Now we have confirmation that there were explicit warnings to the Obama administration about the likelihood of trouble in Egypt, as reported by The Wall Street Journal:
Early last year, a group of U.S.-based human-rights activists, neoconservative policy makers and Mideast experts told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that what passed for calm in Egypt was an illusion.
"If the opportunity to reform is missed, prospects for stability and prosperity in Egypt will be in doubt," read their April 2010 letter.
The correspondence was part of a string of warnings passed to the Obama administration arguing that Egypt, heading toward crisis, required a vigorous U.S. response. Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's 82-year-old dictator, was moving to rig a string of elections, they said. Egypt's young population was growing more agitated.Carl at Israel Matzav expands on this information, What did Obama know and when did he know it?:
The bipartisan body that wrote to Mrs. Clinton, the Egypt Working Group, argued that the administration wasn't fully appraising the warning signs in Egypt. Its members came together in early 2010, concerned that the Arab world's biggest country was headed for transition but that the U.S. and others weren't preparing for a post-Mubarak era.
But in an email I received today, Professor Barry Rubin discloses that the warnings about Egypt go back two years - to the beginning of the Obama administration. And that they came from inside sources and not just from the Egypt Group.Carl attributes Obama's failure to act on the warnings to tunnel vision as to the creation of a Palestinian state, while I attribute it to an obsession with domestic priorities, and primarily Obamacare.
[F]or more than two years a high-ranking Egyptian official has been warning about this (though he predicted more of an elite revolt against Mubarak than a popular one). We expected generally that Mubarak would die or be disabled, pass the presidency on to his son, and then the elite would revolt and throw out the Mubaraks. The popular revolt gave them an opportunity to do this earlier (and also because Mubarak literally lived too long.) That is the hidden story here. I don't know if Ferguson knows about this but what he said was not far off the mark.
Regardless, one thing is becoming clear: The Obama administration dropped the ball on Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East despite having received detailed warnings about trouble to come.
When it comes to Egypt, we already know what Obama knew and when he knew it.
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