Anne Patterson responded to widespread talk among Egyptian liberals that Washington had thrown its weight behind Islamist President Mohamed Mursi by saying in a speech on Tuesday that the United States was working closely with the elected government and also listening to all Egypt’s political groups.The Egyptians foolishly voted the Muslim Brotherhood in, and now they want Morsi out, but Patterson feels the protests are only risking more violence and that they should just deal with who they have in power.
But by Thursday, after extensive local media coverage of her remarks and condemnation by opposition leaders of “interference” in Egypt’s internal affairs, social media was dominated by angry and hostile comments directed toward Patterson and her embassy.
Among the more polite, tycoon Naguib Sawiris tweeted: “Madam Ambassador, ... Please bless us with your silence.”
“This is the government that you and your fellow citizens elected,” she said. “Even if you voted for others, I don’t think the elected nature of this government is seriously in doubt.
“The United States took the position that we would work with whoever won elections that met international standards.”
“Egypt needs stability to get its economic house in order, and more violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs. Instead, I recommend Egyptians get organized.
“Join or start a political party that reflects your values and aspirations. Egyptians need to know a better path forward. This will take time. You will have to roll up your sleeves and work hard.”She doesn't realize that Egypt is not the U.S., and if Islamism is allowed to take root in that country it will be very difficult to return to secularism and democracy. We need to let the people of Egypt do what they have to do to create a democratic, secular state. We need to stay out of it.