American politicians must not be big readers, surprisingly I think they like to just imagine they are an immediately correct and therefore there is no need to explore other options.
What the heck am I talking about?
The fact that the United States is going to give Egypt $1.3 billion for military equipment purchases. Bloomberg has a decent writeup on the story’s details.
Now these payments to Egypt are nothing new, they’ve been receiving billions of dollars in aid money ever since their “peace” with Israel.
It’s not a bad idea to try and win friends and influence people in Egypt’s new ruling parties, but what kind of country to we look like when we’re just jumping in bed with every country that comes along as potentially threatening.
Realistically Egypt is not a threat to the United States. There isn’t much chance of the equipment we sell to be used in an attack against Florida.
Here is where it shows that America’s politicians do not read or extend themselves. For clearly they have never read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and pondered the question “Is it better to be feared or loved”. I give you Mr Machiavelli,
Nevertheless he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.
Machiavelli tells us that it is preferable to be feared, but not hated. One might just say “respected” as a quick substitute. But does Egypt respect us, sure we supported the guy they overthrew, so in showing support for them it proves a point, but how effectively? Not only does it make the United States look like floozies, but the reason we supported the other guy is because he did what we asked when we asked it. That was the agreement, you do this, we give you cash. Does that agreement exist with this green government? I don’t mean green as in environmental, but green in the sense that they probably don’t have time for games.
That is why I also included the paragraph before the actual question of being loved or feared. Where is the United States temperance? Are we sacrificing prudence and caution for a quick facebook friending between nations?
By all means go ahead and offer aid and support to nations who would like it, but you can’t go around throwing money at everyone without regard for who they are and what they represent. It’s your money, you get to decide who gets it, and the people who get it ought to be the ones who are inline with you or at least agree to play by your rules.
The United States appears to longer care about having any integrity being respected by other nations. Simply state that you feel slighted and the United States would rather settle than go into court and face a trial where it might look tough or harsh.