In an era of ballooning budget deficits, looming cuts to our own military, and tax increases for millions of Americans, it’s heartening to know that the American taxpayer still has the financial wherewithal (or good credit with China) to provide — free of charge — brand-new F-16 fighters to the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government just as its hold on power looks increasingly shaky. These new weapons will start to arrive roughly a month after the vote on Egypt’s proposed Brotherhood-supported constitution.
It’s unclear whether this extraordinarily expensive goodwill gesture is merely a matter of bureaucratic inertia (after all, the U.S. placed the order for the Mubarak regime in 2010, and the planes were manufactured pursuant to that order) or the product of a conscious and recent policy decision to double down on American support for the current, radical regime. In either case, it’s unacceptable. On Tuesday, Representative Vern Buchanan introduced legislation to immediately suspend aid to Egypt — the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. With the nation in turmoil, at the very least doesn’t common sense dictate that we pause on deliveries on advanced American weapons until we determine who will run Egypt over the long term and whether they will be friend or foe?
While the media and administration consistently emphasize the Muslim Brotherhood’s alleged (and newfound) moderation, it’s worth remembering their actual record. My colleagues at the ACLJ put together a short (90 second) video that explains what’s at stake — what your tax dollars are buying and whom those taxes are supporting: