Obama takes flak over foreign policy
WASHINGTON — The military overthrow of the democratically elected government in Egypt, for decades America's most important Arab ally, has spurred a fierce debate about whether the Obama administration's Mideast policy has been too passive and ineffective.
President Obama declared that U.S. allegiance was to “democratic principles” when Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Morsy on Wednesday, but critics charge that the White House made only halfhearted attempts to steer Morsy's increasingly authoritarian government toward democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.
“They've been late and slow, and not taken these problems seriously,” Michele Dunne, a former State Department official and administration adviser on Egypt who heads the nonpartisan Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said on Friday.
Obama repeatedly failed “to use leverage to ensure that Egyptian authorities adhere to democratic principles,” said the Project on Middle East Democracy, an advocacy group in Washington.
The critics, who include Democratic foreign policy stalwarts as well as Republicans, say the upheaval in Egypt, on top of the administration's inability to stem the civil war in Syria or persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program, adds a blot to Obama's foreign policy record.
President Obama on Saturday reiterated that the United States is not aligned with and is not supporting any particular Egyptian political party or group and again condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt.
Obama made those points during a telephone conference with the National Security Council about developments in Egypt, according to a statement issued by the White House.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Santa Ana winds cut power to thousands in Southern California
- Some Catholics ruled out as jurors in Boston Marathon bombing case
- Police: Man kills co-worker, then himself at NYC Home Depot
- Lawmakers target gay nuptials as Supreme Court ruling nears
- Ramping up e-cigarette voltage may be more hazardous to health
- Orcas could land on endangered list
- Arizona hospital tests brain tumor drugs by giving patients dose, then operating
- Obama to seek protection of wilderness designation for Alaska refuge
- Blockbuster snowstorm aims northeast
- Snowstorm crawls up coast, hitting New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, parts of Pennsylvania
- W.Va. officials deal with late inspections, troubled tanks