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Opinion
Bobby Ghosh

Joe Biden Gets (Not Too) Tough on Egypt

The U.S. withholds a tenth of military aid to the country. But its autocratic ruler General Sisi gets a lot more help from other powers.

Let that be a lesson to you!

Let that be a lesson to you!

Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America

It already seems a long time ago that Joe Biden arrived in the White House promising to defend democracy and protect human rights worldwide. Now, less than a month after having thrown Afghanistan’s struggling democracy to the wolves, the president is offering only the merest pretense of preserving human rights in Egypt.

The Biden administration has reportedly decided to supply the government of Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with more than half of the $300 million in American military aid that had previously been suspended by Congress because of the Egyptian government’s appalling human-rights record. U.S. law requires the Secretary of State to certify that Cairo has taken “sustained and effective steps” to clean up its act before the money can be released. But Antony Blinken will exercise his prerogative to exempt $170 million from such conditions.