What’s amazing about the massive protest today in Egypt is that literally millions of Muslims are protesting the rise of an autocratic Islamist government. The masses have seen the results of Islamist autocrats such as Morsi and want none of it.
The BBC reports 17 million people have taken to the streets in cities across Egypt in the largest political protest in all of history.
So, which side does the administration support?
Remember this, while the immediate purpose of the invasion of Iraq was to forestall the rise of an Iraq that could potentially stage an attack on the US (or its allies), the larger strategic goal was a realignment of the Arab world. There was not a single functional democracy in the Arab world. The goal of the realignment was to deny Al Qeda and other extremist Islamic groups the fertile grounds upon which to recruit and to foster resentment and hate.
President Bush’s efforts were stymied by fierce partisan attacks by his domestic political opponents. The ever greater escalation of violence in Iraq also lead to decline in popular support at home for US intervention elsewhere. But if the US could provide no more than encouragement and diplomatic support to nascent movements for freedom in Arab lands, it at least did that much.
But when the upheaval of the Arab Spring came, the Obama admonition’s choices of who to support and who to shun have been a mishmash. A cynic might almost conclude that the more radicalized and Islamicist a group was, the more likely they were to receive support from Obama.
I’m pretty cynical, but for now, I’ll guess that the Obama administration’s primary goal after the departure of Mubarak was a stable regime, not necessarily the best regime. But supporting the Morsi regime has lead to a great many Egyptians being sorely disappointed in the US. Witness the picture above.
Of course, a lot of the support the US has given to the “Morsi regime” is in fact, support for the Egyptian military, which isn’t quite the same thing. As URR notes in the comment of the previous post, whichever way the military decides to go, that’s where the country is going.