There are times when the U.S. Congress seems to almost exist in a parallel reality which defies any sense of logic or reason to the real world. There are also times when certain individuals within that reality are just bizarre in their idealistic foundation to the point that they stretch the boundaries of sanity. In a video released Saturday, three Republican congress members made a strong case for the latter.
While attending a delegation in Egypt, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) each made public statements to the Egyptian people in support of the actions of the Egyptian Military and condemned the Obama administration for “supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.” The bizarre video, which was apparently made hours after meeting with coup leader General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi, features the trio praising the Egyptian Military for actions against the Muslim Brotherhood which Bachmann designated a “common enemy” and “great evil.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, as a political organization, rejected violence decades ago. Within Egypt, they have millions of supporters in an effort to combat terrorism in a country full of extremist radicals that take action on the public at large. In the last election The Muslim Brotherhood had more than 30 million supporters in Egypt. Bachmann, King, and Gohmert continued to demonize The Muslim Brotherhood as violent terrorists and claimed that the military action taken against them was “a war on terror.” Their comments seem to coincide with the state propaganda of Egypt’s Military.
Bachmann implied that it was the Muslim Brotherhood that was responsible for the 9-1-1 attacks, and stated:
I want to assure the people of Egypt that I, as a member of Congress, will stand strong in support of continuing military support, United States support financially, to stand for the military in Egypt. We know that you have been a partner. You’ve been a partner in the war on terrorism. You’ve acted bravely here on the front lines. […]Many of you have asked, ‘Do we understand who the enemy is?’ We can speak for ourselves: We do. We have seen the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood has posed, here, for the people of Egypt. We’ve seen the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood posed around the world. We stand against this great evil. We remember who caused nine-one-one in America. […] We don’t have a choice. They must be defeated.
Gohmert, who compared General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi to George Washington, made statements about the “blood thirsty Muslim Brothers” and said:
We were opposed to send military assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood regime?before your revolution, but now we will work on getting all military assistance needed to fight the Jihadists and the Terrorists. […] This is a good time.
Gohmert also claimed that Egyptian Jews participated in the anti-Morsi effort, which is to say unlikely.
We stand against the Muslim Brotherhood. The American people do not support the Muslim Brotherhood, we oppose all forms of terror and terrorism. […] We will work on an economic partnership between the US and Egypt and make sure you move forward to a stage of democracy and economic success.
Since when does a U.S. State Representative have full authority to speak officially on behalf of American citizens or U.S. Government officials in international policy concerns?
President Obama officially announced intent to cut off all ties with Egyptian military (including Operation Bright Star) August 15, the day following the Egyptian military’s attack on a Rabaa al-Awadiya sit-in?that left an estimated 525 people dead. There is no reliable estimate of the number of killings carried out by the Egyptian Military as a whole in response to the protests, but recent figures put the number somewhere between 1,000 to 8,000 deaths.
Bachmann herself stated that the delegation had been asked, ‘Do you understand who the enemy is?’ The reasoning for that question to be asked seems pretty obvious. They have no clue, and are blinded by their own bigotry toward Muslim faith.
It’s important to take note of the selective memory of these specific Republicans. The 9/11 Commission found that The Muslim Brotherhood was not involved in the terrorist attacks, and that it was the small network of al-Qaida extremists led by Osama bin Laden that in fact carried out the attacks. The collective Muslim Brotherhood very strongly and very publicly condemned the acts of terrorism against the American people and around the world. It was actually now former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi who called the attacks “a wrong act which we denounce regardless of its doer.” At the time, Morsi was a leader in The Muslim Brotherhood.
The delegation in Cairo also included a number of Democratic politicians; however, none of them made an official statement to the Egyptian media or took position on matters of policy.
Edited and published by CB