I get the distinct impression that the “Egypt is not an ally, nor is it an enemy” statement was not an off the cuff accident.
Am I totally off base or are we in fact putting Egypt on notice that they can’t fuck with our friends to their north and expect to be our friends.
Egypt is a limited-mercenary, not an ally. We pay them to play nice and not interfere with our vision of Middle Eastern politics. They would not do this for us if we did not pay them.
I don’t think it was off the cuff either. I think it was Obama sending a message that if the Egyptians want to keep the gravy train rolling they better get their shit together at least nominally…a message the Egyptian government, such as it is, doesn’t seem to be receiving, as they don’t seem to be going out of their way to condemn the behavior OR explain to their population that, you know, the US government really has nothing to do with some half baked whack-o doing an unflattering video about Islam.
Egypt never was really a US ‘ally’…more like a semi-friendly regional partner. Speaking VERY loosely. SHOULD they be? Well, yeah…they should be, especially after all the time and energy we’ve put into the relationship from both sides. But I doubt they are going to be, at least not any time soon. I think both nations would get a lot out of a formal alliance (both military and economic), but I don’t think the Egyptian people are ready for that, for a variety of reasons.
You probably aren’t totally off base, but I’d say that Obama’s comment has more to do with the current situation than whether or not Egypt likes Israel.
So you don’t think it was a cynical attempt to get the Sheldon Aadelson vote?
Who is “Sheldon Aadelson” what do you mean by “the Sheldon Aadelson vote”?
Sheldon Adelson is an American casino mogul who has promised to give $100,000,000 or “whatever it takes” to defeat President Obama in this year’s election. His most strenuous objection to Obama and other Democrats is that they will not do as much as Republicans to cut his taxes (well, he doesn’t like their support for unions either, and he makes a lot of noise about socialism). Although he is Jewish and has ties to Israel (he’s the owner of Israel Hayom), I can’t really see that he’s ever made that a big part of his politics. Adelson is apparently pro-Netanyahu, but how that ties in with Egypt’s status as a U.S. ally is unclear. It’s certainly unlikely that backing off from Egypt would change Adelson’s mind about Obama, which is probably the reason for the :D. The “Sheldon Adelson vote” is also a joke, since there are not enough conservative Jewish billionaires to form a solid voting bloc.
Egypt’s not an ally; we just give billions of dollars to their government in military aid.
They were declared a non-NATO ally in order to qualify them for the large amount of aid we give them and for certain military purchases (should they decide to buy such things). Frankly, they were NEVER our ally. This is/was part of the ‘peace’ deal in order to end conflict between them and Israel.
Right now, and I think Obama is making the right move here, it’s to let them know that this is not a permanent unilateral arrangement. We’re paying for services rendered, and if they’re not rendered, we have zero reason to keep paying. Or to consider them as friendlies.
For practical purposes the US has to use a looser definition of “ally” when it comes to largely Muslim countries.
Egypt was an ally, until the Obama administration threw Mubarak under a bus in favor of Islamic fanatics.
Egyptians have continuously voted the USA as the second most hated nation (after Israel), except for one time when Denmark took that attractive #2 spot and moved the USA to the #3. They hate your guts. Egypt is no ally of the USA. The only reason they are not an outright enemy is because they are weak and need your assistance.
I was joking. Adelson is a billionaire political donor who has pledged to donate 100 million dollars to defeat Obama (and has already spent much of that money). He is mostly a union busting “I don’t want to pay taxes” type of rich guy but he insists that all his political beneficiaries toe the line on Israel.