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Crisis in Egypt: Obama's tragedy

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Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There sits drear Egypt, mid beleaguering sands,

Half woman and half beast,

The burnt-out torch within her mouldering hands,

that once lit all the East.

— J.R. Lowell, “To the Past” (1845)

And aiding and abetting the contemporary drear, beleaguerment and mouldering is the continuing foreign policy deferentialism of President Barack Obama.

The president who dare not take sides in what some call a civil war but what's really the latest war against Islamic extremism, did just that when, in a break between vacation rounds of golf, he effectively sided with the faux “civilians” — the martyrdom-seeking Muslim Brotherhood.

Oh, indeed, the crackdown of the interim goverment-slash-military (a military heretofore regarded for brokering calm in times of crises) was brutal — hundreds dead and thousands more injured. But the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt and all of the Middle East was barbarous. And that was why the military, on behalf of the people, ousted the “democratically” elected Brotherhood.

Once in power, it eschewed many if not most of the hallmarks of a democratic republic and surely would have destroyed Egypt if left unchecked. Bounced from power, the Brotherhood showed its true theocratic thuggishness.

Asks veteran foreign affairs observer Ralph Peters: “What do we want the future of Egypt to look like? A flawed, hybrid democracy or a Sunni Muslim version of Iran?”

That the answer is not obvious to Barack Obama is a tragedy.

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