Sunday, June 24, 2012

White House 'Congratulates' Morsi on Winning Egyptian Presidential Election

Daniel Halper reports, at Weekly Standard:

White House spokesman Jay Carney issued the following statement in response to the Egyptian presidential election:

"The United States congratulates Dr. Mohamed Morsi on his victory in Egypt’s Presidential election, and we congratulate the Egyptian people for this milestone in their transition to democracy.

"We look forward to working together with President-elect Morsi and the government he forms, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States.  We believe that it is important for President-elect Morsi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government. We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians.  Millions of Egyptians voted in the election, and President-elect Morsi and the new Egyptian government have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry.

"The United States intends to work with all parties within Egypt to sustain our long-standing partnership as it consolidates its democracy.  We commend the Presidential Election Commission and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for their role in supporting a free and fair election, and look forward to the completion of a transition to a democratically-elected government.  We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability.  And we will stand with the Egyptian people as they pursue their aspirations for democracy, dignity, and opportunity, and fulfill the promise of their revolution."
I guess that's a prototypical formal statement of diplomatic recognition, but still, given this White House's utter amateurism on Egypt over the last 18 months, such breezy statements are literally frightening.

See Rep. Allen West, for example, "The Muslim B'Hood takeover in Egypt shows Arab Spring is radical Islamic nightmare" (via Memeorandum):
A year ago there were those of us who warned the Obama Administration of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt. We were castigated as alarmists and loose cannons. Today our predictions have come to reality and the ominous specter reminding us of the Iranian revolution is evident. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed they would not run a presidential candidate. Clearly the Arab Spring is nothing more than a radical Islamic nightmare. Now we need to unequivocally reiterate our support to the Coptic Christians and Israel. What an incredible foreign policy faux pas by the second coming of President Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration. I call upon President Barack Obama to cut off American foreign aid to Egypt, denounce the results of this election, repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood, and all radical Islamist political entities.
Boy, that's a tough set of recommendations!

I only dissent on the immediate withdrawal of foreign aid. We have leverage over Egypt's foreign policy through our foreign aid program, and perhaps the military will impress on the new government the importance of regional peace. That is, we have the carrot of cooperation over Cairo at the moment. We may have to use the stick of direct military support to Israel at a later date. Let's see how it goes.

Again, read Jonathan Tobin's piece from earlier today, which is about the right tone, I'd say: "U.S. Must Avoid Embrace of Morsi."