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Do You Support Dictator Mubarak?

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Hosni Mubarak

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The guys trying to bring him down

Sorry, but you don’t have a choice.

Egypt has been all over the news for the past few days, as anti-Mubarak protesters take to the streets and duke it out with the dictator’s supporters. Most recent articles have focused on the government’s decision to kill the Internet or the attacks on journalists.

While are both are tragic, few have addressed the fact that “President” Moubarak is a close ally of the American government, and is the 4th largest recipient of American foreign aid. Last year, Egypt received over $1.5 billion of taxpayer dollars. The only countries receiving more foreign aid are Afghanistan, Israel, and Pakistan. $1.3 billion of this aid is allocated for “peace and security”, or in other words, armaments.

Mubarak’s brutal military regime has been characterized by political corruption, sham elections, censorship, imprisonment of political opponents without trials, oppression, torture, murder, kidnapping, socialism, state control of the media, an enriched oligarchy at the expense of the majority of poor Egyptians, the crushing of dissent, and a litany of human rights abuses. Is this the kind of entity you want to support?

Every American citizen has a right to use their justly earned property as they see fit. The fact that the government confiscates the wealth of Americans and sends part of it overseas to protect a military dictatorship is unconscionable. If I had a choice, I would not send any money to Mubarak, and I’m guessing that a majority of Americans would share similar sentiments. I would rather support charitable organizations I trust, and in light of the recent events in Egypt, I would probably donate to disaster relief agencies that provide humanitarian aid to the people of Egypt.

What right does the government have to deprive me of this choice, and force me to support a government I disagree with?

Some may argue that the government needs to support foreign countries when it is in our national interest, and use this as a justification for our current foreign policy. I say let the American people decide. Don’t use our tax money for anything but strict self-defense against invasion. If foreign governments want support, let them send their ambassadors to convince American citizens who may give it voluntarily, rather than government officials who dole out other peoples’ (the taxpayers’) money.

This philosophy of military isolationism and political non-interventionism is one first enshrined by our Founding Fathers. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment” and, “We ask for peace and justice from all nations; and we will remain uprightly neutral in fact.”

It would behoove us to heed his wisdom. It might serve us well.


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Of course I don't support Mubarak. But I do support the American involvement in the region, and our collaboration with Egypt's military.

While are both are tragic, few have addressed the fact that “President” Moubarak is a close ally of the American government, and is the 4th largest recipient of American foreign aid. Last year, Egypt received over <a href="http://blogs.forbes.com/brianwingfield/2011/01/29/making-sense-of-u-s-foreign-aid-to-egypt-and-elsewhere/">$1.5 billion</a> of taxpayer dollars.

Mubarak was the President of Egypt for 30 years, so there's absolutely no reason to put that in quotation marks. And the US didn't give him any money, nor did it put him in power. The US gave Egypt money, for military development.

The only countries receiving more foreign aid are Afghanistan, Israel, and Pakistan. $1.3 billion of this aid is allocated for “peace and security”, or in other words, armaments.</p><p>Mubarak’s brutal military regime has been characterized by political corruption, sham elections, censorship, imprisonment of political opponents without trials, oppression, torture, murder, kidnapping, socialism, state control of the media, an enriched oligarchy at the expense of the majority of poor Egyptians, the crushing of dissent, and a litany of human rights abuses. <strong>Is this the kind of entity you want to support?</strong></p><p>Every American citizen has a right to use their justly earned property as they see fit. <strong>The fact that the government confiscates the wealth of Americans and sends part of it overseas to protect a military dictatorship is unconscionable.</strong> If I had a choice, I would not send any money to Mubarak, and I’m guessing that a majority of Americans would share similar sentiments. I would rather support charitable organizations I trust, and in light of the recent events in Egypt, I would probably donate to disaster relief agencies that provide humanitarian aid to the people of Egypt.</p><p>What right does the government have to deprive me of this choice, and force me to support a government I disagree with?</p><p>Some may argue that the government needs to support foreign countries when it is in our national interest, and use this as a justification for our current foreign policy. I say let the American people decide. Don’t use our tax money for anything but strict self-defense against invasion.

Objectivism is opposed to taxation of any kind, on principle. And you haven't presented any arguments against the use of tax money for this particular cause either, you just presented arguments against taxation in general.

You're right, the US government doesn't have the right to use force to take our money. The act of initiating force against someone is irrational. But that doesn't say anything about whether supporting the Egyptian military was a better use of tax money than any of the other uses.

If you want to argue that spending tax money on helping a friendly military in Egypt or Israel is particularly bad, you shouldn't rely on the argument that force was used to take that money from you. Force was used to take all tax money, not just that one. You should instead try to argue the merits of the decision to spend the money on this cause, instead of some other one.

This philosophy of military isolationism and political non-interventionism is one first enshrined by our Founding Fathers. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment” and, “We ask for peace and justice from all nations; and we will remain uprightly neutral in fact.”

It would behoove us to heed his wisdom. It might serve us well.

Why? Jefferson being an isolationist doesn't make it automatically right, that would be an argument from authority. Do you have actual arguments as to why ignoring the Middle East would be a good idea?

Edited by Tanaka
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It was Thomas Jefferson who sent the Navy and Marines "to the shores of Tripoli" to rout the pirates operating in the area, which was playing havoc with our shipping. Was this wrong on his part? I don't think so. Egypt is strategic, in that the Suez canal is vital to commerce and the free flow of oil. The danger we are in now is that in the inevitable chaos following Mubarak's departure, the Muslim Brotherhood could rise to power and create an Islamic Republic hostile to our interests, as happened in Iran after Carter *spits on ground* pulled the rug out from under him.

Edited by Maximus
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Sending the navy to protect the property of American citizents does not seem equal to subsidizing the Egyptian military.

The fact that the US have interests in the area does not really matter, and as we can see now the military founding just may end up hitting the US right back now that Mubarak is thrown out of office.

I for one clearly support Mubarak. Not in the sense that "Gee, I hope he one day controls the world and his politics are awesome" but in the sense that a democratic Egypt seems less ideal.

A semi-secular authoritarian dictatorship is far better then a democratically elected religious one.

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Egypt is strategic, in that the Suez canal is vital to commerce and the free flow of oil.

But isn't that only because the US government has banned drilling for oil locally? Is it justifiable to support a dictatorial regime, out of convenience, as a result of our own rights violations?

I do agree that a theocracy like Iran would be worse for us.

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Since this is the only thread on Egypt I will post it here, it is pretty short. An editorial from Investor's Business Daily highlighting a Pew poll describing "What Egyptians Really Want". Original found here

Be careful what you wish for.

Edited by brian0918
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A semi-secular authoritarian dictatorship is far better then a democratically elected religious one.

It's not. As evidenced by every single authoritarian dictatorship in history ending in failure, and most democracies succeeding by changing and adapting to the circumstances.

Authoritarian tactics are in fact the most destructive thing you can do to your own cause, be that a good cause or an evil one. People will naturally come to resist it and embrace the most determined opposition. In Egypt's case, that opposition was the Muslim Brotherhood. Let's hope this revolution didn't come too late, and freedom of speech and democracy can still work.

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  • 1 year later...

Morsi -- Mubarak's Muslim brotherhood replacement -- has now declared that his decrees are beyond appeal and judicial review. He has also declared that he has the right to take any measures he sees fit to protect the country's unit, security and the revolution. History has many examples of revolutionary leaders making such declarations a year or two after overthrowing a dictatorial government, only to become dictators themselves.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is praising Morsi for his handling of the Gaza ceasefire, instead of pointing out that what he is doing is no different from what Mubarak was accused of doing.

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