It’s too soon to say who won the latest showdown between the Egyptian people and Islamic fundamentalism, but we know who lost.
We do not know whether Egypt’s new rulers will put it on the road to liberal democracy, or better, whether they will promote free enterprise, but we do know that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE are cheering the military coup in Egypt. They, as opposed to the Obama administration, know what the Muslim Brotherhood is really about.
Today, as the new rulers of Egypt round up leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Obama administration has again been shown to be inept and incompetent.
Jonathan Tobin offered a concise analysis on the Commentary Contentions blog:
The end of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt is a blow to the cause of radical Islam. The rise of the Brotherhood and the now deposed President Mohamed Morsi was a disaster for Egypt as well as for the West. Had Morsi and his party been left in place to continue their drive to impose their Islamist vision on the world’s most populous Arab country it might have been impossible to depose them, thus locking Egypt into the same nightmare scenario of theocratic tyranny that we have seen unfold in Iran in the last generation.
Tobin explainedthat the Obama administration, having pinned its hopes and illusions on the Muslim Brotherhood, had told the Egyptian Army not to intervene. Happily for Egypt, the Army ignored the earnest entreaties of our incompetent president.
The even better news is that the Egyptian Army didn’t listen to the Obama administration when it asked them not to launch what is, for all intents and purposes, a military coup that toppled a democratically elected government. The embrace of Morsi and the Brotherhood by President Obama and his foreign policy over the last year has further poisoned Egyptian public opinion against the United States as well as strengthened the confidence of Islamists that America will not oppose their efforts to transform the region. After having been intimidated by U.S. pressure aimed at ensuring that the military would not prevent Morsi’s election, the military ran the risk that this time Obama meant what he said about using the billions in aid Egypt gets from the United States to prevent them from stopping the Brotherhood’s push for power. The willingness of the Egyptian army to step in and stop the confrontation in the streets not only avoided clashes that might have produced unimaginable casualties but also kept open the possibility that a new government could emerge in Cairo without having to fight a civil war in order to survive.
Since the Obama administration wanted Egypt to be transformed into another Turkey, the popular uprising and the military coup was not at all to its liking. One suspects that it did not like being revealed as incompetent and that it did not want the world to see how widely it was reviled in Egypt.
After the administration offered its first comment on the events in Cairo, Tobin commented:
… you don’t have to read too closely between the lines to understand that Obama is angrier about regime change in Cairo than he ever was about the Islamist attempt to remake Egypt in their own image.
President Obama stood by passively for a year as Morsi and the Brotherhood began to seize total power, repress critics and pave the way for a complete transformation of Egypt into an Islamist state without threatening a cutoff of U.S. aid. Now Obama has finally found the guts to use America’s leverage over the country but only to register his protest against the downfall of the Brotherhood.
Tobin said that Obama is doubling down on failure. One would not be surprised. Yet, there might be another piece of good news in the debacle of the Obama administration foreign policy. Perhaps another reputation has been damaged: