The Obama Administration full-heartedly supported the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring of 2011. And while virtually every foreign policy adviser warned of the dangers of helping to oust a despot to create a power vacuum that would favor radical Islamic groups, the Empty Chair went ahead anyway and stuck his nose into Middle Eastern affairs in a manner that made George W. Bush look like a foreign policy genius.
Now, Mohamed Morsi, the current President of Egypt who is closely affiliated with the radical Muslim Brotherhood, has declared himself the omnipotent leader of Egypt.
Illustrating the exact meaning of the phrase, “From out of the frying pan and into the fire,” the election of Morsi has been problematic for American interests since day one. While President Obama was sure to denounce Bush’s foreign policy blunders (and there were many), he wasted no time in helping to promote instability in the already-unstable Middle East.
Mubarak was a tyrant, but he was a tyrant that promoted relative stability. In the massively oppressive Middle East, Mubarak at least maintained a viable government where Americans could have a working relationship with Egypt. However, since Morsi’s rise to power, all we have been hearing is thinly-veiled threats of future conflict and tough-talk from an Egyptian leader who is decidedly anti-American.
Obama should have known something was wrong when both America and Iran praised the rise to power by Morsi. Obama, displaying his jaw-dropping naivety, hailed the election of Morsi as a “milestone in [Egypt's] transition to democracy.”
Similarly, Iran praised Morsi’s rise to office as a “revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people… in its final stages of the Islamic Awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East.”
“In our discussions, Mr. Morsi committed to protecting fundamental freedoms, including women’s rights, minority rights, the right to free expression and assembly, and he said he understood the importance of Egypt’s post-revolutionary relationships with America and Israel.”
Now comes the ironic part…
Morsi has followed in the same footsteps of every other tyrannous despot and issued a constitutional declaration granting him absolute authority to issue law without any body to oppose or repeal it. He also took a page out of Hitler’s book and has issued himself emergency powers to do everything necessary to confront any “danger threatening the Jan. 25 revolution, the life of the nation, national unity, safety of the nation, or hurdling the state institutions in performing their roles.”-Which means unchecked prerogative powers to do whatever he pleases. He has installed himself as dictator.
“I told you so” just doesn’t cut it here. Nobody could ever truthfully claim that Mubarak was a complete embodiment of democratic ideals in the Middle East, but to willfully help create a power vacuum that could easily be filled by radical Islamists is the kind of short-sided, moronic policy that helped create the giant headache that is modern-day Iran.
Furthermore, claiming the election of such a radical, anti-American despot as Morsi as a step in the right direction tellingly paints a fuller picture of where Obama’s priorities lie and what his grasp on foreign policy really is.
After all the hype about how the Arab Spring was a symbol of blossoming democratic ideals, it turns out that what the naysayers were saying all along was true; the Middle East, like America’s economy, has gone from bad to worse thanks to the efforts of the Obama Administration.