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Friday, August 16, 2013

Obama golfs, Egypt burns

Hat Tip for the image to Now the End Begins via Jack W.

Jennifer Rubin sums up Egypt's civil war President Obama's monthly vacation.
Obama was briefed, said nothing and went back to golf. Secretary of State John Kerry took a break from his fruitless obsession with the nonexistent “peace process” to condemn the violence, but took no questions and had no policy announcement. This, in a nutshell, is the White House’s approach to the Middle East — the absence of any policy and a lot of empty words.
Sam Tadros, a Egyptian expert at the Hudson Institute who is also affiliated with the Hoover Institution, is not optimistic. Late Wednesday he remarked to me on the military’s assault on its opponents: “In a sense this was inevitable. You don’t ask the people to give you a mandate and then sit by idly. The timing was only delayed because of Ramadan and the Eid celebrations.”
Unlike the administration, he is looking ahead — and doesn’t like what he discerns. “The question no one seems to be asking is where the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] is supposed to go after they end the protests,” he said. “They certainly won’t be going home. Instead of one protest you will have smaller ones throughout the country.” The victims will include non-Muslims as is so often the case in the Arab world. He told me, “Christians will of course take most of the damage. Already there are reports of many churches attacked. This will continue.”
Indeed, it is continuing. Fox News reported on Wednesday that Muslim Brotherhood thugs burned down three churches.
The assailants threw firebombs at Mar Gergiss church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians who comprise up to 10 percent of Egypt's 84 million people, causing it to burn down, the official MENA news agency said.
Security officials told AFP that another two churches were attacked in El-Menia province, leaving them partially damaged by fire.
Coptic rights group the Maspero Youth Union reported the same information, accusing Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement of "waging a war of retaliation" against the country's Christians.
Dozens of Morsi supporters were killed on Wednesday as security forces moved in to disperse them from two major protest camps in Cairo that they have occupied since around the time the army ousted him six weeks ago.
The Coptic church backed Morsi's removal, with Patriarch Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup on July 3.
Military coup? Did the Obama administration decide that there was a military coup? Not yet. In fact, they can't seem to decide anything.
The question now is what can be done and what role the United States should play. Tadros is blunt: “As to outside powers, I am afraid it is too late now. This is a zero-sum game and one side has to win.”
If the Egyptian military is, as most contend, far more effective than Bashar al-Assad’s troops and makes quick work of former government officials and their supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood problem hardly goes away. Not without justification they will likely conclude democracy is a dead end and will resort to other means to assert their vision for Egypt. The military will have succeeded only in driving MB members to return to violence and terrorism instead of ballots and government ministries.
And so Jennifer Rubin concludes, Obama may as well play golf.

In a sense, then, Obama might as well play golf. He’s dropped the ball on Egypt and the entire region, leaving the United States with few options and the Egyptian people to a bloody future in the short run and a repressive authoritarian junta in the longer run.
Yes, but they got the 'peace talks' going.... Maybe the Muslim Brotherhood can escape to Gaza.... What could go wrong?

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