The scenes out of Cairo were hard to read about, and harder to watch.
We haven’t seen this kind of government-led slaughter since Tiananmen Square.
And much as I despise the Muslim Brotherhood, this is what happens when you throw your hopes for democracy into the hands of the military.
They are trained to kill, not to hold fair elections or to preside over a peaceful transition of power.
They do not respect dissent, and civil disobedience rankles them.
And so the Egyptian military, along with murdering more than 500 people, has shanghaied the revolution.
Meanwhile, President Obama looks more hapless by the day.
He says he “strongly condemns” the crackdown, and he cancels a joint military exercise with Egypt. But he still refuses to call what happened there a coup, which is what it clearly was.
Because he doesn’t want to have to follow through and cut off the more than $1 billion in military aid that the U.S. gives the Egyptian military.
And so he’s slapping the military with one hand and paying it with the other.
Talk about a mixed message.
And there were a lot of them in Obama’s brief remarks.
He talked about the U.S. “ties to the Egyptian people, forged through a longstanding partnership.” But those ties and that partnership weren’t actually with the people of Egypt, but with the very same military.
And did Obama really need to say, after expressing condolences for the victims, that what Egypt needs now, on top of political reconciliation, is to attract “investment”?
He couldn’t hold off the idea of Egypt as an investment opportunity even in a moment of horror.
That’s a neoliberal for you.