Published July 09, 2013
America need not be ambivalent about our continuing support for the Egyptian military after their overthrow of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The democratic election of Morsi should never have guaranteed U.S. cooperation.
Even the violence that has followed the removal of Mohammed Morsi should not end our support, though we should do the most we possibly can to argue against that violence and for humane treatment of all Egyptians.
The Muslim Brotherhood remains committed to establishing a Caliphate—an Islamic religious government under a single leader—from Spain to Indonesia. The leader of the Brotherhood, Muhammed Badi, has called for the destruction of Israel and predicted the demise of the United States.
As Bill Siegel, author of "The Control Factor: Our Struggle to See the True Threat" has pointed out, we should take our enemies at their word, not escape into denial. He makes good psychological sense.
Whether or not a majority of Egyptians, or even 90 percent of them, voted for the Muslim Brotherhood shouldn’t have earned our respect for that body.
In fact, the higher the percentage vote for a group that wants Jews and Americans dead, the clearer that the country is hostile toward us and our allies and a source of peril to both.
Thus, the fact that Morsi was elected should have galvanized, not tempered, our will to make sure he did not keep his hold on power.
A nation can be a democracy—allowing citizens to vote—and still be a mortal enemy of America. And when that is the case, America should exercise every available and rational option to express its opposition to that government continuing in power.
Funding a nation’s military after it removes such a hostile political party from authority is a clear and obvious, not paradoxical, path.
In 1932, Adolf Hitler garnered 37 percent of the vote in a runoff election for President of Germany and was ultimately appointed Chancellor by Field Marshall Hindenburg (who had received a majority of the vote). Hitler’s rise to power within a democracy should not have won any hearts in America, or led to any reluctance to destabilize his government, even if he had won 97 percent of the vote.
There is nothing counterintuitive about being American and being glad a democracy opposed to the existence of Israel and hopeful that the United States will cease to exist has been toppled. And withholding aid from the military forces that achieved that end would be irrational.
I am as much a surgeon as I am a psychiatrist when it comes to world affairs. Cancer is cancer, and I like clean margins.
To the extent that a democratically elected government supports the notion of a single religion (in this case, Islam) governing a nation’s affairs, to the extent that that duly elected government is wildly expansionist, to the extent that that group wants to vacate peace treaties (as the Muslim Brotherhood would vacate the Camp David Accords) and to the extent that that group hates America, I want that group out of business, permanently.
And the folks who help put them out of business—while they should not be inhumane, lest they lose their moral (which, yes, trumps democratic) authority—have my symbolic vote.