|Feluccas on the Nile|
source: CIA World Factbook
...a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster.Considering the billions of dollars in aid the United States poured into Mubarak's Egypt, I have to wonder what more Eric Trager or anyone else thinks the Obama Administration could have done. President Obama, after all, represented a country which had enabled the abuses of the Egyptian government under Mubarak for thirty years. Americans had to expect the voices of their government would not carry a lot of weight when the dictatorship crumbled.
Mr Trager makes his perception of the extent of the "disaster" clear:
...their photogenic faces carried the promise of a more democratic, friendly Egypt.In his desire for "a more democratic and friendly Egypt", Mr. Trager joins a long line of writers on American foreign policy who misunderstand the consequences of American policies at a basic level. Rightly or wrongly, American policy in Western Asia conflicts at a basic level with the hopes and priorities of millions of people who live there. In many countries in the region, the more the government follows the popular will, the less it will support American policies.
But the activists were never who we hoped they were. Far from being liberal, their ranks were... an alliance of convenience for opposing Mubarak and, later, for denouncing the U.S.
Thus, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Egypt in March 2011, a group of leading activists refused to meet with her.
The article concludes on a gloomy note:
ONE YEAR after Egypt’s heroic revolt, Washington has no heroes in Cairo, only headaches.... a year after the ebullience of Tahrir, an alliance between military autocrats and radical theocrats is viewed, sadly, as a best-case scenario.
|Slaves exposed for sale|
source: Library of Congress Collection