Marc Lynch observes that, in Egyptian politics, “anti-Americanism is a surefire and cost-free political winner”:
Typically, this would be the time for me to call for renewed public diplomacy to try to combat anti-American misconceptions and convince Egyptians of American intentions. But let’s be real. American efforts to push back against the most outlandish allegations are certainly worthwhile, but have obvious limitations. No, American battleships are not moving toward Egypt to launch an invasion. No, Ambassador Patterson did not conspire with the Muslim Brotherhood or offer to sell the pyramids to Israel. No, Obama is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and isn’t going to be impeached over secret payments to them. All well and good, but entrenched opinion is unlikely to be moved.
Meanwhile, Tarek Masoud traces Morsi’s missteps:
[T]he sin of the Muslim Brotherhood was not that it failed to work with liberals, but that it failed to work with the old regime. For the almost the entirety of its time in power, the Brotherhood has demonstrated a remorseless, unyielding obsession with rooting out Mubarak’s National Democratic Party from Egypt’s political life. This extent of the obsession was on full display in one of the last speeches of Morsy’s presidency. Before a crowd made up of equal parts dignitaries and rowdy Muslim Brothers from the provinces, he railed against the remnants of the ancien regime — commonly called the fulul — and then took a few minutes to tell an unflattering story about a man named Kamal el-Shazly, who was Mubarak’s parliamentary enforcer — and who has been dead since 2010.
This odd detour into what is now ancient history reveals the extent to which Morsy and his Brothers viewed as Egypt’s primary problem as not the crumbling of its economy or the decay in public order, but the continued presence of Mubarak’s allies and appointees in almost every corner of the state apparatus. “One year is enough,” the president declared, suggesting that the gloves were soon to come off and a full-blown purge was in the offing. In the end, he was the one who was purged.
(Photo: A man displays a poster picturing the crossed face of U.S. President Barack Obama as tens of thousands of people attend a rally in Tahrir Square against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 7, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. By Carsten Koall/Getty.)