Letter to the Editor

Egypt needs U.S. help, not arrogance

The Post has printed many opinions by many respectable people on the coup in Egypt. Most of the writers don’t get it. It’s about Egypt, not us. Showing U.S. leadership, pumping up Egyptian civil society or cutting aid to demonstrate U.S. rule of law all miss the point. Egyptians are calling the shots in Egypt, not Americans.

The secularists, the Muslim Brotherhood and the army say we are a villain, and, while each has reasons to thank the United States, blaming foreigners is popular in Egypt. Non-secularists are Egypt’s majority and will win any free and fair election in the foreseeable future. Former president Mohamed Morsi was inept. The secularists prefer demonstrations to the hard work of winning elections. The army has its own interests.

But Egypt needs U.S. help, not arrogance. Tourism is dying, foreign direct investment is dead, and Egyptian investors either have fled or are investing in politics instead of production. There are too few jobs for too many young and educated Egyptians.

We already have a Syrian civil war that will lengthen as foreigners arm the different sides. The dangers of adding a second fire pit in the Middle East are too many. We need to help Egypt — and keep pivoting toward Asia.

James Maxstadt, Arlington

 
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