U.S. foreign aid to Egypt should be cut off.
Debate Rounds (4)
What took place in Egypt in the past summer was a coup d'etat, which I define as the overthrowing of a government by a small group, usually the military, in favor of a new government. Since a military coup took place in Egypt, it would be a violation of American law to send 1.3 billion in foreign assistance over to the Egyptian military. The law was passed in 1961 and was reinforced by the 2011 Omnibus Bill. It clearly states that, "funds cannot be made available to any country operating under a government achieved through "a coup d'"tat or degree in which the military plays a decisive role." . By those definitions, Egypt experienced a coup, and their aid should be cut off.
It would be unacceptable for the United States to continue sending aid to the Egyptian military seeing as it overthrew a democratically elected president. How can the U.S. preach democracy and promote democratic elections when it isn't willing to stop sending aid to a group that went against its' ideals? The U.S. cannot continue to aid the Egyptian military without looking like hypocrites.
The U.S. cannot send them money, not just for the sake of democracy, but for the sake of the Egyptian civilians. "The military-backed government had authorised the use of live ammunition, warning anyone attacking the police or official buildings would be dealt with "severely"." . The military has killed hundreds of protesters and demonstrators in the streets of Cairo. Who knows what the military could do to the people if they receive the 1.3 billion in aid from the U.S.
Oromagi forfeited this round.
greenturtlez forfeited this round.
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree," and for clarity, funds cannot be made available to any country operating under a government achieved through "a coup d'"tat or degree in which the military plays a decisive role." 
Stripped down, Pro's argument is an appeal to the law. The law says X. The law must always be followed. Therefore X is the only option.
Pro's argument and the 1961 F.A. Act are both nice bits of foreign relations idealism, neither bear weight in the realpolitik world. The State Dept. must balance powers, assess values, and consider the benefits to its citizens.
Simply citing a law is never a sufficient argument. US law, for example, requires even a child with a lemonade stand to obtain license to sell, fill out tax forms, undergo health code inspections, etc. But tradition maintains that nobody benefits by applying bureaucracy on every scale, so the laws are ignored. Think of the confusion and injustice perpetrated on the citizenry if every law on the book in the US was suddenly rigidly enforced.
Similarly, the Foreign Assistance Act is toothless and ignored. In fact, looking only at Section 508 of the FA Act and extracting just the rules about coup d'etat is a really a distortion of context. This is necessary to make Pro's argument since when one examines the overall Act in letter and spirit, there is no denying American hypocrisy has been the norm, not the exception when it comes to foreign aid.
This act states that no assistance will be provided to a government which "engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person".
In context, we see that legal idealism has no place in foreign aid: of the 24 countries that receive US foreign aid, how many actual uphold this standard? Con would argue 2 barely qualify: South Africa and Mexico. The other 91% of foreign aid recipients fail to qualify. In fact, Con would argue that since the War on Terror, the United States would not qualify as a recipient of their own foreign aid according to the standards put forward by this act.
Unfortunately, American hypocrisy extends even further on the subject of coups d'etat. Not only do we frequently provide foreign aid to countries that come into being via violent overthrows, the US is often in full support of those overthrows, and occasionally an active participant.
The limits of this debate prevent documentation of all the military overthrows that the US has supported or actively engaged in since the passage of the Foreign Aid Act, but even a few examples show how entagled the US has become in foreign relations: South Korea in 1961, Argentina 1962, Dominican Republic 1962, Yemen 1962, Burma 1962, Guatemala 1963 (US Air support), South Vietnam, 1964 (US planned and paid for the assassination of our own ally, Ngo Dinh Diem) Equador 1964, Iraq 1964, Congo 1965 (US started aid after 65 Coup and back two other coups in the next few years), Brazil 1969, Chile 1970, Turkey 1971, Uganda 1971 (we've been giving them aid ever since), Pakistan 1977, Grenada 1983 (with US Marines in the vanguard), Haiti 1988, Thailand 1991, Pakistan 1999, etc, etc. It may be fairly said that the US endorses more coups d'etat than it denounces. If the US suddenly decided to adhere to a strict interpretation of the 1961 act, our present relationship with many countries would be thrown into chaos.
Pro is correct to assert that the US will look like hypocrites if we continue aid to Egypt. However, we look like even bigger hypocrites if we deny aid, since the US generally has no problem with coups, so long as the over-throwers are friendly to US interests. Such is the nature of Realpolitik Foreign Aid.
So it is that 4 of the 5 largest recipients of US Foreign Aid are Islamic countries with mixed or hostile opinions of the United States and Western democracies: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt. The US has invested trillions of dollars in violent overthrows in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan without consideration of our ban on coups. Why then, should Egypt be exempted from standard US Policy in the name of adherence to a generally ignored law?
In reference to the democratic election Mohammed Morsi, let's agree that the presidential election in June of last year was the most free and fair election in Egypt's long history. However, the results of that election were overturned by Morsi himself on November 22nd, when he unilaterally banned any challenge to his decrees, laws, and decisions. This can only be considered a coup by proclamation and Morsi the self-appointed pharoah of a new autocracy. .
The Declaration of Independence asserts that:
"...When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." 
By the founding fathers' estimation, the Egyptian people had a duty to overthrow their new tyrant and establish a new framework towards democracy. Punishing Egypt for its dogged pursuit of a more representative government would the less democratic option.
Pro and Con can agree that the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood represents the brutal oppression of a large minority in Egypt. The mass murder of unarmed protesters must always be condemned. However, Pro's argument suggests that the military is acting in opposition to the popular movement for democratic reform. This is not true. The Egyptian military consistently denies any interest in long-term governance and is in fact the strongest faction supporting populist, inclusive reform.
There's no denying that the moral high ground is lost in the quagmire of civil violence and competing interests. Fortunately, fixing Egypt is not the US's responsibility. Fixing Egypt is the sovereign right and responsibility of the Egyptian people. The US correctly wishes to maintain our friendship with those folks, however fickle or unrequited.
At the end of the day, US aid to Egypt is best seen as a bribe to restrain that country from declaring war on Israel or from entering into military alliances with Israel's enemies. The US correctly reasons that spending 1.3 billion a year is far cheaper than the trillion dollars that would be lost should Egypt and Israel go to war, likely drawing America into another Middle-Eastern land war. Current US aid to Egypt is prudent, moderate, and cheap at twice the price in terms of political value. The US should disregard any hypocritical appeals to law or unhelpful appeals to ideals. The wisest course is that which promotes American interests abroad , and US aid to Egypt is fundamentally in America's best interest.
greenturtlez forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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