Still Wrong About Egypt—and Wrong About the World

Walter Russell Mead
The American Interest

Both the Armed Forces of Egypt and President Obama made important statements last night. The Egyptian statement justifying the overthrow of President Morsi is here, and President Obama’s statement of concern is here. Looking carefully at both statements, it appears that the non-coup coup or whatever we want to call it may not create too much tension in US-Egyptian relations. Looking forward, President Obama wants Egypt’s military to move swiftly toward the restoration of civilian rule. That is pretty much what the Egyptian brass also wants. There are no gaps here that good diplomats (and both the US and Egypt have plenty of those) cannot paper over.

There are two flies in the ointment. On the Egyptian side, while there are no references to the suppression of opposition in the military statement, there are reports that news stations have been closed down, and both reporters and hundreds of pro-Morsi politicians have been arrested. On the American side, President Obama’s statement referenced provisions in US law that would require aid cuts in the event of a military coup:

Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

That will certainly get some attention from Egypt’s new government; besides the army’s keen interest in US aid, the country is in the midst of a cascading economic disaster and aid of all kinds has never been more necessary, or harder to come by…

…Where the American President’s statement becomes more troubling is at the end…

…Many people who came of age politically in the late 1980s and 1990s have a warped sense of history. They lived at a time of rapid democratic advance: East Asia, Latin America, South Africa and above all Central and Eastern Europe hosted a galaxy of new democratic stars. One belief uniting the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama is that this democratic revolution would irresistibly sweep the rest of the world.

But it didn’t and it won’t, at least not anytime soon…


Read the entire article at The American Interest.


Related: Egypt violence: Gang throws rivals to their deaths from top of a building. Sickening scenes captured as clashes between opponents and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi intensify





Update: Obama Calls For Role In Egypt For Group His Administration Doesn’t Support

…Judging from this episode, an the ongoing nightmare in Syria, it takes an awful lot for terrorists to disqualify themselves from the Obama Administration’s support.

Smart Power!



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