Why President Obama is Completely Wrong on Egypt

EgyptEven though I’m an independent, I get a lot of flack for being an “Obama shill.” Whether I criticize him over his continuation of Bush policies on domestic spying or bending to the GOP on corporate tax policies, some people still continue to believe that I’m somehow a paid Organizing For America blogger – or a plant from the Koch brothers, if you believe the professional left.

This article is where I level my criticism of the President again, and where I agree with some of the conservative AM radio hosts. The President is absolutely wrong on Egypt, and I’ll tell you why.

The Arab Spring has been a revolt against dictators, some of whom we propped up for a number reasons over the last few decades. Oil, protecting Israel, and tamping down the radical faction of Islam which we saw in the worst way on that bright morning back on September 11th, 2001. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. At first, I thought it was a freak accident by some small amateur pilot as I finished my work out in the gym I worked at in Virginia. When I came back from the shower, it was just in time to watch that second plane slam into the World Trade Center and it was then that I knew something horrible and historic had happened.

Through the following days and weeks, we all demanded answers – and even war. I was a full supporter of Special Forces action in Afghanistan (but not the Iraqi War) and I watched with a feeling of an almost catharsis as B-52 bombers turned nearly barren Afghan mountainsides into small infernos that sent Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters into the afterlife, if you believe in that sort of thing. Almost a decade later, I was exuberant to hear that SEAL Team 6 had finally exacted some sort of revenge when multiple 5.56mm rounds removed Osama Bin Laden from this mortal coil.

The Arab Spring? I cheered for it, no bones about that. In Tunisia, Egypt and other places, people rose up against dictatorships and demanded democracy. Sadly, in Egypt, democracy was perverted by the Muslim Brotherhood. Like the religious right here in America, they presented themselves to voters as “God’s party.” Just like politicians such as Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and others – they convinced naive religious people to vote against their self interests and take the aftermath of decades of dictatorship under Mubarak down the slope towards a radical Islamic state that was not friendly to us, Israel, or the interests of any moderate Islamic country in the region.

President Obama hasn’t been the only one wrong on this. Members of the GOP have also wanted us to suspend aid and relations with Egypt over the removal of Morsi from power. However, when the military has decided that their removal of a dictator has been hijacked by a movement towards radical Islam, we should back them on that. Yes, the slaughtering of protesters is wrong – but if we decide to back a “democracy” that is run by interests that are hostile to us and destabilizes the region, we can’t be surprised when the next terrorist attack is perpetrated by radicals from yet another place that we supported the wrong government in. We cannot support so-called “democracies” in countries on the other side of the world, yet bemoan them when people of the same religious fundamentalist mindset try to take over our own nation.

Foreign policy is a messy and extremely complex exercise in juggling aid money and propping up people who don’t always want the best for us. But if the President continues to support the farce that is the “democracy” run by the Muslim Brotherhood, I can almost guarantee you it will come back to bite us, and bite us very hard.


Facebook comments

  • Hamish

    I don’t give a damn about Israel, but I am concerned about the national interests of my country, the U.S.A. (Excepting internal political considerations, what core interest of the United States would be adversely affected if Israel collapsed? Name one.) We should assist those governments that assist us. We should insure that those matters we consider to be core interests are morally defensible, and actually serve our country’s purposes, not just those of corporations, or other entities, that lobby our government. Having fanatically superstitious people rule a country we must deal with on matters like access to the Suez Canal is not in our interest. Surely we have learned by now that having fanatically superstitious people rule Israel while we arm them as they provoke those whom we must purchase energy from is not optimal either.

    • vwbtl99

      Unfortunately, Israel is about the only real “friend” we have in the Middle East. They can be a powerful force to help us protect national interests. Egypt, Israel and yes, Saudi Arabia are the strongest allies we have in the area. Right or wrong, Friends or supposedly friends, It’s all we got there. Hopefully someday, we can help the area understand and convert to democratically run countries. And avoid future conflicts.

  • BrianK1951

    I heard President Obama condemn the violence of the Egyptian military against the supporters of Morsi. But I haven’t heard him actually support the Muslim Brotherhood. I think Manny Schewitz is wrong in this assumption.

  • Rhonda Painter

    Perhaps Manny Schewitz has not noticed the fact that the president and his cabinet have gone out of their way to avoid using the word “coup” in relation to the Egyptian military’s ousting of the Morsi government. This is because if it is declared a coup, we legally have to stop sending them aid. So, essentially, the president is doing all he can to keep aiding the current military government without appearing to take sides, while our diplomats are no doubt working in the background.
    Meanwhile, you know who came out and declared the military ouster a “coup”? McCain and Graham. Manny Schewitz is absolutely wrong on this and should take this piece down.

  • vwbtl99

    As some others have pointed out, the author of this column IS absolutely wrong about his assertions. President Obama is trying his best to not take sides while really taking sides. His side is the one we all should take. Killing people is wrong but unfortunately sometimes you don’t have a choice. Middle East politics are a mess and a complex mess at that. No easy, black or white answers here. The best solutions to Egypt’s problems is no doubt for us to keep supporting the military financially and militarily in the background while trying to avoid more deaths.

  • Pipercat

    The first mistake people make about Egypt is in regards to who is, actually, in charge of the country. It has, is and always will be for the foreseeable future, the military.

  • Well, I must say this is the last place I expected to read a piece like this, and it is refreshing. The author is 100% in the money here. We are not getting the whole picture on Egypt, and the media is doing a very poor job of including the part of the story that makes the military actions more understandable. The MB has been anything but peaceful, and democracy does not automatically infer that you must accept and include everyone simply because they have a measure of weight. Democracy is dirty and bloody when it first takes root, it is what comes after its successful launch that makes it so worthwhile.
    The Egyptian military is performing with a very large degree of support from the Egyptian people, and for almost all intents is executing the will of the people. We seem to forget how Mursi was appointing butchers to positions of authority over areas they had personally been responsible for terrorizing. We are not told that although yes the military used deadly force against “protestors”, these same protest groups had armed members, were ransacking and looting, and even persecuting and killing the peaceful citizenry.
    Right now the US and our allies should be throwing our full support behind the Egyptian people and applauding them in their efforts to accept nothing less than true democracy.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant
    of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for
    anything else.” ~Hans-Hermann Hoppe

  • Cassinus

    I’m a conservative with libertarian leanings. I am also a vet with a background in the military intelligence field. My specialty is the Middle East. I’ve got to say you hit the nail on the head here. All of the Egyptians I know, and most of the Arabs as well, hate Morsi and the Brotherhood and think this military coup is probably the best thing that could have happened to Egypt right now. Thank you for not being a shill.