Things have come to the point that the Associated Press reports New unrest strains Washington's wariness toward Muslim Brotherhood; foreign aid threatened:
Egypt is on a "difficult path" to a peaceful democracy, the White House said Monday as months of lukewarm political support for the conservative Islamic government was in danger of backfiring after deadly weekend riots pushed Cairo to crack down on civil rights.Considering that background, we cannot help but join Jonathan S. Tobin in wondering Why Is Obama Bragging About Egypt?:
It was the latest strain on the stretched-thin detente between the Obama administration and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood following _ a fault line that already has delayed $1 billion in U.S. aid to Cairo. Billions of additional dollars in international loans also have been shelved because of Egypt's instability.
Washington has worried since June _ when Egyptian voters overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak and picked Morsi as its first democratically elected leader _ that the Brotherhood ultimately would default to its anti-American and anti-Israel roots instead of taking a more moderate stance towards peace.
A spate of recent steps _ from Brotherhood-led attacks on protesters, to vague protestations of women's freedoms in the nation's new constitution, to revelations of old comments by Morsi referring to Jews as "bloodsuckers" and "pigs" _ have raised alarm among senior U.S. officials. Political unrest in Egypt peaked this weekend with clashes that left more than 50 people dead and forced Morsi to deploy military forces and impose a curfew as part of a month-long state of emergency in three Suez Canal provinces.
President Obama: Well, Muammar Qaddafi probably does not agree with that assessment, or at least if he was around, he wouldn’t agree with that assessment. Obviously, you know, we helped to put together and lay the groundwork for liberating Libya. You know, when it comes to Egypt, I think, had it not been for the leadership we showed, you might have seen a different outcome there.Even recognizing Obama's accomplishment-poor first term in office, it does sound silly for Obama to brag about Egypt as if it was a real achievement -- especially to go so far as to claim that if not for him, Egypt would be different than what it is today.
Tobin puts it this way:
Let me get this straight. President Obama is not merely bragging about a conflict in Libya that led to chaos not only in that country that produced the murders of four Americans including our ambassador. He is also saying that he thinks he positively impacted the outcome of the power struggle in Egypt over the last two years and actually thinks his “leadership” helped create a situation about which we are happy. So what he’s telling us is that he’s not merely pleased with what he did or didn’t do, but that he thinks the current situation in Cairo in which the most populous Arab country is now run by a Muslim Brotherhood government led by a raving anti-Semite is a good thing about which he can brag on national TV.At a time that criticism of him is being smothered by the media, Obama apparently feels free to say whatever nonsense comes to mind.
Unfortunately, Obama's public statements -- like his policies -- just don't make sense.
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