For bare to dager siden var Hillary Clinton klar til å levere en viktig tale om demokrati i Egypt slik USA ser det. Talen ble avlyst og Clinton uttalte seg forsiktig om maktkampen mellom det militære rådet og president Mohamed Morsi og Brorskapet.

For bare noen dager siden var USA for at makten overføres fra militære til sivile myndigheter. I praksis vil det si Morsi og Brorskapet. Men nå er Clinton blitt mer forsiktig. Nå sier hun bare at USA ønsker en konsensus i Egypt om en bevegelse i demokratisk retning:

Instead of calling for an immediate handover of power as American officials have in the past, Mrs. Clinton instead emphasized only the need for “building consensus across the Egyptian political spectrum.” In brief remarks after the meeting with Mr. Morsi, her sole reference to the military decrees dissolving the Islamist-led Parliament and eviscerating his powers was a call for “consensus” among all sides in order “to work on a new constitution and Parliament, to protect civil society, to draft a new constitution that will be respected by all, and to assert the full authority of the presidency.”

A senior State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in a briefing to reporters, said Mrs. Clinton planned to deliver virtually the same message in a private meeting with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt’s top military commander, as she did in public remarks on Saturday.

The goal, the official said, was “to engage in that dialogue and to avoid the kind of confrontation that could potentially lead to the transition veering off track,” while leaving the military’s decree taking over Parliament’s powers as a matter for Egyptians courts and politicians to decide.

Mrs. Clinton’s tone appeared softer than that of State Department comments made only a few weeks ago, when the military council had moved to disband Parliament on the eve of the presidential race. A State Department spokeswoman then publicly urged the generals to meet their “commitments to the Egyptian people” to turn over power and warned of consequences for the broader American alliance if they did not.

Mrs. Clinton’s visit appeared to be a triumph of pragmatism over idealism within the Obama administration, and perhaps even within the secretary herself.

USA risikerer å stå igjen uten støtte fra noen av partene. Det militære rådet skal være like kritisk til USA som Brorskapet.

Hillary Clinton møtte Morsi lørdag og møter generalene søndag.

Clinton Visits Egypt, Carrying a Muted Pledge of Support

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