May 7, 2009
What Will Unconditional Aid Buy in Egypt?
Washington Post, Washington Post
DEFENSE SECRETARY Robert M. Gates earned modest headlines in the United States this week for playing down the possibility of a "grand bargain" with Iran after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But al-Jazeera, the leading media outlet of the Arab Middle East, focused on an entirely different piece of news out of Mr. Gates's Cairo news conference. Asked whether U.S. aid to Egypt would be linked in the future to democracy or human rights, the Pentagon chief answered that "foreign military financing" for Mr. Mubarak's autocracy "should be without conditions. And that is our sustained position."
The Obama administration, which has rushed to embrace Egypt's 81-year-old strongman, would do well to consider why al-Jazeera -- not known for pro-American sympathies --...
TAGGED: Egypt, United States, Robert M. Gates, DEFENSE SECRETARY