Appearing Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” John McCain declared it was time for the United States to cut off its $1.5 billion yearly aid to Egypt while the military regime violently assaults and slaughters its own citizens on the streets of Cairo. (Full transcript here.)
McCain told host Candy Crowley that the U.S. has “no credibility” in the region after failing to follow its own law that requires suspending aid to states overtaken by a military coup.
Whoa! Let’s back up. If those words sound familiar, it’s because they are.
Those were the words spoken by Sen. Rand Paul. The same words that McCain recently castigated the Kentucky Republican for speaking when McCain was on the other side of the issue.
Sen. Paul offered this amendment to suspend aid to Egypt until the country holds free and fair elections. That measure was rejected by a vote of 86 -13 as Republicans inexplicably sided with Democrats and only 12 stood with Paul. McCain was then a fierce foe of the policy revision stating, “It would be a terrific mistake for the United States to send a message to Egypt: you’re on your own.” I urge my colleagues to vote to table the Paul amendment.”
It was Sen. Rand Paul, the object of McCain’s wrath, who initially noted the Foreign Assistance Act, first enacted in 1961, requires a suspension of foreign aid to any country that undergoes a coup. “How do we lead by example when we’re not going to obey our own laws?” asked Paul. “When the president refuses to acknowledge that it’s a coup. Americans should be outraged and insulted by such blatant shirking of the law. Either we’re a nation of laws or we’re not.” Paul’s statement can be read here.
The vacillating McCain finally managed to get up to speed in time for yesterday’s program. Tomorrow he could well have another opinion.
And the “Religion of Peace?” It’s adherents have been busying themselves burning and looting 47 churches and monasteries in a new wave of violence against Christians in Egypt.