The influence we do have is on the military, given the billions of dollars in annual support that the United States has given it over the decades. This pressure must be exerted confidentially and subtly but clearly. Otherwise, the Obama administration will bear some of the moral responsibility for providing the Morsi government with the capacity to undo Egypt's nascent democracy, which Morsi would not have without critical support from the army.
Last year's springtime revolution, so widely and maybe naively celebrated, is now in danger of being submerged in a spasm of conceit, poor judgment, power grabs, and violence. The chaos and upheaval in Egypt today is a reflection of an ancient culture that has lost its way and its ties to a great civilization over 3,000 years old (just visit the Egyptian wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York). These days, many religious zealots reject their history and instead threaten the destruction of the pyramids and the Sphinx as mere idols of the Pharaohs. The hope is that Egypt's foray into democracy and a secular government will continue and add to its great creativity and longevity.
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