As events have swirled in Egypt, it is not hard to follow the blood and gore. It is less clear what's really going on. When Lindsay Graham and John McCain appear as the chief American interlocutors, you can be sure our policy is adrift. Reading Pat Lang this morning, I found the following comments from a journalism professor at the American University of Cairo focused on media coverage filling in some of the missing pieces. Read it here; it's short!

And here is the NYTimes account of media coverage: not as short.

UPDATE: Here is the inevitable, "The U.S. has-had-it scenario," with Russia and Saudia Arabia joining forces to calm things down in Egypt with China as backstop. Provocative and Sobering. Asia Times.

Paul Pillar at the National Interest argues that the U.S. could let the military aid to Egypt go without serious consequences for the U.S. or Egypt, but perhaps with some consequences for Israel, which has undertaken a diplomatic initiative to keep the aid flowing to Egypt. In brief, the Egyptians have no desire for a war with Israel and the Israeli military can thwart the Sinai terrorists. The problem for Israel: in the 1979 treaty with Egypt, it promised to make peace with the Palestinians within five years. A long five years!


Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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