Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

IV Drip

What about the aid to Egypt's military, Obama?


The response of Western leaders to yesterday's bloody army crackdown on Morsi supporters in Cairo, which saw upwards of 500 citizens killed, has so far been mealy-mouthed, with many powers slow to respond at all.

Peter Popham warns in his Independent Voices column that mumbling out rebukes will only serve to confirm the suspicions of many Muslims in the Arab world, who see Western powers as vocal in support of democracy only when it suits their own - secular, liberal - ends.

The West has form in this field. When 80 Muslim Brothers were killed in Cairo on July 27th, an Economist editorial noted that condemnation from the US and UK was feeble, and left to John Kerry and William Hague, rather than the President and Prime Minister.

Can the West change tone? Obama has just spoken on yesterday's massacre, and promised to end joint operations with the Egyptian military. Many feel he didn't go far enough. 

A New York Times editorial this morning advised the President to suspend the $1.3bn of aid America gives to Egypt's military each year. Doing so, claims the paper, "will at least tell rank-and-file Egyptians that the United States is no longer underwriting repression."