POLIZETTE — With President Obama set to pump up Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy credentials Wednesday evening at the Democratic National Convention, look for him to omit reference to their twin failures in Libya and Egypt.
The turmoil in Libya has been well-aired, from the ill-fated toppling of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011 to deaths of four Americans that followed in Benghazi to Clinton’s subsequent efforts to cloud the reasons for that attack.
But the failure in Egypt earlier that year has garnered less scrutiny in the 2016 election. Caught by surprise by the so-called Arab Spring, the Obama administration gave its blessing for the overthrow of pro-American President Hosni Mubarak, and then supported the radical Muslim Brotherhood that seized power.
Practically overnight, the country transformed from a picture of stability in the turbulent Middle East into a country that oppressed its Christian minority, mismanaged its economy and questioned its long-standing peace agreement with Israel. The Egyptian military eventually wrested power from the Muslim Brotherhood in a coup.
The fact the U.S. not only allowed unimpeded, but supported, the overthrow of a western friendly strongman in a stable, Middle Eastern country sent shivers of fear down the spines of U.S.-aligned Gulf States. In February of this year key Saudi officials travelled to Moscow to begin thawing relations with Russia — the state less powerful than the U.S. but now seen as more committed to defending its allies and interests. If the U.S. would readily abandon Mubarak, surely the Saudi royals could be next.