Thursday, December 6, 2012

In Defense of America

"S" is for Salafi!
Of the many idiotic explanations for the mess transpiring these days in Egypt, one of the most incongruous is that this is all America's fault. U.S. policy toward Egypt under Obama has been far from perfect, especially in too eagerly accommodating, and hence legitimizing, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. But to assign all, most or even any significant part the chaos of the last twenty-three months to the United States, amounts to little more than a limp attempt to shift the blame for Egypt's demise since January 25. From the outset, and unfortunately still continuing, the self-proclaimed revolutionary vanguard that triggered the events leading to the present has been lacking in vision, leadership, organization, responsibility, accountability, and credibility, even if being full of energy and passion. The ensuring takeover by the Islamists was as much a victory by default as it was anything else. 

And how has America responded? Thankfully, with more maturity than the child actors around it. Notwithstanding the perpetual chaos on the ground and the no-win proposition of trying to find a means of bringing regressive Islamists into the civilized world, the United States has led efforts to stave off the bankruptcy of the Egyptian economy, made more remote the repeat risk of a military take-over, intervened (even if perhaps not enough) through public and non-public actions to tame the aggressive Islamist agenda and, most importantly, given Egypt a semblance of something vaguely resembling a respectable state.  Asking whether this is done out of American self-interest or a belief in the greater good is beside the point; the good of Egypt is the good of America and the world.

One need not agree with U.S. foreign policy or otherwise thank the perseverance of the American taxpayer and its government, but it defies any reasoned thinking -- and is dangerously delusional -- to look past the far more proximate realities to attribute to the United States the disaster that is Egypt today.

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