The real tragedy of the president’s epic mishandling of Egypt is not merely the sceptical-at-best Egypt that will emerge. It’s that Egypt is merely the latest episode in a pattern laid down by Barack Obama in the first two years of his presidency. In just two years, he has faced multiple crises of liberty, democracy and the American national interest abroad – and he has failed each test. Even rhetorical support for those seeking freedom, the bare minimum a president can do, is strikingly absent except under duress.
The plain and pathetic reality is that Barack Obama chooses the existing regime over any alternative, and/or against the American ally, every time. Ask the Hondurans who ejected their Chavista president. Ask the Falkland islanders sold out by the Secretary of State Clinton intoning on the “Malvinas”. Ask the east European Nato members stripped of a full American deterrent in the name of a Russia “reset”. Ask the Tunisians who received not a word of endorsement as they ejected Ben Ali. Ask the Iranians who fought and died for their freedom in the hot summer of 2009.
And now, ask the Egyptians who gather, once again, in Tahrir Square as you read this.
To shout “Shame!” seems hardly enough.