Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "Egypt"

Promoting Democracy: The Case of Egypt

by Elliott Abrams

The lesson that Egypt’s military government seems to have learned from studying the country’s recent past is that repression of all criticism is a good thing. Not, mind you, that the Muslim Brotherhood is dangerous and must be repressed, but rather that all criticism of the Army is impermissible. Read more »

Kerry Foreign Policy: Does the United States Stand for Anything at All?

by Elliott Abrams

Does the United States stand for anything at all? Do we have a view about, say, slavery, or child prostitution, or the stoning of gays?

What  should be a ridiculous question is raised by Secretary of State Kerry’s offensive obeisance to the Saudis yesterday when visiting Riyadh. Here is the AP story: Read more »

Mubarak Speaks–Unfortunately

by Elliott Abrams

Through a leaked recording of conversations with his doctor over the past year, we now have new insights into the mind of Hosni Mubarak. Of course, we can’t be sure everything is authentic–not yet, anyway–nor can we be sure that Mubarak was giving this doctor his bottom line. But the Mubarak who emerges in this New York Times account will sound familiar to anyone who spent time with him on behalf of the United States Government. Read more »

The Debate On Aid to Egypt

by Elliott Abrams

In The Wall Street Journal today, I explain why I believe American law, interests, and values require a suspension of aid to Egypt. (The opposite side is taken by my friend John Bolton, in the Journal as well, here. The Journal sums up my argument this way: “By contravening U.S. law, the Obama administration is sending a dangerous message to Gen. Sisi.” Not a bad summary. Read more »

“A Nation of Laws”: The Egypt Aid Debate

by Elliott Abrams

American law requires suspension of aid to any country that undergoes a coup against a democratically elected government. Egypt just suffered, or benefited, from what was clearly a coup: the Army removed an elected president. The argument about whether to suspend aid or ignore the law is a dangerous one, I argue in the Weekly Standard: Read more »

About Military Aid to Egypt

by Elliott Abrams
Egyptian military jets fly over Tahrir square as protesters who are against former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi gather, in Cairo July 7, 2013. (Courtesy REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh) Egyptian military jets fly over Tahrir square as protesters who are against former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi gather, in Cairo July 7, 2013. (Courtesy REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Should U.S. military aid to Egypt now be suspended, as the law appears to require when there has been a military coup?

My answer is yes. First, it should be clear that there was a coup: the Army overthrew an elected president, and did so without judicial or legislative justification. I discussed this at greater length last week in National Review. Second, we should follow our law and explain to the Egyptian military why we are doing so and what it means–and does not mean. Read more »

NGO Verdict in Cairo, Failure in Washington

by Elliott Abrams

Here is what happened in Cairo in the case of 43 NGO workers whose crime was to promote democracy in Egypt:

An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted 43 nonprofit workers, including at least 16 Americans, of illegally using foreign funds to foment unrest in the country and sentenced them to up to five years in prison. Most of the Americans were sentenced in absentia because they had long left the country, including Sam LaHood, son of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He received a five-year jail term…. Read more »

In Egypt, Obama Even Less Popular Than Bush Was: New Pew Poll

by Elliott Abrams
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010. (Courtesy REUTERS/Jason Reed) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010. (Courtesy REUTERS/Jason Reed)

There are many ways to measure the success of American foreign policy, and popularity is not necessarily the best one.

But when an administration and a president start out as Mr. Obama did, in essence reviling his predecessor’ policies in the Arab world and assuring Arabs that he had a new and better way, it is striking if the product is less popularity. Read more »

The Egyptian Opposition: Not as Weak as Is Often Claimed

by Elliott Abrams

It is fashionable to claim that support for democracy in Egypt is a fool’s errand, given the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and the weakness of the opposition. Both claims deserve skeptical analysis.

The newest polls tells us that President Mohamed Morsi’s popularity continues to decline. Today 47 percent of Egyptians say they are dissatisfied with his performance while 46 percent approve of it. Only 30 percent would today vote for him for president. Read more »