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I'm assuming that the US had no strong interest in domestic Egyptian policy. US aid was a straightforward bribe to bring military security to Israel; and the US made a deal with the partner in front of them, and Mubarak was a product of the armed forces. So they are extraordinarily well-funded, by the US, and any economic development that happens with US funds is strictly under the aegis of the Egyptian armed forces.

That's a plausible story, so long as it is kept in mind that while the US probably did not actively decide to fund the Brotherhood, they did have a veto over the sort of opposition which could be tolerated. And the US has a long history of preferring conservative fundamentalists to secular, liberal democrats.

So it is possible to tell another story, in which the US foreclosed on the possibility of an urban, secular opposition, which implicitly amounts to support for the Brotherhood.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 06:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Urban, secular opposition has historically been pretty easy to co-opt (in just about any place and time). Don't underestimate the huge credit ordinary Egyptians accord to the military.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 06:19:01 PM EST
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You know that and I know that, and the Egyptians will know that in short order if they don't already. But the Americans still seem to favor rural fundies when it comes to deciding which oppositional groups to tolerate.

American foreign policy doesn't have to make rational sense. That's one of the privileges that sufficient warship tonnage buys you. So the reality of things matters a lot less than what the American conventional wisdom believes to be the reality of things.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 06:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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