Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent was stunned by President Obama’s statement that “Egypt is not an ally, nor an enemy.” The White House has since backtracked on that statement. Engel asks if Egypt is no longer an ally, wasn’t supporting the Obama administration supporting the Arab Spring a big mistake?
Partial transcript of the video above:
CHUCK TODD: I just want to get your first reaction, before you give me a report, of the President saying Egypt was not an ally or an enemy.
ENGEL: Yeah, I almost had to sit down when I heard that. For the last forty years, the United States has had two main allies in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the other ally in the Middle East being Israel. For the President to come out and say, well, he’s not exactly sure if Egypt is an ally any more but it’s not an enemy, that is a significant change in the perspective of Washington toward this country, the biggest country in the Arab world. It makes one wonder, well, was it worth it? Was it worth supporting the Arab Spring, supporting the demonstrations here in Tahrir Square, when now in Tahrir Square there are clashes going on behind me right in front of the US embassy?
You can see now teargas coming — teargas being fired into a crowd of demonstrators who are trying to get close to the embassy, which is at the end of the street, and throw rocks at the US embassy. A very different scene here, a very different Egypt before, when the United States — President Obama — was supporting the demonstrators, President Mubarak was in power, and Egypt was very much an ally. The President doesn’t seem to be sure if Egypt is an ally any more, and some demonstrators who the Arab Spring helped give a voice to are trying to attack the US embassy.
HT: Hot Air