The Obama administration, which has been halting and conflicted in responding to last summer's
Ideally, the decision to block $260 million in cash assistance and suspend the delivery of tanks, helicopters and other hardware would induce Egypt's generals to relent in their scorched-earth campaign against supporters of the deposed President
Given Egypt's strategic position, the importance of its peace treaty with Israel and decades of cooperation between its military and that of the United States, it is not surprising that the Obama administration is reluctant to take steps that could alienate the generals in Cairo entirely. But it could have been — and should have been from the start — much more indignant in response to the overthrow of a democratically elected leader. (At one point, Secretary of State
After the fact, the administration said many of the right things, pressing the Egyptian military to treat Morsi and his
But progress along that path has been meager. More than 1,000 demonstrators have been killed by government forces, and hundreds of Islamist leaders and followers of the deposed president have been tossed into jail.A court has declared the Brotherhood an illegal organization — which seems likely to spur more, rather than less, violence by militants — and Morsi faces a trial on charges of inciting the murder of protesters against his government. The Obama administration would have been derelict if it had ignored those realities.