President Obama interrupted his family vacation on Thursday to announce that the United States is cancelling upcoming joint military exercises with Egypt in response to a military crack down against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
In a 7-minute press conference, Obama said: “While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.”
However, is it possible that Obama is putting forth the appearance that he is taking tough action to circumvent Egypt from doing the very same thing?
A New York Sun article published last week titled “America’s Alliance With Egypt Is on Verge of Collapse” reported that Egypt was already contemplating calling off the joint military maneuvers code-named Bright Star.
The report focused on the deteriorating relationship between the two countries and how the recent trip by U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham only exasperated things. The military exercise was then mentioned as a possible casualty:
“On the streets, nationalist sentiment was not far behind. The ‘Rebel Movement’ is pitching a new drive titled ‘Say No to US Aid’, which runs at $ 1.5 billion a year. So grave is the situation that military sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Egypt may call off critical joint military maneuvers code-named Bright Star.”
Furthermore, if the joint military exercises were cancelled, it would not be the first time, according to FrontPage Magazine, who noted that the exercise had been postponed or canceled in past years due to tensions in Egypt or the region.
“In 2011, that came about as a joint agreement. This time around, Obama jumped in to make it seem like he was canceling an exercise that wasn’t going to happen anyway,” Daniel Greenfield wrote.
As for Obama trying to look tough, perhaps the White House should refrain from “tweeting” images such as we see here to celebrate Wednesday being “hump day,” even as blood ran in the streets of Cairo.
Guess what day it is… pic.twitter.com/YG8o5fIN4m
— The White House (@whitehouse) August 14, 2013