The first to congratulate the new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was President Obama. He gave him a friendly call, vowing that the United States "will continue to support Egypt’s transition to democracy" and intends to "promote their common interests on the basis of mutual respect." The White House announced that the two presidents pledged to "develop USA-Egypt partnerships, staying in close contact in the coming months."

Is the United States turning its back on the military caste, the mainstay for over thirty years of its influence in Egypt, to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood organization, considered as hostile up to now? Oh no!

Immediately after Morsi, Obama called General Ahmed Shafik, the military presidential candidate, encouraging him to pursue his political commitment to "promote the democratic process." A commitment that the military showed by dissolving the Parliament. Thanks to Washington’s vital support, military assistance to Egypt, said the State Department, constitutes "an important pillar of bilateral relations."

Egypt receives annually from the U.S. a military aid of about $ 1.5 billion. She also enjoys a privilege reserved for very few countries: the funds are deposited into an account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, where they generate significant interest. This increases the purchasing power of the Egyptian armed forces, whose shopping list at the U.S. military market includes: M1A1 Abrams tanks (co-manufactured in Egypt), F-16 fighters, Apache helicopters and other military equipment. In addition, the Pentagon sends them its surplus weapons, for an annual value of one hundred million dollars. In exchange the U.S. armed forces are given free access to Egypt, which hosts every two years the Bright Star military exercise, the largest in the region.

Equally generous is Washington’s "economic aid." Egypt is in crisis: the public deficit rose to $ 25 billion and foreign debt to 34, while the reserves of foreign exchange are down from 36 billion in 2011 to 15 in 2012. So here we have the U.S. extending its hand of friendship. The Obama administration has allocated $ 2 billion for the promotion of U.S. private investments in the region, primarily in Egypt. Other U.S. investments will be made, facilitated by Cairo in exchange for the relief of one billion dollars in foreign debt. Egypt will also receive a credit of one billion dollars, guaranteed by the U.S., in order to regain "access to capital markets." And thanks again to the USA, the International Monetary Fund is prepared to provide Egypt with a line of credit. At the same time, the U.S. embassy in Cairo is launching new programs to help young Egyptian entrepreneurs to kick-start or develop their own activities.

Consequently, all of Washington’s card are on the table: economic, to strangle Egypt and groom an pro-U.S. managerial class; political, to give the country a sheen of civilian democratic rule that will not jeopardize the influence of the U.S. in the country, and military, to bet on a coup d’état if the other cards fail.

But one hitch remains: a Gallup poll indicates that, in ten months, the Egyptians opposed to U.S. aid increased from 52% to 82%.

Il Manifesto (Italy)