President Obama’s speeches constantly center of the pretense of his administration not having taken sides in Egypt, point to criticism from the new junta and the old elected government as proof that aren’t taking sides. It’s an argument no one is buying, however, as US aid dollars continue to flow by the billions to the military.
A solid month of loud support for the military takeover of Egypt has harmed American credibility in the nation in a way that is likely to last a generation. President Obama had already harmed America’s stance by backing Hosni Mubarak in the waning days of his dictatorship. Funding the military takeover has left it in tatters.
Cynically backing the latest coup in hopes of sidelining an elected government they didn’t particularly care for wasn’t a figment of anyone’s imagination: Secretary of State John Kerry really did praise the military takeover just two weeks ago.
That didn’t take long to blow up in America’s face. While other coups the US has backed didn’t come back to directly haunt them for years or decades, Egypt’s junta is already carrying out a campaign of massacres against civilian protesters, and President Obama’s response barely counted as criticism, filled with excuses and condemnations of the ousted civilian government.
Worst of all, President Obama is still refusing to halt aid to the junta, despite US law explicitly obliging him to. The US can’t bankroll a coup while pretending to be neutral, nor can it reasonably expect to be held blameless when the new junta starts slaughtering its political opponents in the streets.