Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Egypt's Holding Americans Hostage and How The Obama Administration is Destroying America's Credibility

By Barry Rubin

A reader asks: Why is Egypt keeping Americans who have been working with pro-democracy NGOs from leaving the country and threatening to put them on trial as criminals?

Here's the answer:

1. The military rulers want to show they cannot be pushed around by the United States. This is, of course, also a big way to muster popularity within Egypt. The resentment of foreign intervention is very high and as I pointed out in a recent article, even a U.S. navy anti-disease program is being portrayed by a liberal party as a covert operation to spread disease, murder Egyptian children, and weaken Egypt so Israel can defeat it.

2. The armed forces want to weaken the "moderate" parties by blocking foreign aid to them.  These forces are the junta's main critics and are organizing demonstrations against the government.

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