US politicians criticise Obama's Egyp...

US politicians criticise Obama's Egypt stance

Posted in the Chicago Forum


Tampa, FL

#1 Aug 18, 2013
US President Barack Obama might have expected to spend a quiet August, playing rounds of golf in Martha’s Vineyard and continuing his jaunt around the country to build support for his economic agenda. Instead, as the turmoil in Egypt deepened this week amid a brutal crackdown against anti-military protesters that has left more than 600 dead and 3,000 injured, the Obama administration appeared to flail about for an adequate response to the crisis.

As images of bloodied bodies in make-shift morgues and flames rising from government buildings flashed across television screens Thursday, Obama stood at a podium in Cape Cod and offered condolences to the families of the slain -- but little else. In a largely symbolic maneuver, the president canceled the biennial joint military exercises with Egypt known as Operation Bright Star, scheduled for next month.

"We appreciate the complexity of the situation," Obama said. "The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government and security forces. We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest."

What he did not do: make any mention of the approximately $1.5bn in aid that the United States funnels each year to Egypt,$1.3bn of it to the military which is underwriting the crackdown. The president refused also to utter the word "coup" to characterise the military overthrow of the democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in early July. Calling it a coup would trigger US law requiring a suspension of military aid.

Obama called 'spineless'

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