October 2012 was how long ago, about two years? At that moment in history President Obama characterized the relationship with Egypt as follows:
“I don’t think that we consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” President Obama said, on Sept. 12, of the tangled relationship with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo. “They’re a new government that is trying to find its way,” and there would be some “rocky times” ahead.
(Oh, by the way, that is when Newsweek announced the end of its print distribution.)
“Frenemy” is the word that the President was looking for. American military producers wanted to sell Egypt some weapons, however, Egypt would have to get a lot more friendly with the West for that to happen. It would have to stand resoundingly against al Qaeda, and radical Sunnis. Could President Obama and the State Department not see that the Muslim Brotherhood was about to undermine the presidency and Egyptian government that it had secured through elections? Did they not see that the Muslim Brotherhood was the very radical organization that is opposed to American values and foreign policy?
“The day before, crowds had scaled the wall of the American Embassy in Cairo, burning the Stars and Stripes in protest against the video, Innocence of Muslims, that had triggered protests in 20 Muslim nations. No diplomats were killed in Egypt, as they were next door in Benghazi. But an American president obsessed with his election campaign, sure that the foreign world could be held at bay, was reminded of the hazards of imperial power in a fractured Islamic world ever ready for an anti-American riot.”
Fast forward to today. The Muslim Brotherhood led by Morsi was overthrown and now Morsi is sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing protesters.
“Ousted Egyptian President Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection with protester deaths
Published April 21, 2015 Associated Press
CAIRO – Egyptian criminal court on Tuesday sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison on charges linked to the killing of protesters in 2012, the first verdict to be issued against the country’s first freely elected leader.
The ruling, which can be appealed, and muted Islamist reaction following it underscore the dramatic downfall of Morsi and Egypt’s once-powerful Muslim Brotherhood group. However, Morsi escaped receiving a death sentence in the case.”
How time flies. The trouble with American foreign policy under Barack Obama is that it is flimsy and incomplete. It is tentative and lacks backbone embodied in unwavering principles. Therefore, it is unmistakingly confusing.