I love the people of Egypt, and I will admit that I was never more proud of them, especially the youth, as I was during the revolution that sent Mubarak into retirement and jail. I watched as young Muslims protected Christians during their services and as Christians protected Muslims while they prayed. The youth went to Tahir Square expecting to die. They went anyway for social justice, economic opportunity, personal dignity and freedom for ALL Egyptians. Missing in the early days were The Muslim Brotherhood.
There now a trial in Egypt of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's). Real people, including one American, face real jail time. They are accused of operating under the rules of the old regime. These were "rules" not laws. The rules were that an NGO would apply for permission to operate. The approval process was delayed, but Egyptian officials would tell the NGO to operate; the paperwork was a formality. This was all verbal. The same practice was extended to visiting members of the press.
All went well, but then one day out of the blue, the offices of many NGO's (most associated with teaching democratic practices) had their offices raided. The charge was the they were not properly registered with the government. The press had a field day discussing "foreign fingers" playing in Egypt. One organization was not raided although it is involved in politics and receives foreign funding, those were the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood which still has not registered with the government. They are "waiting for new laws to be passed." Others cannot wait, but The Brotherhood can.
Several American NGO's have applied to work in Egypt. Among those refused were The Carter Center and an organization that helps Copt orphans. Again, it is "foreign fingers" that are the reasons for the refusal.
The Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to make President Morsy the next Mubarak. They want to impose themselves on all levels of Egyptian society and silence all opposition. They say one thing and then do another.
I believe it may be time for the US "foreign fingers" to withdraw from Egypt. I suggest recalling the ambassador and leaving only a consular officer to handle the needs of Americans in Egypt. I would cancell all other Embassy operations, including those connected with the granting of visas. I would also order all Military aid, USAID or US funded projects to cease immediately and send their employees home. All aid should be suspended until we have a clarification of where Egypt is heading. At least let the US "foreign fingers" withdraw and allow Egypt its pride. I include in this a withdrawal of our backing of any World Bank or International Monatary Fund activity in Egypt. Let us give the Egyptian government what it wants
Some will argue that this is a drastic step. It is. But the Cold War is over. If the Egyptian government wants to sell Egypt to Qatar, Turkey, China, or Russia let them. Nasser sold Egypt to the USSR. Maybe The Brotherhood forgot the experience. Country's do not have friends; they have interests. American interests no longer serve Egypt's. Let us part as friends and stop hurting Egypt's pride. Our interest in Egypt is commercial and in favor of a real democracy. Apparently, this doesn't serve Egypt. Let us let them be. But we do not have to write checks to let them be. We can just go with a friendly, "Good bye."