That was some lecture President Obama gave on Egypt — if you like high-minded nothingness.
After delivering such platitudes as, “The Egyptian people deserve better,” he planted America squarely on the fence, declaring, “We don’t take sides with any particular party or political figure.”
It’s too late for that. Obama took sides when he rushed to help drive Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011. Egypt had no plan for what would happen next, and the last 30 months revealed the folly behind the idea that democracy springs from instant elections.
While the ultimate choice is Egypt’s, America could have helped midwife a peaceful transition to a broad, civilian government. Instead, as predicted here and elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood swept the hasty elections and moved toward Sharia law.
Even as opposition to the Brotherhood spread, Obama was silent. Our ambassador actually dismissed demonstrators and got too cozy with President Mohammed Morsi.
The military coup and the continuing bloodbaths now raise the specter of civil war. Such are the fruits of leading from behind.