Nurturing Egyptian Democracy with Helicopter Gunships

“The Pentagon agreed last week to deliver 10 AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships to Egypt. On Monday, an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 people to die for the killing of an Egyptian policeman.”

TIME

The Pentagon agreed last week to deliver 10 AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships to Egypt. On Monday, an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 people to die for the killing of an Egyptian policeman.

It’s a jarring juxtaposition that highlights the difficulty in nurturing democracy alongside a fight against terrorism. “This is a relationship that, from a military-to-military perspective, that matters,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday when asked about the helicopters. “It’s important, and we want to see it continue.”

Not everyone agrees. “I am extremely disturbed by the Egyptian government’s flouting of human rights and appalling abuse of the justice system, which are fundamental to any democracy,” Sen. Patrick Leahy said. The Vermont Democrat oversees such aid from his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I am not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military,” he said, “until we have a…

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