Topics: Barack Obama

Ted Cruz blames Egyptian violence on Obama’s disregard for foreign aid law

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Egypt,Egyptian Revolution,Ted Cruz,Analysis

President Obama has “contributed to [Egypt's] descent into chaos” by providing foreign aid to the military regime while maintaining an otherwise “detached and abstract” position, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who called for an end to financial support.

“President Obama’s detached and abstract statement yesterday on deteriorating conditions in Egypt is only the most recent manifestation of this administration’s failed policy in that country,” Cruz said.

“As there can no longer be any reasonable doubt that what occurred in July was a military coup, the first step is to send an unequivocal message that the United States is a nation of laws and suspend aid to Egypt,” he said.

There’s bipartisan support in Congress for the Cruz position. Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., pointed out that “our law is clear” on foreign aid immediately after the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.

“U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree,” Leahy said. “As the world’s oldest democracy, this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principle that transfers of power should be by the ballot, not by force of arms.”

Obama hoped to retain influence in Egypt through the use of foreign aid, so they circumvented the law by refusing to call the regime change a coup.

“We have determined that we do not need to make a determination,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a press briefing last week.

The aid didn’t buy enough influence to convince Egyptian military leader to answer the phone when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other members of the Obama team have called over the last few days, according to Defense One, which have seen 500 people killed in a crackdown of anti-military regime protesters.

Cruz suggested that the violence resulted from Obama’s decision to support the military coup. “[T]he Egyptian military took this as permission to act with impunity against the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turn is provoking violence and committing savage crimes against Coptic Christians,” he said.

“The situation demands recognition that our country’s current aid system is utterly and irretrievably broken.  Not only are we giving arms and money to people who hate us around the world — in Egypt, we are managing to give arms and money in a way that makes our former friends hate us. It must stop now.”

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