The unapologetic, unrelenting neo-conservative darling Charles Krauthammer yesterday decided to hold forth on the topic of Egypt, and (of course) use the situation to bash President Obama’s foreign policy. So far, so unsurprising. And indeed, he kicks off with the usual neo-con boilerplate nonsense that we have come to expect, painting a narrative where Obama is ditherer-in-chief at best, or staunchly pro-Islamist at worst:
Obama is a bystander, again. Here are the Egyptians in the millions out on the street, trying to bring down an Islamist government, increasingly dictatorial, increasingly intolerant, arresting journalists and judges, trying to Islamicize the military and the people are saying no, and what does the president of the United States do? He takes a position of studied neutrality, says he is not supporting either side. And yet, as you point out in the Mubarak revolution, he obviously strongly took the side of the people. He demanded that Mubarak had to go, he was not neutral.
But just feast your eyes on this closing sentence from Krauthammer:
That was a shameful episode. But there’s also idea of national interest. Mubarak was pro-American, he was an ally of ours, he helped us in all kinds of ways. Obama worked against him. Morsi represents a movement which is essentially deeply anti-American, and deeply anti-democratic, yet he is neutral on this.This is a shocking position for a president to take.
Did you see it? That is Charles Krauthammer twisting himself into a pretzel to argue that Morsi (autocratic and unpleasant but democratically elected) is somehow more anti-democratic than the dictator Hosni Mubarak (for whom, of course, all sins are forgiven because he was a US “ally”).
Whether President Obama’s position is “shocking” is a matter for debate. But what is not up for debate is the fact that unlike Charles Krauthammer, Obama is at least able to articulate his position without resorting to logical contradictions that make my head explode.