We’ve kept an eye on the extent to which right-wing rhetoric from unhinged members of Congress affect U.S. foreign policy – a phenomenon that’s both real and alarming. This is especially true in Egypt, where comments from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) undermined U.S. policy last year, and equally inane theories from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) had similar effects this year.
But this clearly raises the stakes.
As Max Fisher reported, Bachmann, Gohmert, and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) – arguably the three most ridiculous lawmakers in Congress – traveled to Cairo, met directly with the leader of the Egyptian coup, and then filmed a video praising both the uprising and the violent crackdown on pro-Morsi demonstrators that followed.
This is more than just a random stunt from strange politicians. The official position of the United States was that the post-overthrow violence was needlessly brutal and shocking, so much so that aid to Egypt may well be suspended. And yet, Bachmann, Gohmert, and King traveled to Cairo to deliver a conflicting message – apparently because they felt like it.
Bachmann, at her most Bachmann-esque, even went so far as to suggest the Muslim Brotherhood was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. “We have seen the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood has posed around the world. We stand against this great evil,” she said, adding: “We remember who caused 9/11. We remember who it was that killed 3,000 brave Americans.”
Obviously, the substance of the video is crazy, but the fact that it exists at all is what’s truly amazing. Three sitting members of Congress decided on their own to do some foreign policy freelancing, contradicting the foreign policy of the United States, and making a propaganda video for those responsible for a military coup, offering support for a deadly crackdown on dissenters.
Since when is this considered acceptable?