I’m sorry, I was going to write something about the deteriorating situation in Egypt and my ambivalence about what America should so about it, assuming America should “do” anything at all which is I confess not clear to me. What we “did” with respect to Egypt over the past three decades was to prop up a repressive nightmare of a dictatorship because it served our geopolitical ends in the region. Now what we’re supposed to “do” is to leverage the elected Egyptian government into moderating its course, which is a negative course for sure, but we have a bad habit of insisting on democratic reforms in that region and then balking when we don’t like the election results, and how does bringing out the big stick against Morsi not fit that pattern?
I was going to write about that, but the AJE live stream I was watching switched from live coverage of what’s going on in Egypt to a story about post-war Iraq (remember that place?), including coverage of the incredibly high incidence of birth defects and childhood cancers being encountered in Fallujah, almost certainly because of indiscriminate American use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium ammunition in the conflict there. Fallujah is seeing a rate of birth defects that is 11 times the worldwide average. Lead and mercury levels in children in Fallujah and Basra are dramatically higher than they should be. There is ample evidence, even beyond “WHAT THE FUCK ELSE COULD IT BE?” which seems compelling enough for me, to conclude that our invasion is to blame for brutalizing the children of Iraq.
I know this wound up not having anything directly to do with Egypt, but it’s worth keeping in mind the consequences of our actions when we insist on involving ourselves in everything that happens around the world. THIS is the ultimate result of the arrogance that leads us to believe that the world is America’s sandbox, but we’ve steadfastly refused to acknowledge it or to even revisit the evils we’ve done over the past 10 years in our haste to “move forward.” I’d feel a lot better about our potential interference in Egyptian internal politics if I thought we’d learned some lessons from the recent past.