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Double Standards Par Excellence
Egyptian Army soldiers armed with 7.62mm AK-47 assault rifles practice their beach assault techniques at El Omayed, Egypt as US, Spanish and Egyptian Forces conduct amphibious operations, during Exercise Bright Star, a multinational exercise involving more than 74,000 troops from 44 countries, in 2001. (The U.S. National Archives)

Double Standards Par Excellence

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, September 17

“We continue to express our deep concerns over the human rights situation in Egypt,” a statement from the US State Department unabashedly read last week, after the Biden administration announced its decision to withhold $140 million in US military aid to Egypt. I say unabashedly because America, more than any other nation in the world, is committing clear violations of human rights across the globe. For example, does a quick and messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, following years and years of occupation, lend itself to the preservation and protection of human rights? Does spending billions of dollars on an unqualified Afghan army and then leaving it to fight to its death count as “humane”? Does appeasing and signing deals with the Taliban, a globally-recognized terror organization, constitute promoting humanitarian values? I can’t recall a single time in American history where the US held its close ally, Israel, to such a moral high ground and denied it aid on the basis of human rights violations. Nor do I remember a similar instance with Kosovo. For some reason, America holds a double standard when it comes to Egypt. It fell into the trap of duplicity and conceit, and it fails to see itself as other nations in the world see it. It has come to suffer from a deeply ingrained issue of superiority and lack of self-awareness. Yes, I say all of this without denying that there are certain human rights issues in Egypt. We talk about them openly and freely. With some, our government is already making significant improvements. With others, there is still a way to go. Yet when it comes to human rights, the West, led by the United States, is completely guided by double standards. We have previously discussed the issue of American aid, and some of my colleagues even suggested that we should abandon it. But what concerns me isn’t the aid; it’s the American failure to understand complicated realities, their insistence on painting the world in black and white. America doesn’t really know what is happening on the ground in Egypt. It is consuming its information from third parties, some of which have explicit political agendas. Unfortunately, it appears that the current administration also has been blackmailed by those who seek to harm Egypt. Instead of working with our government to address such concerns, the Americans are confirming once again that they have double standards when it comes to human rights: one for themselves and another for the world. – Abd Al-Latif Al-Manawi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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