And then there are the statements by President Mursi and other top Egyptian leaders evincing anti-Semitic and anti-American hatred. What is especially noteworthy are the remarks of Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a top regime figure who — no less! — is responsible for appointing the editors of state-run Egyptian newspapers, and made — no less! — the remarks on January 27, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Shihab-Eddim said:
The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented.
Note that he did not say it was a Zionist-invented industry. The statement is thus a direct attack on the United States, to be linked with Mursi’s saying — just a few hours earlier — that Jews controlled the American media, and to be linked with Mursi saying that Jews were the offspring of pigs and monkeys, as well as with other things he and Muslim Brotherhood leaders have said.
This is not just rhetoric, but their political analysis: evil, subhuman Jews bent on world conquest and destroying Islam are running the United States, but at the same time America is the centerpiece of the conspiracy to destroy Islam.
The truth is that there is not a lot of difference between the political concepts of Iran’s leaders and those of Egypt’s leaders on this point. The difference is that the Brotherhood is much smarter at using the United States, whereas Iran’s rulers continue to antagonize it. This strategy works so well that the U.S. government in effect protects the Brotherhood regime in the Gaza Strip from being overthrown, and is about to put the Brotherhood regime into power in Syria.
It would be easy to compile many pages of profoundly anti-American statements made by Brotherhood leaders and media over recent months and years, yet such things don’t seem to appear in, or at least be factored into, the American debate. For instance, the Brotherhood consistently supported terrorism against American forces in Iraq, and leaders frequently speak about America’s decline as a reason for advancing the jihad to more and more places.
All of these points perhaps should be but are not sufficient to stop the sale. But are there additional arguments that validate doing so?
Events in Egypt have now provided such a rationale.
It is, of course, vital to maintain good relations between the United States and Egypt, and especially with the Egyptian military. As Inhofe suggested, though, these two things are not identical. While there is less hope of the army blocking the Muslim Brotherhood government than many outsiders think — its top priority is its own economic well-being; there are Islamist sympathizers in its ranks; the Brotherhood will eventually appoint the top command — that possibility still exists.
At this moment, the Brotherhood wants the army to intervene to put down opposition demonstrations and riots. The armed forces is reluctant to do so, even though the top general warned that the country’s future stability was at stake. For the United States at this moment to postpone weapons sales would send a signal to the army that it cannot count on unlimited U.S. backing if it does the Brotherhood’s bidding. The generals will think: these idiots in our government are messing things up to the point that we might not get more American goodies. Why should we send forces into the streets to shoot down citizens for such leaders?
There is another good rationale that can be used. While the president is elected and a constitution has been adopted, parliamentary elections must be held again for the lower house. It could be argued by the U.S. government that until the full parliament is in place, Egypt will not be fully democratic, and the provision of weapons can be postponed until then, in a few months.
One more: what do U.S. intelligence reports say about the security of weapons provided to Egypt? Is there a danger of their falling into the hands of Salafist — including al-Qaida-linked — terrorists, including soldiers?