Free Markets, Free People

Springtime in Egypt, or “how’s that ‘smart diplomacy’ working out for you?

You remember the US position when the supposed “Arab Spring” began in Egypt – Mubarak had to go and the Muslim Brotherhood was not a radical organization, but a benign one which had trasformed itself over the years.  And their candidate for president would bring democracy to an oppressed people and make Egypt an even better ally of the US.

Yeah, right.  If that passes for “smart diplomacy”, then I’d hate to see dumb diplomacy (although, in this context, “smart diplomacy” seems rather Orwellian, doesn’t it?).

So now where are we?  Well certainly nowhere near where we’d like to be.   And, in terms of the best interests of the US, Mubarak looks pretty good right now.  Meanwhile Obama and Anne Patterson, the US Ambassador to Egypt are about as popular in that country as Paula Deen at an NAACP convention.

The demonstrators maintain Morsi has become a power-hungry autocrat who is intent on making the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt’s permanent ruling party.

They also blame the Obama administration and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson for propping up Morsi and facilitating the Muslim Brotherhood’s power grab.

“We are very critical of the Obama administration because they have been supporting the Brotherhood like no one has ever supported them,” Shadi Al Ghazali Harb, a 24-year-old member of Egypt’s Revolutionary Youth Coalition, told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday afternoon during a telephone interview from Cairo.

The White House is “the main supporter of the Brotherhood,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the American support this president would have fallen months ago.”

Al Ghazali Harb specifically dubbed Patterson “the first enemy of the revolution,” claiming “she is hated even more than Morsi.”

Activists hung pictures of Patterson with a red “X” drawn across her face at Egypt’s Defense Ministry during smaller protests Friday afternoon.

“She’s done a lot to harm our relations with the United States,” Al Ghazali Harb said.

Oh.  But … we’re the good guys, right?

Well it all depends on your perspective, doesn’t it?  Mubarak was bad but Morsi is worse and the coalition that opposed Mubarak now oppose Morsi.  But what they know without anyone having to have anyone spell it out is the US went to some lengths to back the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  And now that faction has become as bad if not worse than what it replaced.

I don’t believe the opposition coalition is much better organized than it was when Egyptians were trying to oust Mubarak.  But there is no question, given the huge numbers of protesters, that they’re not happy with Morsi or the Brotherhood.

They’ve discovered what we were telling you from the beginning – the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical, Islamist organization with marked totalitarian tendencies.  That argument is over.  The debate now is whether or not they can hold onto power in Egypt.  If I were a betting man, I’d be taking the protesters and give points.

Meanwhile, our rudderless foreign policy boat continues to drift without direction with Swiftboat Kerry and Lead From The Rear Admiral Obama at the helm.

~McQ

37 Responses to Springtime in Egypt, or “how’s that ‘smart diplomacy’ working out for you?

  • I hope Patterson gets the same level of protection Chris Stevens got.
     
    Just to be consistent and fair.

  • “And now that faction has become as bad if not worse than what it replaced.”

    This administration’s foreign policy in a nutshell.  Wash, rinse, repeat…

    • The Obama Administration has done something especially unique that they should get credit for.
      That being that they managed to get virtually every organization of crazies in the the Middle East out of the shadows.  They are now main lining crazies.

  • Let us agree that the MB over-stepped.
    Show of hands they are just going to go away…???
    Who believes they will…even if ousted…manage to quietly regroup and consolidate?

    • A good blood-letting can be beneficial, especially when it’s not your blood

      • Yes, yes.
        “Good and necessary”…”watch and learn” and all that…  I wonder how many will have to die this time?

    • An opportunity for the Egyptian military to purge the ranks of ‘believers’, and test out all that fancy new hardware we “sold” them.
       
       

  • Well, at least this time around the protesters are behaving in a civilized mann. ….oh….wait…what?…..they’ve gang raped another reporter….nevermind.Well, maybe she and Lara Logan can do a joint news program about how we all juat need to learn how to embrace the religion of peace.Well, maybe she and Lara Logan can do a buddy comed

    • Soledad O’Brien will be joining Al Jazeera America as a special correspondent

  • What can I say ?  I didn’t vote for the Affirmative Action candidate for President

  • A lot of these protestors are actually protesting because the Muslim Brotherhood is not extreme and bloodthirsty enough for them.  There is nothing good ever coming out of that part of the world.  , 

  • Interesting. You seem to be arguing with a history that exists entirely in your imagination. In reality, the Obama regime initially supported Mubarak, then grudgingly, reluctantly accepted the fact that he was going to be gone whether they wanted him gone or not.

    • No, Capt. Condescending.  You are mistaking inertia for “support”.  That is orders of magnitude more energy than SmartPower(tm) is capable of showing.

    • Guess this slipped your memory of what happened:  Analysis: Obama telling Mubarak: Time to Go” http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-501365_162-7320007.html

      • Bruce,
         
        If you’re going to link to an article, you might want to read the whole thing first. Like this part:
         
        —–
        The U.S. would have preferred not to see Mubarak thrown over the side immediately. The realization became clear this week that the crisis could end no other way, and U.S. officials began to talk about “transition” to a post-Mubarak era.
        —–

        The Obama regime didn’t tell Mubarak “time to go” until long after it was obvious that he was going whether they said so or not.

        • Not that I’m trying to say anything good about Obama, mind you. In fact one of the worse aspects of the way he hits things like this is he sits around trying to figure out which street the parade is going to turn on, and then attempts to shove the drum major out of the way and pretend he’s the one leading it that way.
          At some point, his advisors realized that Mubarak’s goose was cooked, and got him to crank up the “work with the guys who are obviously going to be taking over” machine. America and Egypt would both have been better off if he’d just kept his trap shut.

          • He managed to get on board in Libya last moment, was against the Green Revolution in Iran, but now we are supposed to be involved in Syria.
            I think its all hodge podge decision making…what feels good, and as you say choosing sides that make him look good (temporarily.)
            I have to also say, Egypt is turning out better than I had imagined..millions of people protesting the MB!!!!
            I mean, what if they had been popular?
            Now we do have to worry about a wag the dog there.

        • Key word – “immediately”. They wanted him gone but only when they were ready.  And yes, they did indeed tell the Mubarak regime, “time to go”.  That’s only one of many reports citing it.  Try Google.  It’s your friend.

          And, as is obvious, what I wrote exists not only in my mind but in the history of the period.  Btw, no comment on the Muslim Brotherhood NYT point?

           

        • Just because Mubarak was going to be gone, didn’t mean would couldn’t be agnostic about the whole thing.  If you read the article at hand, you’d realize throwing Mubarak under the bus hasn’t helped our standing in that part of the world, has it?  Quite the opposite.

          • And there’s one more little detail.  Consider how Mubarak ended up.  Do you think any quasi-dictator that we had any pull with, do you think they’ll step down if we ask them?
             
            I’m thinking they will simply open fire with a blazer of bullets and take their chances.  So if we weren’t/couldn’t get Mubarak as graceful exit, we should have just kept silent.
             
            Just how much credibility has Obama destroyed undermining our ability for future diplomatic solutions.  The list pales all others.

    • Meanwhile, none other than the NYT reminds us:

      “Perhaps the most radical change in U.S. foreign policy under President Obama has occurred here in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, long shunned as a collection of dangerous Islamist extremists, is now the de facto object of American support.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/opinion/roger-cohen-working-with-the-muslim-brotherhood.html?_r=0

    • Recent press reports have indicated growing tensions between Washington and the Gulf states over the US standpoint regarding Mubarak. During the exchange of the messages, the Saudi monarch expressed his anger over Washington’s abandonment of an “historical ally” such as President Hosni Mubarak, despite the services he offered to support the American policy in the Middle East. These included his positions during the wars against Iraq, his stand against nuclear Iran, and his stand toward Tehran’s involvement in Lebanon.

  • We could have at least not demanded immediate elections that helped the MB.
    But once they are elected…we sort of have to support them a little because we have to salvage Camp David peace if we can.

    • That’s right.  Our demand and push for immediate elections are what enabled the MB to take control since, as we mentioned countless times during that period, they were the most organized and ruthless of the opposition.  And sure enough, as predicted, they won.

      My guess, unless something happens to Morsi, those were the last “free” elections Egypt is going to see for a long time.

      • PLUS the flood of aid…much of it military aid…Obama poured into Egypt without any conditions, while Christians were being subjected to a pogrom.
        Smart.

      • I think the colonels are even now meeting amongst themselves to resolve this crisis.
         
        I don’t see how this ends except fast, probably harsh by Western standards and as you say resulting in something that isn’t ‘free’.
         
        Then we can watch Big Ears try and figure out which way the parade is heading, which would be endlessly entertaining if it weren’t so frigging dangerous.
        Odds are very very good though that whatever the best probable choice is, he will choose something else.

  • And where is ‘good and necessary’ man.   I would have thought this would be a prime topic for him.    He can sashay in, sprinkle some of his high level bullshit sugar on us, tell us we’re ignorant and foolish, explain that we don’t understand reality and we’re living in the past and make some smirky remarks about how wise the President is.
     
    Before that happens, I’d like to say ‘pragmatic’ in regards to Obama means “willing to say whatever sounds best, and then doing WTF he wants”.

    • Hey, a few eggs have to be broken, don’tchya know.

    • He can sashay in, sprinkle some of his high level bullshit sugar on us,

      I think maybe he’s still icing his “sashay parts” from his abuse over the weekend.

      • “high level”?  LOL, uh, not how I’d describe it.

        • ““high level”?  LOL, uh, not how I’d describe it.”
          I was thinking in terms of clueless wisdom from on high.   The kind that “seagulls managers” generally impart before they fly back to their home office.
           
          Scott is a Seagull commenter

          • Scott is a Seagull commenter

            Yep.  He probably has delusions about being more the Jonathan Livingston Seagull type, than the reality of the dirty bird whose cacophony, mindless gluttony, and prodigious smelly crap are nothing to be admired.  He’s a fan of Richard Bach, which isn’t surprising given the author’s penchant for writing nonsense in complete denial of reality.

    • Don’t forget twitter!  That’s going to make sure that the government in Egypt is modern and enlightened (in a “wise leftist” way, of course).

      • Well, yea!
         
        It has to be free and democratic if it’s on Twitter!   That’s like, a law or something isn’t it?

  • Now fast-forward to today, July 3, when we learn that the Administration does actually care:

    Officials have also warned the Egyptian military that a military coup [against the Muslim Brotherhood] would trigger U.S. legislation cutting off all U.S. aid, which totals about $1.5 billion per year.

    For those keeping score at home, the Obama Administration waives human rights requirements when the Muslim Brotherhood is in power but then threatens to impose those very same waived requirements when the military — our decades-long ally within Egypt — threatens to assert control.
    I erred in the title of my post by calling the policy “chaos.” It’s not chaos. It makes perfect sense in context with Administration actions from the Green Revolution to the “Arab Spring.” Allies are thrown under the bus with alacrity, enemies are wooed with money and weapons — and through it all, radicals prosper and Christians die.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/352604/utter-chaos-obama-administrations-egypt-policy-david-french
    Yep.  Seems to state the case in rather succinct terms.
     

    • “Administration does actually care”
       
      Further proof – delaying enforcement of the Obamacare employer mandate in January 2014.
       
      He ‘cares’ that all this reveals he is the destructive clueless unprepared ass-hat we have been saying he is for 5 years.

  • The Army allegedly has Morsi in custody…
    Well, let’s see what no-balls Barry does now.  Anybody know if Valerie Jarrett is out of pocket?
    I predict a speech that contains the phrase “let me be clear”.