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"

Egypt’s Referendum

by Elliott Abrams

Egypt’s constitutional referendum this week should be no cause for celebration. It was not free and fair; the turnout did not suggest a consensus among Egyptians; and the future stability of Egypt is in doubt.

According to the Egyptian authorities, turnout was 38.6 percent,  and 98.1 percent of those Egyptians who voted said yes. The 98 percent figure should give anyone pause. If it is accurate, it’s obvious that everyone opposed to the new constitution stayed away–hardly a reliable basis for political stability and consensus. That more than 60 percent of Egyptians did not vote, despite a huge campaign by the government, is not reassuring either. Read more »

Egypt Ends the Year With Prison Sentences

by Elliott Abrams

On December 18, Egyptian security forces raided the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), a leading think tank.  The timing is extraordinary, because foreign diplomats and human rights activists were still in town after the December 16-17 meeting of the “Forum for the Future.”  The Forum was a G-8 Initiative established during the Bush years to promote closer cooperation between governments and civil society organizations in the Middle East, and thereby help promote human rights and democracy. The full story is told by Michele Dunne and Amy Hawthorne here. Read more »

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 »