Are we following our own treaties?

Like it or not, Morsi was legally elected in Egypt. He was ousted by the military and we continue to provide military assistance. Photo: AP

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., August 19, 2013 —  While the Egyptian military has decided to take a hard line with the supporters of ousted President Morsi, the US, has taken a wait and see attitude.

Most of the analysts believe this crisis to be potentially very dangerous. Everyone agrees that the United States is in a difficult situation regarding Egypt.

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Suppporting the miltiary could appear hypocritical. Previous traunches of military assistance have been tied to the military not ousting a legally elected civilian government.

On the other hand, the regime of Morsi had not made the changes that those in the “Arab Spring” had demanded. In fact, corruption and intolerance in Egypt appeared to increase during his short administration. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood had passed laws that appeared to be bringing Egypt into a Theocracy.

Those advocating for more open government see our caution as indecision and criticism of the military as advocating Morsi’s policies.

The current situation brings to mind the Geneva Accords with regards to North and South Vietnam in 1954. This accord, that was rejected by South Vietnam and not signed by the US, called for the separation of Vietnam into two zones, one in the North controlled by Ho Chi Min’s supporters (communists, supported by China) and one in the South controlled by the old (French) regime and supported by the US. The Accords called for elections to be held in 1956 to determine whether the country would be consolidated or not.

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It was very obvious that if elections were to be held, most would have voted for consolidation with the north as Ho Chi Min was seen as the World War II hero of the resistance against the Japanese. In the era of less complicated alliances and responses, both the South Vietnamese and our representatives refused to sign an agreement that would have implemented the will of the majority of the people in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese signed the agreement and retreated north of the demilitarized zone called for in the Accords.

The rest is history. Our support for the South Vietnamese and the Cold War atmosphere that reigned in Washington eventually led us into a full out war, over half a million soldiers fighting in Vietnam, over 50,000 of our soldiers killed and eventually into a defeat for our allies the South Vietnamese.

Like in 1954, we have to a certain extent bypassed our obligations under current treaties and our democratic principles to stand by and continue to support those that we would like to see in power, the liberals striving for a more democratic regime. In both cases there was evidence that both the North Vietnamese and the Muslim Brotherhood were not playing fair (according to our rules). President Obama has tried to keep a balanced outlook: condemning the killing by the military and the excesses by the supporters of Morsi. The latter have decided that killing minorities, including Christians, and burning churches is a proper response to their perceived injustices. But for how long will this be a tenable position for the President and the US?

Like the conflict in Syria, it seems that complete polarization is being reached. There is no simple solution and specifically one that would benefit our status in that area of the world.

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We can benefit from looking back in history and hope that it will not repeat itself. The important thing is, that as things look right now, our troops will not be swept into these conflicts.

Others have mentioned that our military assistance to Egypt is really a subsidy to our military industrial complex. This assistance is provided in goods (or bads) instead of cash. Maybe this is the trump card.


Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist can be found in Facebook (Mario Salazar) and in Tweeter @chibcharus.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change.  He will also try to convey his joy of being old.

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