Contrast between reactions from Egyptian government and Libyan government has been one of the major topic past few days - and many journalists and experts touched on this subject. Among them, by far this take by Thanassis Cambanis is the most solid, clear description of how and what Obama should deal with Egypt - as long as I’ve read.
- GOP can just copy and use this.
- Or even Obama/Hillary/Biden/Kerry talks as substantial and clear as this - to Egypt’s leadership - at this point I see nothing going to be damaging.
Don’t get me wrong: he [Obama] needs to “engage” the Brotherhood, which means, “have relations” with it. In this case, the engagement should consist of a cold, angry, demand: that they immediately condemn the invasion of the embassy grounds, and that they act responsibly to cool anti-American sentiment—if they expect our financial aid, our military aid, and our indispensible support in getting the IMF and other international assistance vital to Egypt’s economic survival.
Those who think these embassy attacks are a result of Obama’s “weakness” and “apologizing” already have their minds made up. But there are reasonable people who will watch to see if Obama seems tough—like the guy who killed bin Laden and regularly assassinates people in foreign countries—or craven, like an apologist for Al Qaeda groupies. I don’t know how this plays with the portion of the public whose minds are not already made up. I think it will hurt Obama if he doesn’t criticize Egypt aggressively, and in public. And I think the damage could grow if people connect these breaches to America’s broader directionless in the wake of the Arab uprisings.
That’s the real problem, by the way—not the stuff Romney is bringing up.