Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.
A long time ago (three years ago if we’re being technical), Egypt and America were allies and that was all fine and dandy. During that time a deal was made with then-President Hosni Mubarak to give Egypt’s government 16 F-16 jets and 200 tanks to be delivered by the end of 2013.
Fast forward to January 2013 and America and Egypt are still allies, but Mubarak is no longer president and Mohammad Morsi has taken his place. While Mubarak was a supporter of peace between Israel and Palestine, Morsi has most clearly taken Egypt’s stance on Israel in quite another direction, actually referring to the Jewish people as “descendants of apes and pigs” (though he has blamed the “Jewish-controlled media” for taking his comments out of context — obviously all the unfair coverage of Israel is to blame on them, too).
Now Israel, a friend to the United States since Truman recognized it as a Jewish state in 1948, is under threat as we hand over weapons to the Egyptian government. Israel has been one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and that’s something America can’t exactly be fickle about after the Iraq war and the still ongoing Afghanistan war.
It seems rather foolish to hand over weapons to a country whose leader openly despises one of our closest allies and, to be quite frank, the entire race of Jewish people (where have we seen that before?) with comments such as “we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews.” Yes, it sounds like Egypt is in excellent hands there — perfectly peaceful enough to hand over weapons to.
The delightful president has not only made it clear that his hatred and encouragement of said hatred (especially with the kids – they are the future after all) for Israel but has labeled Americans as “enemies” and even shown distaste toward President Obama (I know – hard to believe anyone could dislike that saint of a man) in a speech in 2010 in which Morsi labeled the President a liar.
Morsi has not only made these anti-Semitic and anti-American comments, but also was a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization that has been linked to having influenced terrorists groups such as Al Qaeda and Hamas, according to Richard Clarke, the chief counterterrorism advisor to both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
An essential belief of the Muslim Brotherhood is based on jihad. While the term can refer to “a personal struggle in devotion to Islam,” the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood took it upon himself to define the word in his writings always in its violent form with comments such as “prepare for jihad and be lovers of death.” Since the founder seemed to love the violent definition, I think it’s safe to assume the Brotherhood refers to jihad in that light, too.
Now I personally don’t know Morsi’s life, but I can pretty much bet that after being a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and with his anti-Semitic comments he is all about spreading Islam (which is no big deal — I think most people would like to spread their religion), but at what expense? It seems pretty obvious the guy is not going to be cool about signing a peace treaty with Israel – home of people he hates — but also it seems as if he’s using America’s previous good terms with Egypt to gain power.
He calls up Obama, “Hey bro, we’re friends right? Cool, let’s keep that deal Mubarak made and you send those jets on over,” while behind our backs Morsi giggles, “those guys are such pushovers” (pure speculation, but I’m sure that’s how it went down).
It’s not as if we haven’t tried this scheme before. In 1985, President Reagan (bless his soul) handed over missiles to Iranian terrorists in exchange for hostages. The missiles were shipped and American hostages were released only for terrorists to just capture more American hostages once their missiles were delivered.
Now I know this situation is slightly different as Morsi isn’t a terrorist (his hateful remarks to the Jews, however, don’t help) and he’s not holding people hostage, but the point remains that we are in danger of making a similar mistake trusting Morsi with weapons that could very possibly later be turned against us or Israel.
In the least, the Obama administration should have put conditions on the deal. Obama should have said, “Hey Morsi, I know we’re cool right now but if you still want this deal I set up with Mubarak I’m going to need you to have to sign this peace treaty with Israel. Thanks, man.” It would have been that simple.
In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see how this all pans out. If nothing comes from graciously giving Morsi these jets and tanks, all the better. If later this comes back and bites us, I guess we’ll be watching lots of reporters interrogate Obama about this decision. Just kidding – the media would never blame Obama. That would just be silly.