Huge protests are taking place across the nation of Egypt. Tens of thousands of people have crammed into Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace, while millions more have converged onto the streets of many Egyptian cities. This is the largest demonstration since the 2011 revolution, which started the Arab Spring.
The protests accuse President Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first Islamist leader, for not taking the necessary actions to address the economic problems and the security inadequacies since entering office more than a year ago. There are pro-Morsi rallies going on in Cairo’s suburb of Nasr City, but it is rather underwhelming compared to the dissatisfied citizens’ protests.
Demonstrations have been relatively peaceful, but there have been a few incidents, such as some activists throwing stones and petrol bombs at the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood and at least one person is reportedly dead following a clash near the political office.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, who is a considered a top contender for a bid for the White House in 2016, published an op-ed piece Wednesday on CNN titled “Stop using taxpayer money to aid Egypt’s Morsy,” which essentially urges the federal government to cease supporting Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood with taxpayer dollars. Senator Paul, son of libertarian favorite Ron Paul, listed the various ways tax money is utilized to keep Morsi in power.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government provided the Egyptian government with 20 F-16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks and Secretary of State John Kerry announced $250 million in aid – while cancelling White House tours because lack of funding. President Obama also confirmed last week the deployment of more than 400 American soldiers who will be part of a “peacekeeping mission.”
“Before America supported the Muslim Brotherhood, we supported Morsy’s[sic] predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. For decades, we aided the Mubarak regime to the tune of about $60 billion in total,” wrote Paul. “When Egyptians protested Mubarak in January 2011, F-16 jets were used by Mubarak to intimidate protesters. Those jets were supplied to Egypt by the United States. When hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Tahir Square to protest three decades of martial law, Mubarak doused them with tear gas made in Pennsylvania and paid for with American taxpayer’s money.”
Paul believes that Morsi and the funding of Egypt is just one of the many flaws in the nation’s foreign policy. All over the world, taxpayers are forced to subsidize countries that despise the U.S., maintain horrid human rights records and have a government that is tyrannical in nature and hurts the overall population.
“The problem with constantly intervening in these troubled parts of the world is that there are often no clear good guys or bad guys,” added Paul. “Today’s ally can quickly become tomorrow’s enemy. This should be a paramount and obvious concern, but in Washington it is almost always treated as an afterthought.”
In the end, the Kentucky Tea Party favorite believes liberty cannot be simply afforded to people, but rather they must fight for it. Individuals so desperately yearn for the freedoms that Americans enjoy, according to Paul, but how does the U.S. set an example by aiding the enemies of freedom?
In the fiscal year 2011, the U.S. government provided close to $50 billion in military and economic aid to nations around the world. The top five nations to receive tax dollars were Afghanistan ($12.9 billion), Israel ($3 billion), Iraq ($2.1 billion), Pakistan ($1.7 billion) and Egypt ($1.47 billion).