First, the Obama administration can’t avoid the obvious about Syria: it is an insoluble mess, as I have been arguing for a year. Syria’s Sunni majority is infested with jihadi extremists, and Syria’s minorities (including its small Christian community) are clinging to the Assad regime, despite its atrocious behavior. The New York Times spelled it out in a feature by Anne Barnard today.
Second, Morsi has about as much hope of stabilizing Egypt’s economy as the Syrian Sunnis have of governing Syria, which is to say none at all. Egypt is on the verge of bankruptcy, as opposition leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed al-Baradei said recently. The Gulf states (including radical Qatar) aren’t going to throw Morsi a rope; Qatar’s $2.5 billion loan has been spent in defense of the sagging Egyptian pound. (Qatar appears to be forcing Egypt to pay the money back by purchasing gas at above-market prices, as I explained here).
The Obama administration and the foreign-policy establishment have got their neckties caught in the wringer. The better part of valor is to blame somebody else, and Morsi is handy.
The Obama administration’s handling of Egypt, starting with the unceremonious dismissal of our longstanding ally Hosni Mubarak, is a scandal a hundred times bigger than Benghazi. In the latter we lost four of our people; in Egypt, we lost an ally of thirty-five years’ standing.
How can the administration defend its decision to give Egypt 20 updated F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks?