Egypt blasts “foreign pressure” as Western diplomats descend on Cairo

posted at 10:41 am on August 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The US’ attempts to push the military-led government in Egypt into quick elections isn’t exactly paying dividends, and neither is the effort from other Western nations.  Despite efforts to assure all sides that the US and its allies want nothing more than a peaceful transition to elections in the future, the spokesman for the current interim president ripped into the envoys for “exceeding international standards” in domestic affairs:

The spokesman for Egypt’s interim president is decrying “foreign pressure” in a strongly worded message that appears to indicate Cairo’s uneasiness toward a flurry of visits by American, European and Gulf envoys aimed at mediating a standoff with supporters of the ousted president.

Ahmed el-Musalamani, a spokesman for interim president Adly Mansour, told reporters on Tuesday that “foreign pressure has exceeded international standards.”

If anything, military leader General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi put it even more bluntly.  Having backed the Muslim Brotherhood once and then saying nothing about its abuses, the US has little influence on events now in Cairo:

We really wonder: where is the role of the United States and the European Union and all of the other international forces that are interested in the security, safety and well-being of Egypt? Are the values of freedom and democracy exclusively exercised in your countries but other countries do not have the right to exercise the same values and enjoy the same environment? Have you seen the scores of millions of Egyptians calling for change in Tahrir? What is your response to that?

You left the Egyptians, you turned your back on the Egyptians and they won’t forget that. Now you want to continue turning your backs on Egyptians? The U.S. interest and the popular will of the Egyptians don’t have to conflict. We always asked the U.S. officials to provide advice to the former president to overcome his problems.

Perhaps ironically, one of the missions of the American diplomatic effort in Egypt this week is to tell the Muslim Brotherhood to forget about putting Mohamed Morsi back in office.  Belatedly, after weeks of vacillation, the Obama administration is implicitly accepting the coup d’etat as a fait accompli, and advising the Brotherhood to do the same and prepare for the future:

The Obama administration sought to defuse tensions with the interim Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood on Monday, deploying a senior diplomat to quietly press the case that street protests and political deadlock will not return Mohamed Morsi to the presidency.

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, together with envoys from the European Union and two key Arab nations, met late Sunday with the detained deputy chief of the Muslim Brotherhood. But U.S. officials said separately that one of Burns’s goals has been to smooth relations with Egypt’s military-backed interim government and make clear that the United States is distancing itself from Morsi. …

The White House has refused to call the military’s ouster of Morsi a coup, because doing so would automatically bar the United States from dispensing more than $1 billion in annual aid to Egypt. The money represents much of the leverage that Washington holds over a key Middle East partner that was the first Arab state to make peace with Israel.

At the same time, weeks of muddled messages have left Egypt’s interim government angry and dissatisfied.

If the results of that diplomatic effort is only to produce even more angry public retorts from the interim government, I’d say that we’re not succeeding so far in toning down the distrust.  Part of that comes from the pressure to hold quick elections, which was precisely the poor strategy after the fall of Mubarak that produced the inept and abusive Morsi government.

Egypt needs time for its moderate and secular political forces to organize and compete with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists, who spent decades organizing as a sometimes-tolerated opposition to the dictatorships that ruled Egypt.  Sissi has apparently learned the lesson from that misstep, but so far the West has not — or at least they care less about getting that right on the second chance than they do about having to answer for the double standard of supporting a coup over an elected government.  Sissi and his interim government see through the pressure and are signaling that they won’t make the same mistake twice.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Smart Power via that incredible Cairo Speech and the former SoS who was so competent at her job.

Bishop on August 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

…pressure from our pinhead?

KOOLAID2 on August 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Bishop on August 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

…BISHOP!

KOOLAID2 on August 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Caliphate!!!!

Egypt…..it’s your turn. Obama has spoken.

Shame on you for not wanting to be dragged back to the 7th century.

PappyD61 on August 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Then:

‘You know, I take a wait and see approach… It’s not productive, given the history of US- Iranian relations to be seen meddling. The US president, meddling in Iranian elections.’

- President Barack Obama, 16 June 2009

Now:

‘You know, I don’t think that we can wait and see what happens. It’s very productive, given the history of US-Egyptian relations, to be seen as meddling and promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, who the Egyptian people mistakenly threw out. 34 million people in the streets? Again, they are very obviously mistaken. The US president carries a lot of weight and I intend on using it to meddle in internal Egyptian politics. We intend to reward our friends and punish our enemies.’

- Obama, 2013

Resist We Much on August 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Having backed the Muslim Brotherhood once and then saying nothing about its abuses, the US has little influence on events now in Cairo:

Wait, wasn’t one of Dear Liar’s grievances about the US being imperialistic and interfering in other countries internal affairs? And yet here he is, interfering in another country’s internal affairs — and doing it to the detriment of the US. That’s an 0-2fer!

rbj on August 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Hafid Hits Hot Air

lol

Resist We Much on August 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Very interesting article by SandMonkey:

http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/08/05/state-of-play/

According to him, the average Egyptian hates the MB and that the new US Ambassador is already being labeled an “undercover Brother” and accused of being sent to Egypt to start a civil war.

Anyway, good read.

Blake on August 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Backed them? heck, they’re part of our Administration.

kingsjester on August 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Well, “foreign pressure”, from the ‘Prince of Turds’, installed the muslim brotherhood in power in Egypt, so they have every right to be leery of “Western diplomats” attempting more manipulation of their situation.

Pork-Chop on August 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Anyone still doubt where Obama’s sympathies lie? Now that he’s completed his Ramadan observances at the WH, it’s time to get down to business in promoting his Muslim beliefs.

He’s really not that hard to predict. If it’s good for this country, he’s against it. If it’s bad for this country, he’s for it.

iamsaved on August 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

If anything, military leader General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi put it even more bluntly. Having backed the Muslim Brotherhood once and then saying nothing about its abuses, the US has little influence on events now in Cairo

Succinctly said, ØbaMaØ “screwed the pooch”. The military in Egypt is the Super Glue that held/holds that country together, despite radical Islamists, much like the military in Turkey. And now, after ØbaMaØ’s intervention, the country has open season on CHRISTIANS who are murdered on sight and their Churches torched.
That’s what happens when a country elects a clueless community organizer who then gives the plum and the most important assignment, Sec’y of State, to a political fair-weather friend and foe, the Queen of the Corrupt, lying cover-up.
King Ø needs to just STFU and keep his clueless crew from making matters worse.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on August 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Belatedly, after weeks of vacillation, obambi is implicitly accepting the coup d’etat as a fait accompli…….

Ed, you misspelled “vacationing”.

VegasRick on August 6, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Zawahiri had/has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. That would be the Zawahiri who is the current leader of (decimated) ‘core’ al Qaeda, and who is behind 11 jail breaks in the past month in 11 countries that freed 1000 AQ terrorists.

Zawahiri is Egytian and got his start as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt at the age of 14. He went on to become the leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al Qaeda in 1998. About the time of the US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

farsighted on August 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

About Zawahiri, former member of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, current leader of (decimated) ‘core’ al Qaeda…

From Wiki…

On February 23, 1998, al-Zawahiri issued a joint fatwa with Osama bin Laden under the title “World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders”. Zawahiri, not bin Laden, is thought to have been the actual author of the fatwa.

He was often described as a “lieutenant” to Osama bin Laden, though bin Laden’s chosen biographer has referred to him as the “real brains” of al-Qaeda.

But not to worry… because Dear Leader has said…

“The goal that I set — to defeat al-Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild — is within reach.”

“Al Qaeda’s Been Decimated And Osama Bin Laden Is Dead”

“And today, Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”

And he has recently clarified he meant ‘core’ Al Qaeda in these statements.

And since Zawahiri has been ‘core’ al Qaeda for 15 years… WTF is Dear Leader talking about?

farsighted on August 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Egypt blasts “foreign pressure” as Western diplomats descends on Cairo

FIFY

DethMetalCookieMonst on August 6, 2013 at 11:45 AM

“descends”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The U.S. interest and the popular will of the Egyptians don’t have to conflict. We always asked the U.S. officials to provide advice to the former president to overcome his problems.

In other words – we should have withheld funding to the Morsi regime once he started deviating from democracy, and began implementing hardline Islamist rule. Carrot and stick.

Hill60 on August 6, 2013 at 11:56 AM

When was the last time the Obama State Dept. did anything “smart” or that was conducive to advancing the position of the United States of America – they are just another propaganda arm of the Oval Office, like the media, academe, and all of the “intelligentsia”.

Another Drew on August 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Egypt, pls., pls., pls. keep McCain and Ms. Lindsey. Give them big posts in your new gov’t, or whatever.

Schadenfreude on August 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

All you spelling nazis, get with Jeantelean. It’s the new language of the land, racists.

Schadenfreude on August 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

US talking to the Muslim Brotherhood?

You wrote that wrong, Ed. It’s:

obama talkin’ to his bros.

Schadenfreude on August 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Good for Sisi, smarter than the vaunted Oboobi apparatchik.

AH_C on August 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Something ain’t right in the world. Gee whiz Batman did I just figure this out? No! What I mean is “Taliban leader says still willing to talk”, “Iran’s leader reaches out to US, vows push to resolve nuclear row”, “Embassy closures”, “Federal agencies frustrated that they can’t use NSA’s spy tools too”. It kind of looks a little like the enemy may be within more then it is from with out. Most notable dictatorships were formed to confront an exterior enemy (real or imaginary) and used as the reason to control the general population. I also fear that we are seeing the signs that the government has grown so big that it is collapse on itself.
Affordable Care Act
IRS
NSA
DEA
FBI

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effective here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
Ronald Regan

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. The country is safe only when the people rule.
Benjermain Franklin

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

When tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
Thomas Jefferson.

jpcpt03 on August 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

H/t canopfor

Schadenfreude on August 6, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Senators Morons John McCain and Lindsey Graham are now urging the military leadership of Egypt to release jailed members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

One would think that Lawrence Wright’s ‘The Looming Tower’ would be required reading throughout our government – as well as an education on the writings of Sayyid Qutb for a real understanding of the values and goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Those who fail to learn from history will be doomed to repeat history.

Athos on August 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Given that Coup d’etat is a term of art in American law, Ed should not be using it to describe the popular revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The law itself is insane. The criterion of legitimacy in American political philosophy is liberty under law, not democracy, which to the founders of this country saw not as valulable in itself, but as valuable purely as a means to secure liberty, because if the incumbent regime becomes oppressive it allows a majority to “throw the bums out.”

That is exactly what happened, after Obama was accommodating towards the elected Morsi’s sweeping steps to impose a totalitarian regime. The least we can do is to interpret the “coup” term of art to imply a minority takeover, which is not what happened in Egypt.

Alec on August 6, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Obama, Qatar and UAE are the Axis of power pushing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Why is Obama supporting and promoting the Taliban in business suits; AKA the Muslim Brotherhood?

albill on August 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM