Heard via friends in the “intelligence” community that the spooks have known for “weeks” that the Egyptian Army was planning to oust Egyptian President Morsi. Do you think they kept that news to themselves? Nope. Barack Obama was briefed on this–repeatedly.
So here’s the question–Barack Obama knew that Morsi had a target on his back and would soon be under arrest by the Generals and he chose to do nothing? Sure looks that way. The Obama Administration appeared stunned and flustered by this week’s coup in Cairo. And yes, it was a coup.
Did Obama have some options? Absolutely. But as with his languid response to the attacks on our personnel in Benghazi last September, Obama displayed the same nonchalance and sonambulence as as the Egyptian military mobilized to take out President Morsi. Obama shied away from substantive public statements and failed to clarify U.S. policy towards a military ouster of a democratically elected President.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am glad that Morsi is gone.
But do not kid yourself, this forced removal will not fix what is broken and shredded in Egypt. Allah Humpty Dumpty has crashed to the ground and broken into pieces. The Mullahs don’t have the theological glue to reassemble the coalition that swept them to a narrow victory last year and the odds are high that sectarian conflict will spread along the shores of the Nile.
Should Obama suspend aid to the Egyptian Generals? No. That money has bought Israel some measure of piece and gives us a seat at the table. While our position at that table has diminished over the course of the last 24 months, we still have a seat and a voice. It is in the interest of the United States to promote a regime that will try to govern by a rule of law and will do a better job of feeding hungry Egyptians and resuscitating the dying tourist industry.
But that means Obama will actually have to work and will have to focus. Two things he is not keen on doing.