Once upon a time we Americans were anguished to learn that certain people hated us. What could we have done to deserve such rancor? For those who believed that we must have done something to provoke the anger, it was puzzling.
“Why do they hate us?” became a battle cry for therapy. If only we knew why they hated us, we could change, and then, mirable dictu, they would cease to hate us. Neat, clean, precise… problem solved.
At some future point we will wonder why we were worrying ourselves about why Islamist terrorists hate us. It takes very little acumen to see that they hate us because they are in the hate business, and we happen to be the biggest target.
That wasn’t too difficult, now was it?
As it happens, the Obama administration has done its level best to ensure that the Muslim world likes us. Make that… really, really likes us.
In Egypt it has enjoyed a limited success. The Islamists who are running that sad country like us. They like us a lot.
But then, somehow or other, many people in newly democratic Egypt still hate us. Only, it's not the same people. Those who hate us now comprise the democracy advocates and the Christians who are being harassed and persecuted by the government that we have empowered.
The Wall Street Journal reports the sad story:
Anger against the U.S. is nothing new in the Middle East, and neither are conspiracy theories in which Washington plays a strong, silent hand.
But rarely have such theories placed U.S. influence so squarely behind Islamists such as Mr. Morsi, a former leader in the powerful Muslim Brotherhood that the White House helped to subdue for decades by backing successive anti-Islamist autocrats.
In Egypt, people who love freedom hate America, because, after all, America has put itself on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. Maybe that’s what the administration meant when it called for a foreign policy reset.
Egyptians pay close attention to American diplomacy. They saw our policy clearly when Mohamed Morsi was elected president of Egypt:
Immediately after the Brotherhood cited its own unofficial tallies in announcing that Mr. Morsi had won presidential elections in June 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton angered anti-Islamist politicians when she called on Egyptian authorities to "support the democratic transition" and yield power to an elected president.
Activists were further vexed when Mr. Morsi announced a constitutional declaration awarding himself power over the judiciary. The announcement sparked suspicion because it came immediately after Mrs. Clinton visited Cairo and activists complained the U.S. didn't condemn Mr. Morsi's action.
True to its policy, the Obama administration appointed an ambassador to Egypt who is either incompetent or is very fond of the Brotherhood.
The Journal reports:
But comments by Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, earlier in June at an Egyptian pro-democracy organization have sparked a renewed eruption of anti-American sentiment in the secular media.
In an effort to "set the record straight" about the U.S. relationship with the Brotherhood, Ms. Patterson said the White House supported Mr. Morsi because he was fairly elected and poured cold water on protesters' plans to oust him on June 30.
"Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical," Ms. Patterson told the audience of mostly activists. "More violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs. Instead, I recommend Egyptians get organized."
The backlash from activist corners was fast and fierce. George Ishaq, a prominent Egyptian Christian and longtime pro-democracy campaigner attacked Ms. Patterson on the popular talk show "The Issue" on Al Hayat, Egypt's most-watched satellite channel.
"She is an evil lady who is creating divisions. How is this any of her business?" Mr. Ishaq said of Ms. Patterson. "If I saw her walking down the street I would tell her, 'shut up and mind your own business.' "
In a profile of Ms. Patterson titled "The Brotherhood's Ambassador," the anti-Islamist newspaper Al Watan called her a "pariah" among Egypt's political opposition. Secularist former parliamentarian Mustafa Al Bakri announced on television that Ms. Patterson had been recruited into a Brotherhood "sleeper cell."
A leader in the pro-democracy group The National Association for Change called Ms. Patterson's comments "provocative" and dangerous.
The new American policy toward s Egypt is based, Caroline Glick suggests, on hope and a prayer. It is certainly not based on American interest, American values or an understanding of the situation in Egypt:
The Obama administration supports the Morsi government even as it persecutes Christians. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood even though the government has demonstrated economic and administrative incompetence, driving Egypt into failed state status. Egypt is down to its last few cans of fuel. It is facing the specter of mass starvation. And law and order have already broken down entirely. It has lost the support of large swathes of the public. But still Obama maintains faith.
So, in Egypt, the Obama administration has succeeded to getting our friends, the people who share our values to hate us. The nicest thing we can say is that it’s amateur hour in American foreign policy.