Your Role In Egypt

by Conor Friedersdorf

The always thoughtful Claire Berlinski is trying to persuade her readers at Ricochet that unrest there should matter to them:

US military aid to Egypt totals over $1.3 billion annually. Your money, in other words, is keeping Mubarak in power. That government is now doing this to its people. Listen to the audio. It's hard to say just what's happening, given the media blackout, but clearly terrible things are happening in Egypt.... The fact that we are supporting the Mubarak regime may not be immediately obvious to most Americans, but it is the central fact about America to every Egyptian alive--to 83 million people in the heart of the Middle East.

Berlinski would like the United States to intervene in some way on the side of the people, whereas writers like Daniel Larison argue that it's best for the United States to just stay out of the way – especially in that region, American support can undermine protestors. I have no idea what the right approach is in this case.

But I am uncomfortable with that $1.3 billion per year.