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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Egypt Kicks Sand in Obama’s Face

Brotherhood’s leading liberal ally defects; West still doesn’t get it

I could write a 300-page book on how the Obama administration’s Middle East policy has damaged Israel. I could write an 800-page book about how the Obama administration’s Middle East policy has damaged US interests. But why bother?

This is all you need to know: The US government asked its good buddy Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to inspect an Iranian ship suspected of carrying arms to Syria while it passed through the Suez Canal. Remember that to do so is arguably in Egypt’s own interest since Cairo is supporting the rebels while Tehran backs the regime.

The Egyptian government, despite three decades of massive US aid, licensing to produce advanced American tanks and other equipment, strategic backing and an invitation to Washington to meet Obama – refused. Indeed, Morsy headed for Tehran to attend a “nonaligned” conference.

Does this mean Egypt is going to ally with Iran? No, Egypt will fight Iran for influence tooth and nail. The two countries will kill each others’ surrogates. But it means Morsy feels no friendlier toward America than he does toward Iran. And Cairo will not lift a finger to help Washington against Tehran unless, perhaps, America is willing to put a Muslim Brotherhood government in place in Syria, which might well happen.

In other words, under Jimmy Carter’s watch we got Islamist Iran – and, yes, things could have turned out very differently – and under Obama’s watch – and, yes, things could have turned out very differently – we got Islamist Egypt.

Read the full article

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