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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 9, 2013 - 7:17 am

The White House tried to beat back reports last night that it’s going to financially punish Egypt over the ouster of Mohamed Morsi and actions against the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the Obama administration has held back about half of the $1.3 billion it would normally pay to Egypt.

“The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false. We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the President made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement last night.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at yesterday’s press briefing that “no decision” had been made on funding, but “the level of violence that we’ve seen by the interim government since July 3rd, that that’s exactly why this massive policy review has been undertaken, because business can’t continue as usual.”

“What we’re doing right now is taking a look at all of that and determining what makes sense going forward in terms of how we can best support the Egyptian people and help move Egypt towards – back towards a democratic process. That policy decision is going to take into account all of these various things that are going on right now. But I would underscore that that violence is exactly why we’re at this place today where we are talking about what our relationship will look like going forward from a very, sort of, 30,000-foot perspective,” Harf added.

The administration has been putting pressure on Egypt’s interim rulers since the July overthrow to hold snap elections and give the Muslim Brotherhood a place at the table.

Morsi remains in custody as do many of the leaders of the Brotherhood, and the MB has been banned from operating as an NGO by the country’s courts.

A panel amending the MB-drafted constitution to make it inclusive has promised to have the first draft available for review next week.

Morsi’s trial is set to begin Nov. 4. He and seven other Brotherhood leaders faces charge of killing and torturing protesters outside the presidential palace last December. The demonstrators were protesting against a Morsi decree that granted him sweeping new powers.

Egyptian Minister of Defence and army commander Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that he attempted to resolve the political crisis sparked by the massive June 30 protest against Morsi’s rule, but the Muslim Brotherhood refused to negotiate.

From Al-Ahram:

El-Sisi said he met with the Brotherhood’s second man Khairat El-Shatter, who warned him that if Morsi were to leave, terrorists he wouldn’t be able to control – some of whom he claimed he didn’t know – would launch attacks across Egypt.

El-Sisi said El-Shatter’s words greatly disturbed him and he reacted by shouting: “What do you mean you either accept this or die, do you only want to rule us or kill us?”

He added that the 48-hour ultimatum given to the presidency on 1 July, in addition to the 1-week warning given before 30 June, was to provide every chance for reconciliation, which El-Sisi said would have been the best option.

“The mistakes the Brotherhood made lost them a large part of their popular base, and yet I was still hoping until the last moment that the crisis would end,” El-Sisi said, adding that he told Morsi before his ouster that the best solution would be a referendum on his position as president, which he refused.

…El-Sisi said it [the Brotherhood] was attempting to turn Egypt into Syria, where a civil war between the regime and Islamist rebels is being waged.

“Honestly, we were afraid the losses would be greater than this … we told them please leave, but the other party didn’t want to listen or think,” adding that the sit-in dispersal was not a disregard for human life.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
It comes as no surprise to me that our president would treat the enemies of radical Islam the same way he treats Americans who disagree with him. Cut off the funds. I am sure, in his eyes, we are the same.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (11)
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49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. So many fronts to fight on. Can we all agree, if this nightmare of a Presidency (U.S.) ever ends, that the Presidency has too much power and must be reined in? By rights the Senate ought to be involved in this kind of policy change, but our Senate is a mere House of Lords, not the representative of the states as intended by the founders.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a little tricky for the Obamaites & the stooge they keep in the closet. They can't come out and look to eager to help the islamist thuggery, yet they're itching to do so. Best bet, enlist the media that made them and their bent little mouthpiece from the Chicago slums & gutters and see if they can't plant sufficient lies to make the MB's look like a charitable group as well as astute governors. Given the extent of a retarded population in America that shouldn't be difficult. Look at the polls on the Obama government shut down, tell them anything and they'll believe it. Why not? It's in the news, ain't it?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Muslim Brotherhood needs a new name, something that sounds friendly and good. How about Holyland Foundation? That has a good, wholesome ring to it...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as Obama, et al., could not be bothered with why the Muslim Brotherhood is demonized - they will continue to see the credibility of the US go down the drain.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow imagine no longer want to help Egypt because they realized that Morsi was a terrorist that needed to be gone for the country to have a chance.

and the military upheld their duty to country, not man.

Imagine if this spreads to the US, and the military realizes that an enemy of the country is in the white house and the enemy needs to be removed.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why are we giving them anything? We are broke. Any money we give them has to be borrowed from the Chinese.

WTF is wrong with the people in DC?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It comes as no surprise to me that our president would treat the enemies of radical Islam the same way he treats Americans who disagree with him. Cut off the funds. I am sure, in his eyes, we are the same.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is his (muslim) Brother's Keeper.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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