Phony deference: Senate kills Rand Paul bill to prevent sale of advanced arms to Muslim Brotherhood
Here’s the vote. Only 19 Senate Republicans and no Senate Democrats voted to refuse to give advanced arms, from F-16 fighter jets to tanks, to a country whose putative leader is a Jew-baiting member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Joining the Democrats and the majority of GOP Senators in opposing the Rand Paul bill was AIPAC.
Not surprisingly, many conservative mouthpieces are willing to give cover to the likes of John McCain, arguing that a few jets and some tanks won’t change the balance of power drastically in the region and will allow the US to maintain some influence over the Egyptian government, particularly the military, which is said to be distancing itself from Morsi — while a provocative move like making military aid to Egypt contingent on their stated desire not to destroy us or Israel is, well, naive and unnuanced. As standing on principle generally is considered nowadays. Because pragmatism. And three-dimensional chess.
But here’s an idea: if the Egyptian military really is hostile to Morsi, and they want our advanced weaponry, howsabout we pass word quietly that such a deal is contingent on removing the Brotherhood from power? Why not let Egypt know that in its current configuration, it cannot count on our largess?
The truth is, the Muslim Brotherhood has an outsized influence with the current administration, and for all Chuck Hagel’s vitriolic talk of the “Jewish Lobby,” it is clear that right now, our elected officials lack the stones to stand up to our enemies in any substantial way — and that includes the Democrats and Obama, who continue to work to change the balance of power in the Middle East.
After all, this is politics. It’s just a big geopolitical game for the political smart set to position themselves and reposition themselves on the RISK board — balancing the wishes of some lobby or interest group against another, maneuvering against their “friends” and “esteemed colleagues” on the other side of the aisle.
It’s not like it has any real life effects of anything.
I want personally to commend the 19 Republicans who took a stand. And I understand, too, that other Senators, like Inhofe (who didn’t vote for the Paul bill), are looking into drafting a bill that they believe can garner a greater level of support in the Senate.
To which I say, it had better have teeth. Because as it stands, I’m disgusted with most of the GOP Senate, and I’m disappointed in the likes of Inhofe, Johnson, Scott, and Toomey, who should be willing to flip the bird to the President and their own leadership when the message it sends is that we won’t back states — or hell, arm them — with leaders who call for the destruction of other countries who happen to be our allies.