The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 21, 2013

Geoff Caldwell, guest columnist: U.S. pursues inconsistent policy in Middle East

The chaos in Egypt today is in no small part due to this administration’s chaotic Middle East policy.

When President Obama delivered his “New Beginning” speech at Cairo University and stated that American and Islamic interests “share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” he ignored that many Islamic countries could care less about justice, progress, tolerance and dignity for all.

When Egyptians took to the streets demanding the removal of Hosni Mubarak, Obama quickly threw our long-standing ally under the bus, saying “there must be reform — political, social and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”

And when the president last week condemned the Egyptian military’s crackdown on Mohammed Morsi supporters as a “dangerous path taken through arbitrary arrests, a broad crackdown on Morsi’s associations and supporters,” it was as if the past year of Muslim Brotherhood oppression and violence had never occurred.

The president also said that “we don’t take sides with any particular party or political figure,” but his words contradict his actions.

When the Iranian people took to the streets against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama stayed silent as the mullahs crushed the revolt and executed the survivors. When the Syrian people first took up arms against Bashar Assad, the president chose to stay on the sidelines and watch as the situation spun out of control and now destabilizes the entire region. And when Morsi persecuted his opposition, protected jihadists in the Sinai, allowed attacks on Coptic Christians and began imposing an Islamic theocracy upon a secular majority, Obama was silent every step of the way.

Obama closed the speech with: “America will work with all those in Egypt and around the world who support a future of stability that rests on a foundation of justice and peace and dignity.”

Can anyone truly say that the last year of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt was built on a foundation of justice, peace and dignity?

Did no one in the White House watch the 2010 video in which Morsi said Jews were “the descendants of apes and pigs” and that Egyptian children should be “breast-fed hatred” against them?

Is there no one who sees the support for Hezbollah and Hamas as more than just a few “bumps in the road”?

So why your sudden soul-searching for the poor, poor Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. President?  

When a cancer invades the body, doctors don’t seek to contain it or allow it to co-exist with the rest of the body. They do everything in their power to eliminate it.  

That is what Egyptian military forces are facing today. Rather than making smug statements of condemnation, the president should be looking for every way possible to support them.

It is not the military using women and children as human shields. It is not the military hiding in mosques to up the civilian body count. It is not the military burning churches, torturing and killing their congregations and marching nuns through the streets of Cairo like prisoners of war.

Yes, Morsi was democratically elected, but so were Adolf Hitler, Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood never did and never will respect the rights of all Egyptians. Their year in power showed that.

Americans know justice, peace and dignity when we see it, Mr. President. But do you?

Geoff Caldwell lives in Joplin.

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