In the wake of Mohameed Morsi’s ouster, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, is under fire.
According to Foreign Policy, Patterson resisted opportunities to criticize Morsi during his reign and in a recent speech she discouraged street protests against him:
The tip of the spear for U.S.-Egypt diplomacy, Patterson’s June 18 speech discouraging street protests has come to symbolize the administration’s inability to recognize the potency of Egypt’s liberal opposition. “Some say that street action will produce better results than elections,” Patterson said. “To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”
Now, with the Egyptian military’s take over of the country, observers fear the outbreak of widespread violence between Morsy’s Islamist supporters and moderate critics, and many wonder if the U.S. could’ve taken a harder line on the Brotherhood during its 10-month rule.
Patterson in particular resisted opportunities to criticize the Morsy government as it implemented increasingly authoritarian policies. In a memorable May interview with the Egyptian English-language news [site] Ahram Online, she repeatedly dodged pointed questions about Morsy’s leadership. “The fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won,” she said. “Of course it is challenging to be dealing with any new government. However, at the state institutional level, we are for instance still liaising with the same military and civil service personnel, and thus have retained the same long-established relations.”
On Twitter, the anger toward Patterson is palpable: