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IN A MAY 2013 Ahram Online interview, the US ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, fielded a question about her government’s delicate relationship with the Morsi regime:
The fact is [the Freedom and Justice party] ran in a legitimate election and won. … Of course it is challenging to be dealing with any new government. However, at the state institutional level, we are for instance still liaising with the same military and civil service personnel, and thus have retained the same long-established relations.
One month later, footage of Tahrir Square brought to the world an outpouring of hostility, aimed at Ms. Patterson and President Obama. Why, ask the Egyptian critics of Morsi, did Obama keep up the flow of money and other material supports, as the Freedom and Justice Party undertook to replicate the authoritarianism of earlier regimes? Or to put it another way — the way Patterson did — why did the American government “retain the same long-established relations”?