayed the Saudis by disbanding Iraqi army etc and creating civil war.

        The neocons have made it perfectly clear over decades of public writings that their goal is to create as much division, chaos and internecine conflict and violence within the Arab and Muslim worlds as possible, and as much hatred and violence between “the West” and Israel’s enemies as possible.

        Far from being “idiots,” they have demonstrated a high degree of competence and success in pursuing their objectives. The US Congress and the American public in general have been pushovers for neocon psyops — they haven’t a clue about the strings that are pulling them. McCain and Graham are perfect examples of the degree to which the “brains” of many American political leaders have been hijacked — they are simply unable to think for themselves and rely entirely on AIPAC scripts to develop American foreign policy.

        Any nation that is no longer able to think clearly about its own interests is destined for the scrap heap of history.

      • American
        August 8, 2013, 10:47 pm

        Shingo says:
        August 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        I agree Taxi,
        >>>>>>>>

        I do also.
        And as I said way back Russia has created the ‘standoff’ on too much US interference with Syria…so Bandar has to go begging to Putin.
        IMO Putin is the smartest fox in the field …….neither the Sauds or the US will get anything from him that doesnt benefit Russia more than them.

      • peeesss
        August 9, 2013, 1:54 am

        Please ,Please, Mr. Canning. It is so difficult to read your comments . I am a most polite and generous man and I believe, hope, you mean well but you are all over the place regurgitating the obvious, contradicting yourself from one comment to the other, remaking historical events. Please desist. Thank you.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2013, 2:31 am

        Inanna,

        Wait till the end of this year when israel starts getting seriously entangled and bogged down in guerrilla warfare in the Golan.

        It’s the ‘resistor’ Arabs that are ahead of the axis of evil at the moment, with israel scurrying to and fro trying to block them.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2013, 2:38 am

        Yeah we get it shingo: any Arab military man wearing flashy sunglasses is a dictator to you.

        Man, you got to much crow on your plate now waiting for you and your smart mouth to eat after the Egyptian elections.

        Till then, don’t expect any nit-picking of your fantasies from me – total waste of my time.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2013, 10:28 am

        James,

        Oil production was first ‘ventured’ into in 1908 – produced in mass commercial quantity in 1938.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The house of Saud were basically the most violent of tribes in the region – yes, conquering by force other Arab tribes and taking over jurisdiction over holy sites and ancient trade route cities etc. They are historically known for thuggery and throat-slitting. Why else to you think the western empires of that time divided up the peninsular and gave the vicious Saudi family the title of ‘royal’?
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The history of the house of saud is laden with blood and greed. And if you go far enough into their history, you’ll discover that they were a tribe of Arabian jews who converted to islam for economic convenience’s sakes – and, some say, for bespoiling the competing religion of islam from within.
        I think their actions against their brethren moslem Arabs (sectarianism), and especially their tolerance and protection of zionism in the region, would support this. (google ‘house of saud jewish’ if you want to read up on a spate of plausible theories about their reason for conversion).

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

        ”Gulf pressure on Israel”?

        I must have missed that.

      • James Canning
        August 9, 2013, 2:10 pm

        @Shingo – - Do you recall that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was put under house arrest in Saudi Arabia?

      • James Canning
        August 9, 2013, 2:12 pm

        @American – - I agree Putin has a better grasp of the Middle East than does Obama.
        Russia and China quite sensible argue for a peace conference on Syria, without foolish precondition Assad gov’t agree beforehand to abandon power.

      • Shingo
        August 9, 2013, 7:14 pm

        Do you recall that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was put under house arrest in Saudi Arabia?

        James, you have a habit of posting a lot of unsourced claims here. If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to address that habit .

      • James Canning
        August 10, 2013, 1:57 pm

        @Shingo – - To be more specific, the neocons breached the agreement made between the G W Bush administration and Crown Prince Abdullah. Saudis allowed use of bases in Saudi on express agreement Iraqi army etc would be kept intact to prevent civil war.

        Dick Cheney seems to have been duped by Ahmed Chalabi (to believe Iraq could replace Saudi Arabia as oil source).

      • James Canning
        August 10, 2013, 2:00 pm

        @Sean – - My understanding is that several of the neocons who conspired to set up the idiotic and illegal invasion of Iraq expected to gain fantastic wealth, by controlling portion of investment income of Iraq from greatly enlarged oil production. But the necons made their deal with Shia who needed to destroy the Iraqi army etc in order to control Iraqi oil.

        The neocons wanted a strong Iraq, but an Iraq allied to Israel and US.

      • Shingo
        August 10, 2013, 6:24 pm

        To be more specific, the neocons breached the agreement made between the G W Bush administration and Crown Prince Abdullah.

        There was no breach. The Saudis were happy to see the bases go.

        Dick Cheney seems to have been duped by Ahmed Chalabi

        Yeah sure. Like Cheney would not have had him thoroughly vetted. If he had been duped, Chalabi would have been living in Gitmo by now.

      • Shingo
        August 10, 2013, 6:25 pm

        The neocons wanted a strong Iraq, but an Iraq allied to Israel and US.

        No they wanted a weak Iraq. They want no state that can challenge Israel or US hegemony.

      • Taxi
        August 11, 2013, 2:43 am

        James,
        You’re right about Bandar going to the Russians for weapon supplies. But he didn’t do that for the sake of the West Bank, he did that to cover Saudi ass cuz at the time it was looking like USA was beginning to lose its hegemony and Bandar was looking for a safety net for the Saudis. If memory serves, some Russian weapons were purchased by Bandar at the time.

        And yes, there were plenty rumors about Bandar’s house arrest, but it’s impossible to confirm them. Saudi monarchy never publicly comments on internal matters so we’ll never really know.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 10:26 am

        Yeah we get it shingo: any Arab military man wearing flashy sunglasses is a dictator to you.

        He is when his Swiss bank account shows 7 figures and he is corrupt running business on the side.

        After all, the past 3 Egyptian dictators have all been military men.

        Man, you got to much crow on your plate now waiting for you and your smart mouth to eat after the Egyptian elections.

        I am waiting. This is the third military coup. The previous 2 installed dictators and you know what they say about the definition of insanity.

        Till then, don’t expect any nit-picking of your fantasies from me – total waste of my time.

        It would appear so, seeing as you have failed to convince anyone on this forum that the the coup was not a coup and that the Egyptian public has not been had.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 1:55 pm

        @Taxi – - Prince Bandar was placed under house arrest on suspicion he was planning a coup.
        Bandar pushed hard for resolustion of Israel/Palestine problem, while he was ambassador in Washington. Aipac hated him.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:32 pm

        @Shingo – - Neocons thought they could hijack Iraq and its stupendous hyrdorcarbon wealth, and employ it for their own financial benefit, and protect Israel into the bargain.
        Strong Iran was fine thing, decades ago. For “supporters” of Israel. Provided it was friendly to Israel.

        Iraq could not “challenge” Israel in any event. Lob a few missiles.
        Iraq could hurt property values in Tel Aviv, and this was a big reason Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:36 pm

        @Shingo – - Both Saudi Arabia and Iran feared civil war in Iraq in event of overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Saudis insisted US agree to keep Iraqi power structure intact. All the top people who were involved in setting up invasion of Iraq agreed Iraqi army would be kept intact, to preserve public order.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:37 pm

        @Shingo – - Chalabi sang a song Cheney loved hearing. But Cheney does seem to have been duped. Bush was surely duped.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:44 pm

        @Shingo – - Several reports on this (house arrest for possible coup plotting) used to be readily available on Google. Wikipedia refers to it.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:46 pm

        Thuggery in general was not unusual in Arabia, century after century.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:48 pm

        @peeesss – - Some specifics, please.

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2013, 7:31 pm

        Chalabi sang a song Cheney loved hearing. But Cheney does seem to have been duped. Bush was surely duped.

        No, they spent millions of misappropiated funds (taxpayer dollars) to conduct an illegal public propaganda campaign and to lend legitimacy to Ahmed Chalabi and the bogus Iraqi National Congress, which was a fiction they had invented to support their invasion plans.

        In “Your Media is Killing You”, William Rivers Pitt explained:

        A shadowy and little-known media consulting company called The Rendon Group got a $100,000-a-month contract from the Pentagon right after the [9/11] attacks. The Rendon Group was getting paid to offer media strategy advice. Or, in other words, propaganda.

        The Rendon Group has been around a long time, and stands at the center of the media’s failure to report accurately on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The Rendon Group has received close to $200 million from the Pentagon and CIA over the last several years to spread anti-Hussein propaganda far and wide. One of the first steps they took was to create in 1992, out of absolute thin air, the Iraqi National Congress. The Iraqi National Congress, and its most famous spokesperson Ahmad Chalabi, are entirely the creation of a media strategy company doing the bidding of the United States government.

        General Zinni opposed the invasion of Iraq and he spoke out publicly against the plan to recognize the Iraqi National Congress and the Neocon’s puppet, Ahmed Chalabi. In a Washington Post article, Dana Priest explained that the scheme had been around at least since the days of the Clinton Administration. She wrote:

        Zinni caught heat when he told a Senate panel that he opposed the Clinton administration’s idea of funding an Iraqi opposition group to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Cohen prohibited him from holding on-the- record media interviews. Zinni remembers national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger demanding, “What gives you the right to say that?”
        ” ‘Well,’ ” Zinni recalls saying, ” ‘the First Amendment.’ “

        link to drworley.org

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 7:36 pm

        Great post, Hostage. And of course I agree Dick Cheney was a key participant in the conspiracy to deceive the American people to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq.

        But Cheney does appear to have bought Chalabi’s argument that Iraq could replace Saudi Arabia as largest exporter of oil in the Gulf.

      • peeesss
        August 11, 2013, 11:32 pm

        James Canning, “Some specifics, please.” All of the above. Other commentators have shown the inaccuracy of your statements. Specifics coming from you is truly laughable . As I said you regurgitate the obvious, “McCain and Graham follow the AIPAC line”. No shit. {pardon the expression}. The Gulf States care about the welfare of the Palestinians. Saudi’s were against the invasion of Iraq. Bandar a great humanitarian . When other commentators show your words do not reflect history or reality you respond to the critics as if they agree with you.. As I said please desist.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 11:53 pm

        Several reports on this (house arrest for possible coup plotting) used to be readily available on Google. Wikipedia refers to it.

        Please stop wasting everyone time with your spam on this blog. I asked you for a reference, not directions to Google.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 11, 2013, 11:58 pm

        Cheney does appear to have bought Chalabi’s argument that Iraq could replace Saudi Arabia as largest exporter of oil in the Gulf.

        crazy meta. as if chalabi was the first to have some previously unheard of revelation iraq had quality goods for the taking…and tipped cheney off. what.ever.

      • MRW
        August 12, 2013, 12:23 am

        That 2000 Dana Priest article (the drworley.org link) is well worth reading.

      • miriam6
        August 12, 2013, 5:54 am

        Yeah we get it shingo: any Arab military man wearing flashy sunglasses is a dictator to you.

        Funny you should say that…

        Sissi has fooled you, but he hasn’t fooled THIS Arab writer…

        Dyab Abou Jahjah


        MEET EGYPT’S NEW DICTATOR!

        He stood with dark sunglasses addressing the people, Qaddafi style, asking a Mandate for “himself” to fight potential terrorism, and demanding that the masses decend to the streets on the 26th of July to give him that mandate. The State television along with the privately owned channels that were kept open because they supported his move against President Morsi, started playing patriotic music among which new songs made especially for him with clips showing him at the glory of his military leadership. Supported by the United States and Israel secretly and by their allies in Saudi Arabia openly, Egypt’s strong man general Abdulfatah Sissi was actually catapulting Egypt back to the Mubarak era and achieving the counter revolution, and he almost fooled us all…

        link to aboujahjah.org

      • James Canning
        August 12, 2013, 1:47 pm

        @Annie – - I was referring, apparently too obliquely, to Cheney’s meeting with Chalabi in Aspen in 2002.

      • James Canning
        August 12, 2013, 1:48 pm

        @Shingo – - Do me a favor. If you do not believe Prince Bandar bin Sultan was arrested in Saudi Arabia under suspicion of planning a coup, just say so.

      • James Canning
        August 12, 2013, 1:51 pm

        @peesss – - An example, please, of an “inaccuracy” on my part.

    • Shingo
      August 8, 2013, 7:09 pm

      this figure dwarfs the US contribution and presumably buys a lot of influence, they are afraid of democracy of course.

      It does more than buy a lot of influence, it practically buys the country. Incredibly ironic when you consider that the anti Morsi TV stations were broadcasting propaganda, accusing Morsi of planing to sell the Suez to Qatar or rent the Pyramids to the Saudis.

      • Taxi
        August 10, 2013, 6:32 am

        The money donated by the gulfies combined is essentially to prop up the Egyptian economy so as to stop GULFY investments in Egypt from tanking belly up. It is ‘frozen money’, not money that is available for individuals or institutions to draw from. Of course the gulfies will try and buy political influence with it too but it don’t look like that’s working with the Tahriris.

        The revolution’s leaders, who are currently in the powerful position of running the affairs of the state, so far have absolutely refused to meet with Ashton, McCaine and Graham. The only person of any significance that the three clowns above managed to meet earlier this week , was the MB’s number two man – sitting lonely and flaccid behind prison bars. I don’t call this diplomatic zinger a partnership between the west and the Tahriris. I would call it the opposite.

        So, no, shingo, you little exaggerator, gulfy money does NOT “buy the country”. Very short on relevant details lately, you are.

        The Egyptian people are saying no no no to outside interference in their internal affairs. They have decided that it is better to be starving and free than starving and under the boot of a foreign entity. Can you blame them? Watch them and learn, shingo, instead of dissing them at every turn of the wind cuz of your limited understanding of the integrative relationship between the Egyptian people and their army. As well as your utter lack of understanding of the history and function of the Egyptian army, and their relationship with other regional armies.

        Maybe after the new elections, when the Camp David Accords are put through a referendum, which is the stated intention of the Tahriris, you will begin to see that the Egyptian people are the ones in control of their democratic destiny, and not the “deep state” dictator army that you are so foolishly fond of asserting.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 4:53 am

        The money donated by the gulfies combined is essentially to prop up the Egyptian economy so as to stop GULFY investments in Egypt from tanking belly up.

        In other words, they have bought off the military and the Deep State.

        It is ‘frozen money’, not money that is available for individuals or institutions to draw from.

        Of course it is Taxi.

        Wink wink…;-)

        Of course the gulfies will try and buy political influence with it too but it don’t look like that’s working with the Tahriris.

        The Tahriris don’t really have a say in this unfortunately. The didn’t see any money before and they won’t now. They’ll be sent home and told to shut up.

        The revolution’s leaders, who are currently in the powerful position of running the affairs of the state, so far have absolutely refused to meet with Ashton, McCaine and Graham.

        The revolution’s leaders have no role in running the affairs of the state. never have and never will.

        So, no, shingo, you little exaggerator, gulfy money does NOT “buy the country”. Very short on relevant details lately, you are.

        Yes it does. The Saudi money is more than the US has given in 5 years, and the US managed to own the country with it.

        The Egyptian people are saying no no no to outside interference in their internal affairs.

        That is beyond delusional. Am am not sure what Egyptian people you are imagining, but 8 billion (12 billion pledged) buys not only influence, it buys the state.

        They have decided that it is better to be starving and free than starving and under the boot of a foreign entity. Can you blame them?

        Rubbish. If that weer true, I might take them seriously.

        One of the excuses they cited for removing Morsi (including you) was that Morsi was destroying the economy. Now you’re changing your mind.

        You can’t even keep your story straight. And again, the people in the street and not the ones who will be pocketing the money.

        Watch them and learn, shingo, instead of dissing them at every turn of the wind cuz of your limited understanding of the integrative relationship between the Egyptian people and their army.

        I am watching the Taxi and the more I listen to them, the more unhinged and incoherent they sound. In fact, it’s becoming evident that those who came out to demonstrate are starting to wake up to the fact they have been duped.

        The relationship between them and the army is dysfunctional and incompatible with democracy. The army has always been allowed to operate as a corporation.

        What you are ignoring Taxi, is that the relationship between the Egyptian people and their army is the same now as it was under Mubarak. The interests of the military are to protect the price late and lifestyle of the generals. This is inly possible so long as they continue to act as Israel’s security service in Egyptian. That is and has always been the history and function of the Egyptian army.

        They are not going to give that up.

        The Camp David Accords won’t be put through a referendum, whether the Tahriris want it or not.

        Egyptian is a beggar state that cannot feed itself, so until that is changed, the people will never be in control of their democratic destiny. The “deep state” is not going anywhere. Anyone who tries to remove it will face the same fete as Morsi. The army, Saudis and Mubarak courts will ultimately decide who the next ruler of Egypt will be.

        The Tahriris will fund out they are useful idiots sooner or later.

        And I promise I won’t say “I told you so”.

  8. James Canning
    August 8, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Aipac calls the shots for John McCain and Lindsey Graham? What a surprise.

  9. Hostage
    August 8, 2013, 2:42 pm

    It’s a good article, but it misses the point. Sen. Rand Paul was trying to amend a Transportation/HUD Appropriations bill, not the State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

    The question is whether the funding for Egypt will ever get into the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill in the first place, without the certification that Obama is required to submit regarding the restoration of a democratically elected civilian government.

    McCain and Graham do not pee any higher on the wall than Chairman Leahy can if it comes to a pissing contest over his Committee’s Appropriation bill. It was Leahy who authored the military coup act – and he certainly did ignore Israel and AIPAC last time around, when he put a hold on appropriations for Gen. Tantawi, after the General delayed new elections and the vote on the constitution and began stripping away Morsi’s powers. That’s the only reason the General retired when the toothless Morsi regime demanded that he and his supporters step down.

    Before their trip to Egypt Graham and McCain both admitted that the military can’t go on ruling country if it wants to receive the US aid, e.g. “I want to keep the aid flowing to Egypt, but it has to be with the understanding that Egypt is going to march toward democracy, not toward a military dictatorship. And that’s the message we’re going to send,” Graham said. link to haaretz.com

    • Shingo
      August 8, 2013, 7:17 pm

      “I want to keep the aid flowing to Egypt, but it has to be with the understanding that Egypt is going to march toward democracy, not toward a military dictatorship. And that’s the message we’re going to send,”

      It sounds like he’s almost covering Kerry’s ass.

      • James Canning
        August 8, 2013, 7:40 pm

        McCain and Graham were sent to Egypt to cover Obama’s flank.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2013, 7:43 pm

        How do you figure that out James? Obama has never suggested ending aid to Egypt or dared to call it a coup. McCain and Graham did that and now they are paying penance.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2013, 12:54 am

        Well the commentary on the subject is somewhat illogical. The Egyptians managed to get their level of military and economic assistance pegged to the amount of aid given to Israel under the terms of the Camp David framework agreements. But the money, contracts, and equipment were not intended to be used to protect any Israeli interests. In fact, the annex to the Camp David Accords forbids the presence of the Egyptian military anywhere in the Sinai, which is officially designated as a demilitarized zone.

        It’s also nonsensical for AIPAC to argue that 3.5 billion per year is needed in order for Israeli to defend itself, by itself, while running around shreying about the necessity of funding an entity that happens to be its largest potential adversary.

      • Citizen
        August 9, 2013, 6:20 am

        @Hostage
        It makes a lot of sense from Israel’s point of view as it turned Israel’s largest potential adversary into a lackey of Israel for decades. And the Americans paid for it all–in Israel’s case, with interest.

      • James Canning
        August 11, 2013, 2:29 pm

        @Shingo – - White House wanted prominent Republicans (on foreign policy) to go to Egypt. Reduces danger of attack.
        Did WH expect flip-flop due to Aipac pressure?

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2013, 5:43 pm

        It makes a lot of sense from Israel’s point of view as it turned Israel’s largest potential adversary into a lackey of Israel for decades.

        But AIPAC is now insisting on continued funding for Egypt – using Camp David and Egyptian Army operations in the Sinai as an excuse. The Sinai is supposed to be demilitarized under the terms of the annex to the Camp David Accords. That begs the question: Why can’t the 13-nation MFO force fulfill its role? link to mfo.org

        In the past, Israel and AIPAC have explained that by insisting that Israel has to be organized and funded so that it can have a technological advantage and exercise the right to defend itself, by itself alone. The foreign assistance given to the Egyptian Generals and the funding for the 13-nation MFO are overkill – and of no benefit to the Egyptian people – unless they can eat F-16s and M1A1 tanks.

  10. just
    August 8, 2013, 4:37 pm

    The doors of Congress should be closed to AIPAC– it’s ridiculous and obscene that they have a stranglehold on our elected officials.

    Those members of Congress that pander to the lobby should be VOTED out, exposed, and not ever allowed back until and unless they can put America and their constituents first. Mearsheimer and Walt are correct with their expose in “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”.

    This is also correct, from wiki:

    “Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, wrote: “Mearsheimer and Walt adduce a great deal of factual evidence that over the years Israel has been the beneficiary of privileged — indeed, highly preferential — financial assistance, out of all proportion to what the United States extends to any other country. The massive aid to Israel is in effect a huge entitlement that enriches the relatively prosperous Israelis at the cost of the American taxpayer. Money being fungible, that aid also pays for the very settlements that America opposes and that impede the peace process.”[35]“

  11. Shingo
    August 8, 2013, 6:57 pm

    Can we please have a replay of Graham asking Hagel if he could name anyone on Capital Hill who is intimidated by the lobby?

    • Taxi
      August 9, 2013, 3:55 am

      Can we have a replay of your beloved Morsi and his commitment to Palestinians:
      link to nytimes.com;

      If you know anything about islamists, you’d know that their top priority is to expand the political powers of their religious ideology – it is not the liberation of Palestine in the slightest.

      • Shingo
        August 9, 2013, 6:05 am

        Can we have a replay of your beloved Morsi and his commitment to Palestinians:

        Try reading the first paragraph:

        The Egyptian military is resorting to a pungent new tactic to shut down the smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and Gaza: flooding them with sewage.

        We know that the military were never answerable to Morsi. What nest Taxi? You going to accuse Palestinians of wanting to destroy Israel more than they want a state?

        Attacks on the Egyptian army in the Sinai took place as soon as Morsi opened the Rafah crossing. The perpetrators were never identified even though Hamas were blamed by army intelligence (who would have thunk it?) and Morsi had no say in the crossing being closed.

        This sticks to high heaven Taxi and if you can’t ask the simple question of who stood to gain (hint it wasn’t Hamas) , then you’ve drunk then it is you who’ve swallowed the Zionist BS.

        Of course, your beloved fascist military dictators sealed the borders completely,

        If you know anything about islamists, you’d know that their top priority is to expand the political powers of their religious ideology – it is not the liberation of Palestine in the slightest.

        You sound just like a card carrying Likudnik.

      • Taxi
        August 11, 2013, 1:08 am

        Shingo,

        Now you’re just being a dumbo. The army was under Morsi’s instruction – did you read the article? Apparently you were reading your own shingo-edited version.

        keep your BLINDING obsession with the Egyptian army going. More crow for you to eat after the new Egyptian elections. I’ll provide the bib.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 1:26 am

        The army was under Morsi’s instruction – did you read the article?

        I did read the article and it’s it clear the army was never under Morsi’s control from day 1. The army controls pretty much all commodities in Egypt and the day after Morsi was removed, fuel and bread miraculously became abundant, having been scare for the previous 12 months.

        Are you really that delusional?

        Yes I will keep my obsession with the Egyptian army going. There is no ignoring that military control and democracy have never been compatible.

        More crow for you to eat after the new Egyptian elections.

        Like I said before, I would love to be proven wrong and eat all that crow, but the script is already written. The elections are already being decided behind closed doors as we speak – if a civil war does not break out first.

      • James Canning
        August 9, 2013, 1:50 pm

        @Taxi – - Morsi may well not be under any illusion Egypt could force Israel out of the West Bank by military means.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2013, 2:19 pm

        No one with any brains is waiting on Morsi or any other islamist to break the status quo in Palestine. And what today you call “illusion” is tomorrow’s reality – think Perestroika, Berlin Wall – think of the sumud of the natives and their brethren in surrounding countries.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 1:29 am

        No one with any brains is waiting on Morsi or any other islamist to break the status quo in Palestine.

        Not any more they’re not. Now we have the military, no longer pretending not to be in the driver’s seat, doing Israel’s bidding and being a good little servant.

        And what today you call “illusion” is tomorrow’s reality – think Perestroika, Berlin Wall

        Interesting metaphor. This is more akin to the Berlin Wall being rebuilt seeing as Rafah is under lock and key once again.

        Of course, in your new bizzaro relaity, this is somehow evidence of the foreign office’s concern for the well being of Palestinians.

      • miriam6
        August 11, 2013, 5:08 pm

        If you know anything about islamists, you’d know that their top priority is to expand the political powers of their religious ideology-


        The removal of a Muslim Brotherhood president has caused some secular celebration about the downfall of political Islam in the Middle East.
        It is premature.
        The Muslim Brotherhood worked from its foundation in 1928 to gain power in Egypt, to create a state suffused with the principles of sharia law.
        Just because the army has ejected President Morsi from office after only a year doesn’t mean that it is going to give up.
        The Brotherhood was bad at government.
        President Morsi failed dismally to build a national coalition to deal with Egypt’s huge problems, which start with an economy that is close to collapse.
        But the movement has deep roots and is strong on the streets.
        Egypt’s experiment with democracy will not be resuscitated if there is no place in it for the Muslim Brotherhood.

        link to newstatesman.com

        Today, the Muslim Brotherhood is not the radical organisation it was at various times in the past. It is increasingly pragmatic.
        To the extent that it retains influence in Egypt, it is as a result of the hollowing out and weakening of secularist politics – a process that was exacerbated by the various uses of the Brotherhood by the West and its allies to harry secular radical forces between the 1950s and the 1980s.

        Anyone who takes a serious look at the Brotherhood’s history would surely conclude that the last thing the Middle East needs is more Western intervention - even if this time it’s done in the name of promoting secularists to dampen the fortunes of the Brotherhood, in a perfect inversion of the ‘Sadat gamble’ that was employed by everyone from America to Egypt to Israel in the past

        link to spiked-online.com

        For the truth is that Islamism is also a fairly exhausted political phenomenon.
        Only the utterly cut-off could believe that Egypt’s admittedly very influential Muslim Brotherhood remains a radical organisation that will transform Egypt into ‘Iran 1979’ or even into Afghanistan as it was under the Taliban.
        If that were on the cards, why has MB largely absolved itself of involvement in the streetfighting and instead thrown its weight behind the UN square ElBaradei?
        As sensible thinkers have argued in recent years, political Islam has ‘failed’; it is better understood, not as a mortal opponent of the West, but as a system that promotes Western modernisation and Western forms of politics with a traditionalist spin.
        Even neofundamentalism, such as that exercised by al-Qaeda, expresses the death agony of political Islam.

        In the words of Fawaz Gerges, the rise of contemporary jihadism has ‘coincided with the declining fortunes of religious nationalism’

        link to spiked-online.com

    • Citizen
      August 9, 2013, 6:58 am

      @ Shingo
      I’d bet my life Hagel’s immediate thought unvoiced was, “Yeah, you.”

  12. ziusudra
    August 9, 2013, 3:46 am

    Greeting,
    Many thanks to:
    Shingo,Taxi, Hostage, American,Just & Canning for the valuable info.
    & Mondoweiss for all their scribes.
    ziusudra

  13. Citizen
    August 9, 2013, 7:02 am

    Looks like most Egyptians these days are sick of US interference and the annual bribe to its military: link to huffingtonpost.com

    Also, while the aid to the military is $1.5 billion, US humanitarian aid is $250 million.
    UAE, SA, Kuwait just gave Egypt $12 billion in humanitarian aid.

  14. Citizen
    August 9, 2013, 7:11 am

    This article points out that Egypt now has a big surplus of F-16s and M1A1 Abrams tanks sitting around doing nothing, but the aid is essentially to write checks to US military contractors, and it’s pointed out the US has lots of those tanks sitting around doing nothing too, for the same reason. link to businessinsider.com
    (The military-industrial complex Ike warned us about in his farewell speech.)

  15. Dutch
    August 9, 2013, 11:09 am

    Phil: ‘You’d think they would be buffoons. But they’re not.’

    That’s a petty. If they were there might be a way forward. Get rid of the alfa males.

  16. Citizen
    August 10, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Looks like nobody in Egypt thinks much of US these days, and they are dissing McCain as a senile old man, and both he and Grahm as lying busybodies–and saying, the hell with US aid!
    link to presstv.ir

    • Shingo
      August 10, 2013, 6:27 pm

      Looks like nobody in Egypt thinks much of US these days, and they are dissing McCain as a senile old man, and both he and Grahm as lying busybodies–and saying, the hell with US aid!

      Don’t read too much into it. The military is trying to paint the US as the enemy in public, while kissing it’s ring behind closed doors. Think about it – it’s not like they don;’t have their hand out for US largess.

      • Taxi
        August 11, 2013, 1:11 am

        Yeah Citizen, don’t trust ANYTHING Egyptian. Just trust shingo’s egomaniacal hallucinations. Next he’ll be telling you there are no Pyramids in Egypt.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2013, 10:06 am

        Yeah Citizen, don’t trust ANYTHING Egyptian. Just trust shingo’s egomaniacal hallucinations.

        Yes Citizen,

        Listen to Taxi and the Egyptians. And if they tell you that up is down, black is white and time goes in reverse, just switch off your independent thought and rationality and accept what they say at face value.

        Apparently, the coup has caused Egyptians to migrate to a parallel universe where empirical evidence, logic and reason don’t apply.

      • just
        August 11, 2013, 3:14 pm

        Taxi– are you an Egyptian?

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