Politics

Obama throws Rice at media, distracts reporters from White House silence on Egypt

Western-style rights, free speech and equality would be subordinated to Koranic texts, and jihad would be endorsed as a personal religious obligation for Muslims.

The stakes are high for 72 million Egyptians, plus Israelis, Europeans and Americans living there.

But Obama has made no public response to the coup, despite his intervention against Egypt’s military strongman in 2010 and early 2011, and despite his endorsement of Morsi’s narrow 52 percent to 48 percent victory in the June 2012 presidential election. (RELATED: White House silent as Egypt’s president grabs power, moves toward Shariah Islamic law)

Obama had not called Morsi by Monday, even though the two spoke six times during the few days prior to the coup, working to stop Israel’s counterattack against Morsi’s ideological allies in Gaza.

The president and his administration also have not provided any direct rhetorical support for Egypt’s pro-democracy groups, despite declarations in 2008 and 2009 that he wanted to help Arab countries shake off dictatorships.

Those declarations were showcased in Obama’s “New Beginning” strategy, which sought to promote democracy, revive Arab countries and shrink the influence of jihadi groups.

“For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. … Together you represent the harmony between tradition and progress,” Obama announced in a much-touted June 2009 speech in Cairo.

“I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind, and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose,” he declared towards the end of his speech.

“Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere,” he said.