US lacks a champion in the new Egypt

By Bradley Klapper

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 17 2012 2:15 a.m. MST

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is losing old friends and can't win new friends in the new Egypt.

Trying to secure a way home for seven American democracy experts trapped in Egypt, the Obama administration is facing a wrathful campaign of retribution from Hosni Mubarak's old allies of the dictatorship, which the U.S. supported but then turned away from last year.

It's getting no help from the most legitimate force in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a sympathetic ear but little concrete support from an unpopular military leadership that has long benefited from U.S. largesse.

One year after the revolution that chased Mubarak from power, no one wants to be seen as too close to the United States.

The calculation holds even though $1.5 billion of American aid may be at stake.

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