Latest Right Wing Lie: Obama Funds Muslim Brotherhood!


Here’s a new right wing lie about Obama, this time from Barry Hinckley, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island. On a political television program in that state, Hinckley claimed that Obama was giving more than a billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:

“Obama gave the Muslim Brotherhood a million [then correcting himself] a billion and a half dollars last week, you know, in Egypt. We need that money here. A billion and a half dollars could really help Rhode Island, quite frankly. We probably need it, in my opinion, more than the Muslim Brotherhood needs it . . . especially when the Muslim Brotherhood got together, I think one of the first things they did, when they convened their new congress, was to make Israel enemy #1. And we give them a billion and a half dollars? That’s a problem in my book. We need to focus our resources here.”

PolitiFact points out that this is utter nonsense, that the $1.5 billion was just the same package of military and economic aid that the U.S. has given to Egypt since 1979, after the Sadat peace accord with Israel.

Did the Obama administration really give the Brotherhood $1.5 billion?

It turns out that the money was actually an aid package to Egypt itself, not the Brotherhood, according to a March 22 story in The Washington Post…

Melani Cammett, director of the Middle East studies program at Brown University, told us that sending aid to Egypt was not the same as giving it to the Brotherhood because the Brotherhood doesn’t actually control the government.

“It’s true that the Muslim Brotherhood won the plurality of seats [in December elections] and when you combine them with the Salafis, which are more radical Islamists, they’ve won the majority of seats in the parliament,” she said. “The fact of the matter is the SCAF, which is the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, still controls the government and controls the executive branch and is manipulating things in such a way that it’s making it difficult for the Islamists to exert their full power as the majority in parliament.”

“So the major struggle going on in Egyptian politics right now is that the SCAF, controlled by elite military officers, is not willing to relinquish power,” said Cammett.

John P. Entelis, director of Middle East studies at Fordham University, said it would be “totally inaccurate” to say that $1.5 billion is going to the Muslim Brotherhood. “This is an ongoing military aid package that we’ve been giving to Egypt since 1979.”

We’ve given about $70 billion in aid to Egypt since 1979, and this year’s total is almost identical to the aid we gave annually over the last few years. But that’s a mundane fact and doesn’t help Hinckley make Obama sound like someone who supports Muslim terrorists, so it just won’t do.

Comments

  1. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    So the money’s going to what is (in effect) a military junta. Should the US government be giving money to a bunch of corrupt and brutal generals who are thwarting the democratically expressed will of the Egyptian people? Maybe now would be a good time to stop interfering in Egypt altogether, and let the Egyptian people make their own mistakes and deal with their own problems.

  2. blf says

    So the money’s going to what is (in effect) a military junta.

    Eh? It was going to what was (in effect) a military junta.

    The current elected president effectively fired the leading generals some time ago, Egypt president Mohamed Morsi forces top generals to retire: “Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, has ordered Egypt’s two top generals to retire and revoked a military-declared constitutional amendment that gave them wide powers.”

  3. zippythepinhead says

    Nick @2: This is aid the US is obligated to provide Egypt (and Israel) under the 1978 Camp David accord as guarantor of the peace treaty. To make it palatable to Congress, much of that aid is in turn committed to buying US goods including (mainly?) military hardware (remember the US made tear gas canisters). So yes we are giving guns (good old American made guns) to Egypt to guarantee peace with Israel.

  4. Abby Normal says

    So we signed a treaty agreeing to pay Egypt about $1.5B a year to not attack Israel. Egypt has so far upheld its end of the bargain. But Hinckley wants the US to renege anyway. Yea, that will really help us influence future events. Preventive punishment, that’s the key.

  5. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    blf,

    The two top generals are gone, but didn’t you read the OP?

    “The fact of the matter is the SCAF, which is the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, still controls the government and controls the executive branch and is manipulating things in such a way that it’s making it difficult for the Islamists to exert their full power as the majority in parliament.”

    The Egyptian Army controls about 40% of the country’s economy, and is still manuevering to write the new constitution so it retains complete autonomy from civilian control. Morsi may well have cut a deal with them at the expense of the Egyptian people.

    zippythepinhead,
    Thanks – I hadn’t realized this was a treaty obligation, but as you imply, pouring yet more armaments into the Middle East doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea. Maybe it’s time to renegotiate the treaty.

  6. slc1 says

    Re Nick Gotts

    Just for the information of Mr. Gotts, the aid being given to Egypt and Israel was part of the 1979 peace treaty between them as negotiated by James Earl Carter, then POTUS, and, in fact, is a bribe given to the two sides to behave themselves.

  7. Michael Allen says

    I know that this is a relatively old article. But, I wanted to revisit it since now even the Egyptians seem to be wondering who Obama actually does support. Mohamed Abou El-Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said to a small gathering of journalists, “America is losing Egypt…There is a very strong perception that they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and they are against other parties.”

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