Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Rep. Allen Criticizes Plan to Sell U.S. Tanks to Egypt

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A strong supporter of Israel, Florida Republican Representative Allen West (left) has openly railed against the plan to sell U.S. tanks to Egypt that is currently in the works. According to West, the sale would likely benefit the Muslim Brotherhood, which poses a risk to Israel.

The Blaze reports:

Rep. Allen West is reportedly “strongly opposed” to a planned U.S. sale of M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt given the growing probability that the Muslim Brotherhood could, at some point in the near future, lead the Egyptian government. Allowing the sale of such tanks, would, according to West, “seriously jeopardize the safety and security of the state of Israel.“

West has publicly articulated his concerns regarding the potential sale, and the dangers it may pose to Israel. His letter to Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon addressed such concerns:

It has come to my attention that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on July 1, 2011 of a possible foreign military sale to the government of Egypt for 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits for coproduction and associated weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support.

One of the greatest threats to Egyptian stability, as well as to regional stability, is the growing prospect of a new Egyptian government under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. If given control of the country, the Muslim Brotherhood would nominate its own candidates and turn Egypt into a radical Islamic state.

America must continue to stand with the Egyptian people and encourage them to build their own democracy with new political parties and freedoms. However, we must exercise caution with regard to military sales and support to the Egyptian government until a government is formed absent of the radical elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that will maintain active peace with Israel.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I strongly oppose any military sales of any kind to the government of Egypt as long as the Muslim Brotherhood remains active in the political process. Doing so would seriously jeopardize the safety and security of the state of Israel. The last thing I want to see is Egyptian M1A1 tanks rolling through the Sinai toward Jerusalem.

Representative West has increasingly shown himself as a champion of Israel. But he is not the only one who has voiced concerns regarding the dangers plaguing Israel, particularly as the Middle East is becoming increasingly tumultuous.

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck utilized his former program on the Fox News channel to offer a passionate condemnation of America’s foreign policy toward Israel and the Middle East. His website explains:

As the Middle East continues to burn, the United States — and most of the world for that matter — have not taken a firm stance in alliance with Israel. Instead, the administration has been silent as groups like the Muslim Brotherhood start to work their way into power in Egypt and other countries.

Likewise, Beck notes that the policies adopted by this administration are detrimental to the state of Israel:

There are those high up in the administration that would stand against Israel, such as Samantha Power (Mrs. Cass Sunstein), who has argued that the United States should shift their support from Israel and focus on the creation of a Palestinian State. They use the doctrine of a “Responsibility to Protect” to say the US and its allies should move against Israel in support of the Palestinian State, the same doctrine that President Obama used to move against Libya without congressional approval.

Likewise, Texas Congressman Ron Paul blasted the Obama administration for its policies toward Israel, most notably the President's recent proposal for Israel to surrender its territory to pre-1967 borders and create a Palestinian state.

“Unlike this President, I do not believe it is our place to dictate how Israel runs her affairs," the Texas Republican wrote in a May 20 press statement. "There can only be peace in the region if those sides work out their differences among one another. We should respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate her policy from Washington."

West too had some choice words for Obama’s proposal, calling it the “most egregious foreign policy decision.” He added:

President Obama has not stood for Israel of the Jewish people and has made it clear where the United States will stand when Palestine attempts to gain recognition of statehood by the United Nations. The President should focus on the real obstacle to security — the Palestinian leadership and its ultimate goal to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people.

West has long questioned the United States’ support of the Egyptian revolution, particularly concerned by the threat it may pose to Israeli and American security. “Why should American taxpayers provide foreign aid to a nation where the next chapter in their history may be the emergence of another radical Islamic state?” West inquired.

Despite the warnings issued by a number of lawmakers and pundits, and regardless of the fact that 63 percent of the American people believe the United States should side with Israel, notes a 2011 Gallup Poll, the Obama administration continues to choose its own course.

In foreign affairs, the United States never seems to win, regardless of which side it supports and how it goes about supporting it. Analysts believe that is what makes Ron Paul’s philosophy of non-intervention increasingly popular in the race for the next GOP contender to face President Obama in 2012.

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