The Egyptian army military announced on Tuesday it will establish an interim regime if Mohammed Morsi cannot come to an agreement with opposition forces by Wednesday night, a virtual impossibility.
The army insisted it is not intending to rule the country, but in effect it plans to unilaterally dissolve the legislature and appoint Egypt’s chief justice to head Egypt, a threat that has sent the Obama administration running in all directions.
President Barack Obama is suffering another foreign policy flop in the Middle East, where he and his officials previously gave its total support to the Palestinian Authority, which then turned its back on the United States “peace process.” Washington backed Syrian President Bassar al-Assad at the beginning of the protest movement there more than two years ago, and officials insist on making peace with Taliban terrorists.
And now, one year after having excitingly knighting Morsi as the democratic leader of Egypt following the American-backed ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Obama administration is frantic at the prospect of another military regime controlling the military aid that Washington offers Cairo.
Violence in Egypt continues. Four more people were killed in clashes on Tuesday. The Muslim Brotherhood has brought out tens of thousands of supporters, many of them armed with clubs, to march in support of him while millions of demonstrators maintain that the only compromise Morsi can make with them is to resign.
The chaos in Cairo is mirrored in Washington.
The Obama administration has suggested to Morsi that he call for early elections, according to officials who spoke on anonymity.
“No, No,” said the State Dept. Nothng of the sort. “The reports that we have been urging early elections are inaccurate,” State spokesman Jen Psake told reporters Tuesday.
President Obama said in Tanzania during the last part of his current trip to Africa, “Our commitment to Egypt has never been around any particular individual or party. Our commitment has been to a process.”
The Obama administration was so enamored by the Arab Spring rebellion against the Mubarak regime that it voted to end a stable and corrupt regime for one that has turned out to be unstable and corrupt.
“The U.S. government’s attitude has been we would deal with a democratically elected government,” Obama said Tuesday. “Democracy is not just about elections — it’s also about how are you working with an opposition?”
Give the United States a democracy, and everything will be just fine.
It is not only the Obama administration that has made democracy unsafe for the Middle East. The Bush administration was not better, having patted itself on the back for introducing democratic elections to the Palestinian Authority as a model for other Arab countries in the region.
And Hamas capped off the model with a parliamentary victory. The terrorist organization then gave the United States a lesson in democracy, Middle East style, and staged a military coup to oust the Fatah party, headed by chairman Mahmoud Abbas, from Gaza.
In Egypt, it is déjà vu. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where demonstrators accused the United States three years of backing the dictatorship of Mubarak, a sign declared that the U.S. president supports “dictator Morsi.”
The prospects of a military regime scare the Obama administration no less than Morsi’s staying in power and leading the country into civil war.
The Pentagon provides Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military sales, a gift for Cairo’s signing a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. The military aid has emboldened the Egyptian to stand up to Morsi. On the other hand, as Politico noted on Tuesday, the Pentagon can threaten the military with a halt in aid if it pulls off a coup.
But in the Middle East, “negotiations” are ultimatums,” a “peace treaty” is a “piece of paper, and an “interim regime” is a “coup.”
A coup? God forbid.
“The beliefs and the culture of the Armed Forces do not allow pursuit of a ‘coup’ policy,” the military said, adding the military acts only “with the will of the great Egyptian people and their ambitions towards change and reform.”