Whatever its ultimate intentions, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood seems to recognize this political reality. "Our priority is economic and political reform," says Brotherhood leader Sobhi Saleh. These are areas where America wants to provide assistance, raising the prospect of an American-Egyptian relationship that is better than mutual hostility.
But whoever now runs Egypt is putting all of that at risk. "Egypt will not kneel," says Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri — an odd statement coming from a government stomping on basic freedoms with a jackboot. The American Congress does not naively expect gratitude in exchange for foreign assistance. But it does expect cooperation at moments when our national interests are at stake. And the protection of American citizens from corrupt and spiteful prosecution is one of those interests.
For months, the Egyptian government has explored the limits of American patience, which it is just about to reach.
Michael Gerson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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