Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) presented legislation on February 1st that would prohibit the United States from sending further military aid to Egypt, including weapons such as army tanks and F-16 fighter jets.
Senator Paul cited the growing political unrest in Egypt as the reason for his proposal: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is openly hostile towards Israel, and after being legalized in 2011, the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood is now considered the primary political force in Egypt. However, proving that they can be bipartisan only when it does NOT benefit the citizens of the United States, Congress voted against the bill 79-19.
Our representatives would do well to take Senator Paul’s proposal seriously, especially given his comments regarding Turkey at last week’s Benghazi hearing. In case you missed it, Senator Paul questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding whether the United States had been providing weapons to Turkey, and was promptly laughed at by Republicans and Democrats alike.
It was just this morning that the United States embassy in Turkey was bombed, and Turkey’s own Interior Minister believes it to be the work of a radial militant group. The White House has also declared the bombing an act of terror.
If history teaches us anything, it is that providing military assistance to a Middle Eastern nation that only kind of likes us is a bad thing. (If you are skeptical, I urge you to Google the name "Osama Bin Laden" and read about how the United States aided the "Afghan Resistance Group", of which he was a member.) Though it is true that Egypt has long been our ally, their leadership and government have changed significantly in the past few years, as has the political climate of the Middle East as a whole. Egypt's relationship with the United States is not as friendly as it once was, and brewing issues between Israel and everyone Egypt are reason enough for the United States to withdraw itself slowly from these affairs.
The Senate was not yet finished for the day, however, as they voted 64-34 in favor of a bill which would delay the debt ceiling until May. This marks the second time the issue was delayed in less than a month.
In short, The United States government finds it perfectly acceptable to continue spending money to give weapons to a Middle Eastern nation with whom we have a lukewarm relationship, but lawmakers cannot find it within themselves to compromise so that our nation can find a solution for its rapidly increasing debt problems.
Rand Paul may not be perfect, but this was a genuinely good piece of legislation that was tabled by Congress. Sadly, it seems there is no resolution to the United States' constant involvement in activities outside of our nation. Both the Democratic and Republican party platforms contain promises to maintain a large presence in the Middle East, showing the American people that we will be engaged in endless political games overseas no matter who is in the White House.