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the all-powerful “Egypt Lobby” flexes its muscles

May 9, 2009

Obama will be giving a major speech to the Muslim world in Egypt on June 4, despite Cairo’s lousy human rights record, poor governance, weak institutions, and decades of strongman rule.

imagesMuch has been made of the so-called “Israel Lobby”  obliging US policymakers to bend to its will at the expense of US national interests.  But while Israel shares many connections to the US (an argument that we won’t get into here) and generates all kinds of heated debate, why does no one speak of the nefarious “Egypt Lobby” – a lobby so powerful that the country — despite being removed from certain battlespaces and also not possessing oil reserves — receives more foreign aid than Pakistan and Jordan combined!

One breakdown of the funds:  $1.3 billion to buy weapons; $103 million for education; $74 million for health care; $45 million to promote civic participation and human rights.

Of course, Egypt is the heart of the Middle East, center of Islamic culture, ally of the US, etc. etc.  Then again, so is our stalwart ally, Saudi Arabia.

Powerful group, this “Egypt Lobby.”

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