CHILMARK, Mass. — President Obama condemned the Egyptian military’s violent crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Thursday, announcing that the U.S. will respond by canceling its scheduled joint military exercises with the Egyptian Army.
Several reporters questioned the president on whether the U.S. would also respond by suspending its $1.5 billion in aid to the military-led Egyptian government.
“Now hold on,” said Mr. Obama. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
“We want to make a statement to Egypt about how we feel, but not too big of a statement,” continued Mr. Obama. “It’s like when your best friend asks whether you like his new girlfriend, and you don’t like her, but you can’t just come out and say it. Do you get what I’m saying? I’m not going to stop sending them aid.”
The president went on to say that “the Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the past several days,” and that the “cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop.” After pausing to consider his last statement, the president added, “Not immediately, but eventually. Eventually, it will need to stop.”
When asked whether this meant he might in the future consider suspending aid to a military regime whose recent crackdown has resulted in over six hundred deaths, Obama abruptly ended the press conference.
According to White House aides, Obama has weighed his decision not to suspend American military and economic aid against a set of “double-secret international considerations” that the public is not aware of.
“You just have to accept that the president is under enormous pressure because of things that I can’t tell you about,” said one aide. “You would totally understand his position if you knew about all of the complicated factors that go into whether he should continue funding a military regime that is murdering its citizens. You’d totally understand, if you knew about all that stuff.”