A large part of Obama's middle east strategy rests on the dubious notion we can deal with "moderate" Islamists running countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen. Of course, when news leaks out that Yemen's Islamists have initiated a reign of terror that makes the French Revolution look like a Paris picnic, and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi places himself above the law by decree, it sort of makes their policy look foolish.
That's why the White House is saying there's nothing much to worry about.
The White House released a short note on Tuesday downplaying rising concerns about the growing power of Islamist theocrats in Egypt.
The White House note instead played up the relatively minor issue of economic trade, even as a pro-democracy riot broke out at Egypt's presidential palace.
Egypt's president is an Islamist who is pushing a controversial draft constitution that would establish Islam as the foundation for the nation's laws, society and business sector.
"National Security Advisor Tom Donilon met today with Assistant to the President of Egypt for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Dr. Essam el-Haddad," began the press statement, which was released 7.32 p.m. EST, after the evening TV news shows had aired.
"They discussed a broad range of issues, including our bilateral economic cooperation, joint efforts to promote regional security and build on the cease-fire in Gaza, and Egypt's democratic transition and the need to move forward with a peaceful and inclusive transition that respects the rights of all Egyptians," the statement said. (continue reading...)(...more)