When it comes to the MSM addressing President Obama on Egypt, it’s Ali Babble and the 40 Minutes to fill. Apparently, in their modern day version of Arabian Nights, President Obama is a magic genie who only needs to blink and he can stop a military coup and a decades-in-the-making religious near-civil war in another country, turning Egypt into a wonderful democracy with Starbucks shops popping up from the rubble. Of course, the question is, why does he prefer to let this terrible stuff happen (God is no doubt enjoying the rare holiday of always getting accused of that).
Here’s how the circular discussion on Egypt goes in the MSM:
A: “Obama is looking bad for not having stepped in and done something about the military coup in Egypt when it first happened.”
B: “Obama is being ignored by the military in Egypt, they sent McCain and Graham packing, Obama has little influence or leverage in Egypt.”
A: “Obama needs to cut off funding to Egypt in order to punish them for what’s going on and send a warning shot across their bow.”
B: “Saudi Arabia and other gulf states are giving Egypt amounts of money that dwarf US aid and if the US cut off aid, it would just be replaced by them.”
In an information age and in a time when we have a number of 24 hour news stations, it is ironic how ignorance and phony arguments flourish. No matter how serious or terrible world events are, the MSM has to create conflict even if reason, facts and common sense have to be ignored because that’s how their employers and they make money.
First, does the President of the United States even have the power to control his own country all by himself? Yet pundits and “journalists” decry how he hasn’t stepped in to change what’s going on in Egypt? How exactly is he supposed to do it, under which Constitutional power does the President of the United States have control over military coups and religious conflicts in Egypt?
Yes, in some countries where the US gives a huge percentage of the foreign aid they receive, it can have leverage (though how much leverage do we have with what goes on in Israel when the US is the primary source of aid to them?) but these same people attacking Obama for not stepping in on Egypt to control events, also report that the amount of aid we give Egypt is a fraction of what they get in total. So Obama can force the military in Egypt to do what he wants…how?
The facts are that the US gives Egypt $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt and that goes primarily to the military. Only $250 million comes from the US in economic aid…compared to the Saudis, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates who guarantee $12 billion in economic aid. AND…they have assured Egypt’s military that they would gladly replace any amount the US might cut off.
So again, why does Obama have any leverage over Egypt? Especially when the amount of aid we give them is negligible in their eyes and easily replaced by “our allies” in the Middle East? And of course, when the military is trying to cement its power over control of the entire nation? They would give that up in exchange for a small fraction of the aid they receive continuing to come from the US instead of Saudi Arabia?
And why do I know this while these pundits go back and forth over Obama having little influence yet also having powerful influence?
Maybe Obama should start having the US give aid to the news networks then try to influence them to be honest, informative, non-confrontational and not exploitative. Wonder how well he would fare on that?
He’d probably find influencing Egypt a lot easier.