In a recent article on Front Porch Republic, John Médaille made the following provocative observation:
The United States has always feared democracy in the Middle East, believing that it would lead to “one man, one vote, one time.” After that, Sharia Law would reign supreme and war with Israel would be universal foreign policy. Hence, we have propped up a series of autocrats in the region with huge bribes and subsidies; Egypt is the second largest recipient of foreign aid, after Israel.
I have found it curious that even after the facts of 9/11 came out, we continue to support the tyrannical Saudi Arabian royal family. To oversimplify the matter, terrorists may live in Afghanistan, but in general they came from Saudi Arabia by way of Yemen. And yet, while we continue to fight the fruit of terrorism in Afghanistan, we also continue to buddy up to the root of terrorism on the Arabian Peninsula. Given the facts that we were perfectly willing to encourage regime change in Iraq – also a huge source of oil – there seems to be more going on than just the Saudi oil fields.
Egypt is a similar case. President Mubarak is far closer in style and personality to the thugs we have gone to war with (hot or cold) mostly because of their thuggishness (Castro, Noriega, Saddam, etc.) than he is to Stephen Harper (Canada), Jacob Zuma (South Africa), or Bronisław Komorowski (Poland). And yet, as Médaille points out, we give Egypt more foreign aid than any other country but Israel.
Even though Médaille’s thesis is a bit sinister, it makes a great deal of sense.