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Ten Years Gone
Remembering the military coup in Egypt and America's complicity.
First, some housekeeping. I’d like to share more of my writing with you and the thinking behind why I write what I write in the first place. With that in mind, I’m adding a new section to this Substack called “My Writing.” These will be occasional updates. I hope to make them interesting. That said, please feel free to update your settings if you’d rather not receive these. You can do so my clicking on your profile in the top right and then going to “Manage My Subscription.”
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Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I have a new essay in Foreign Policy on the 10th anniversary of the coup in Egypt, adapted from my book The Problem of Democracy. I reconstruct the final months and days leading up to the army's takeover, including never previously reported details, i.e. what Obama said in the Situation Room on the day of the coup and Susan Rice's final call to Morsi's national security advisor.
I lay out a detailed case for how and why the Obama administration gave what amounted to a green light to then-defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to proceed with the coup. Based on the available evidence, I think it’s more than fair to conclude that Washington was directly complicit in ending Egyptian democracy.
This is also my attempt to distill key lessons from what went wrong in US policy, in the hope that these lessons might be learned in time for the next Arab Spring.
I hope you all enjoy it and find it useful. Please do consider sharing with anyone who might be interested. Most people have moved on from the Middle East, but we shouldn't forget what happened. Because I do believe there will be another Arab Spring (whether in 10, 15, or 20 years), and I dearly hope that the U.S. will be better prepared when it happens.
Again, here’s the link to the full piece. Would love to hear any thoughts you might have, if the spirit moves you.